Sham-Rocking Your Thrift Finds

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, so we are all in a little bit of a festive mood! While this holiday falls right in the middle of the week, you can still celebrate on the weekends and at night! (Even if this year, it's with a small group of friends or family.) Here are a few ways I styled pieces from Goodwill, along with some tips for shopping the racks for holiday gear.

From Day to Night

If you plan to celebrate holidays during the work week, it’s a great idea to find something you can easily transition from day to night to minimize time getting ready. A skirt is great for either class or work, especially this sweater skirt which is super on-trend. I paired it with a green plaid shirt to tuck in and a motorcycle jacket to throw on over top. For accessories, a pair of black block heels and sunglasses. The plaid shirt ($4.50) and sweater skirt ($4.00) were both found at the North Canton Goodwill location.

 1

Transitioning to after work, I swapped the skirt for a pair of jeans, and the jacket on top for a satin cowl tank underneath. The sunglasses were switched with a gold chain necklace, and the heels with a pair of white pointed-toe booties. The booties, jeans, and tank top were all previously thrifted.

2

Fun and Festive

If the subdued look isn’t up your alley, get festive with a kitschy tee like this “Get Lucky” one I picked up from the North Canton Goodwill! For only $4.50, I don’t mind that I only get to wear it once a year because I didn’t break the bank on it. I paired this shirt with some ripped jeans and festive accessories. Just throw on your favorite pair of sneakers and the outfit is complete!

 3

What Was in My Cart but Didn’t Purchase

I found several t-shirts while shopping the racks, but only one made it home with me. It just reminded me that you don’t have to get something directly related to St. Patrick’s Day to be festive. This location had a few Guinness t-shirts, which could be a unique take on a holiday outfit! There were also plain green ones that you could wear as is, or make your own with appliques and other items. I also came across some green sweaters that could easily be transitioned from work to evening. 

  4 5

The left two sweaters could be worn like any other sweater, while the cropped sweater could be worn over a white button down for a fun twist on a layered outfit.

 6 7

Tips and Tricks

1. Find things you would normally gravitate to so you can get more wear out of it.

It is always so hard when shopping for festive clothing to justify spending money on something you will wear once a year. When you grab it at Goodwill (especially for half-price), it’s not as hard to justify! Not only that, but getting something you will wear throughout the year makes more sense in the long run. For me, I love flannels, so I know I will wear this more than just once. It’s better for the environment to make decisions this way, and it’s better for your wallet.

2. Look in areas other than clothing.

Belts and shoes are an easy way to add some festivity without it going overboard. Look around for things that may not be right in your face! These will also be easier to incorporate into your wardrobe after the holiday season.

All-in-all, a holiday doesn’t mean you have to break the bank for something festive to wear one day out of the year. Get creative and find items you like so you save some money and get more wear out of your purchases! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A Sewing Hack for Any Holiday

Top o’ the morning to ya! It feels like forever since I’ve done a crafty post for Goodwill, so let me start by saying I missed you and I hope you had a great holiday season! Ever since I’ve taken my decorations down, my house has felt a little empty and lifeless, so I thought it would be a fun idea to create a cheap and easy St. Patrick’s Day center piece for my dining room using mostly thrifted goodies. 

 Stpats1 Stpats2

For the first time in a while I went into Goodwill without any idea of how I wanted my project to look because I really wasn’t sure what was going to be available in greens and golds and oranges. Luckily for me, there were still so many Christmas decorations on the shelves that inspiration hit me quickly! I first found the gold plate/candle set and when I opened the box and saw that everything was in good condition I knew I had to have it and that a table runner would be a perfect addition. I wasn’t able to find a kelly green table runner but when I saw the beaded placemats, I knew I could make them into exactly what I was looking for in less than 20 minutes.

 Stpats3

The first thing I did with the green place mats was check their condition. A few of them had minor stains, but I really only needed 3 of the 5, so I just chose the best looking and set the other two aside for a future craft project (like a sewing bag to keep my seam ripper and such).

Stpats4

Now that I have my selected pieces, I used my clips (you can use pins if that is what you have at home) and clipped right sides together on two of the place mats. I then took it over to my sewing machine and using a straight stitch sewed the mats together. For this project, you don’t even need matching thread colors since it will never be seen when sitting on the table. I used black because it was what I already had loaded into my machine.

Stpats5

Stpats6

I then repeated the same steps to attach the third piece. Once all the mats are attached, you now have a very wavy and wrinkled table runner with some long thread tails that need to be snipped. Of course I wanted to make my runner as smooth as possible so I took special care to really iron out the corners as well as opening up the seams I had just made with my sewing machine. Always test a bit of the fabric with your iron before going full speed ahead. Satin can be an iffy fabric to iron on, but I just lowered the heat setting and had no issues. 

Stpats7 Stpats8

While I was able to flatten out my table runner 90%, unfortunately only time will get out some of the deeper wrinkles in the satin fabric (or if you are fancy and own a steamer, it’ll flatten out in minutes). Now that my table runner is complete, I got out my newly beloved center piece and got all of the items out except the Christmas baubles.

Stpats9 

To make this project complete for the holiday, I stopped at the Dollar Tree on my way home from my Goodwill trip and picked up a few specific St. Patrick’s Day goodies to fill in the plate as well as decorate the table with.

 Stpats10

All in all this project only cost me 10$ and it will not only serve its purpose for St. Patrick’s Day but also for the Christmas season as well. The table runner is also a great beginner project for anyone looking to dust off the old sewing machine. I hope you all got some inspiration out of this post and I hope you get even more inspiration walking the isles of your favorite Goodwill! Cheers!

Stpats11 Stpats12

Dr. Suess Day

I don’t remember any specific times that Cat in the Hat was read to me as a child. Growing up, I have zero recollection of what shelf Green Eggs and Ham was placed on in my house. I’m not even sure which Dr. Seuss book was my favorite back then.

 Suess1

One thing I’m sure of, though, Dr. Seuss books were an impressionable and significant part of my childhood. Decades after Seuss books were first read to me, I can still recite most of the books, word for word. And, I cannot deny the sentimental feelings I get when I’m reading these children’s’ classics to my own children.

And I’m not alone. Dr. Seuss is an iconic part of most of our childhoods, which is why it should be no surprise that Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2), has become a national holiday of sorts.

Classrooms and schools across the nation and the world will gather children of all ages for Read Across America. They will recite ‘Wocket in my Pocket’ and dress up like ‘Fox in Socks’ and maybe even taste some green eggs and ham.

 Suess2

Theodor Seuss "Ted" Geisel, would have been 116 years young this year. During his life, he was responsible for writing and illustrating more than 60 different children’s’ books, many of which became of the most popular books of all time.

 Suess3

It would be short-sighted to think that this holiday ONLY celebrates Seuss, though. Read Across America is a celebration of the importance and significance of reading, especially at a young age.

Consider these facts:

  • Across the nation less than half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members.
  • Daily reading to children can put them one year ahead of their peers who are not read to each day.
  • Books in the home are strongly linked to academic achievement.
  • Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get three more years of schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.
  • The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to books.

 Suess4

These statistics are startling and should serve as a reminder on this literacy holiday and every day, how important reading is to children, nationwide and right here in our community.  

Goodwill has taken action and created a new program that works to address issues of literacy in our own community.

Book Works was a program first launched by Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio in late 2019. The program provides gently used, age appropriate books to children and child care centers at no charge.

 Book Works
Thousands of books have already reached children throughout Stark County as a result of the Book Works program, and in 2020, thousands more will be served.

Children’s books that have been donated to Goodwill and not sold in stores are sorted and cleaned by local volunteers. Then, Goodwill partners with area schools, daycares and agencies to fulfill orders. Children that are part of the Books Works program are provided a minimum of five books, and centers are provided a minimum of 25 books. Books range from infant board books to first chapter books to teen novels. And, yes, Dr. Seuss books are oftentimes part of the Book Works order!

So, in honor of Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’ birthday and all the wonderful Seuss memories we all might share, here are a few things that you can do to support literacy in the local community:

  • Read to your children. Reading just 15 minutes a day can make a significant difference in the educational achievement of a child.
  • Donates children’s books to Goodwill. Your unused children’s books are a much-needed donation at local Goodwill stores. Find a donation center near you today.
  • Volunteer with the Book Works program. Volunteer groups are needed to sort and clean the books for the program. Email info@goodwillgoodskills.org for more information.
  • Enroll your school, daycare or church in the Book Works program by completing an order form. Book orders are typically filled within two or three weeks of the order. Supplies may affect fulfillment date. 

30 Day Declutter Challenge

It's that time of year again, everyone is talking about decluttering and spring cleaning. But why is this so important? Decluttering allows you to reclaim your home, gives you a sense of accomplishment and reduces stress in your life.

We understand how overwhelming it can be to get everything on your to-do list done. We're here to help with a 30 day declutter challenge! 

Challenge Checklist L

Click here to download a printable .pdf

It's important to understand what you should keep, what to donate and what can be thrown away. While cleaning out cabinets and closets here are a few questions we recommend asking yourself.

  • Is this item something I regularly use?
    • If not, is this something that I love and sparks joy?
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • Could someone else use it more than me?
  • Am I keeping this out of obligation or expectation?
  • Am I holding onto this because I think I should love it?
  • Do I have multiples of the same thing?
  • Could something else I own do the same job?
  • If this stuff was gone, would this space be more beneficial?
  • If I get rid of this item, how difficult would it be to replace it?
  • Am I putting this in the junk drawer because it doesn’t have a place… or a real purpose?

Make sure to have a few boxes or trash bags on hand when going through this process. Label one donate and one trash. If you've decided to get rid of an item and it's still usable, add it to the donate box! Not sure if it should be donated? Check out our donation guide.

Boxes L

Goodwill Valentine's Challenge

 Pinterest

Christmas is in our rearview window and our homes are looking a little dark and empty with all of the decorations put away. I love to get the Valentine’s Day decorations out immediately to help the house look less empty. Bonus, there a few Christmas items that I can leave out that work for Valentine's Day too! I don’t have too many decorations for Valentine's day, and I don’t have a lot of cash to spend, so I headed to my local Goodwill and looked around and bought a few things to see what I could come up with! I looked up a few ideas on Pinterest to have some kind of a plan but knew I needed to keep an open mind to what would be available. I also didn’t want to spend too much, so I tried to keep it under $20.

Walking around I saw a few everyday things that could easily be used as a Valentine decoration.  I found a red suede belt, then when you turned it over, it looked like the laces were hearts!  I found a bag that had fun heart-shaped hardware that would be fun to use in some way.

 3 6

I went to the frame department knowing that those would be inexpensive and painting them would be fast and easy and make a big difference. When looking for something to paint, make sure the finish is something that will accept paint. If it’s shiny or polished, the paint might scratch right off. I found quite a few frames I liked but narrowed them down to two. 

 4

I looked around some more and found a roll of glittery red ribbon (perfect for Valentine’s Day) some gold hoop earrings that had individual beads on them, some pencil pockets that were made out of gold glittery vinyl (and they were on clearance) and a hard backed copy of Twilight! I was hoping to be able to use book pages for something and thought this innocent romance novel would be perfect!

 2

I left Goodwill with 7 items total and spent $19.66!

Now to go home and figure out what to do! I really didn’t have a plan, but I wanted to use everything I bought and didn’t really want to have to purchase anything else. I did use some items I already had on hand, including multiple types of glue (glue stick, Elmers and my hot glue gun) some card stock and paint.

I started by painting the frames, I knew that my mind would wander and be creative while I was painting.  When you paint frames like this, I like to do light layers of paint and add a few layers, this allows the paint to stick better. My plan was to paint both frames and glitter one of the frames. I picked a red and aqua color because I love those colors together. When I started painting the red one, I realized that paint was a high glass and it looked great, so I decided not to glitter the frame, but a glittered frame is an easy project that gives a ton of impact!

 11

Once the smaller frame was painted aqua, I decided to start with that one first. I wanted a simple heart in it. I cut a piece of card stock to fit the 4x6 frame and glued a page from the book to it. I decided to create multiple layers for the heart, knowing I wanted the top layer to be red. I cut a large heart out of the card stock and painted that the same color as the frame. Then cut a heart out of the book that was a little smaller, then one out of the gold vinyl slightly smaller and lastly a smaller red card stock heart. I did all this by hand and was wishing I had a cricket at this point! I also cut a piece of the ribbon and put that down the back. Once I had that all together, I put it aside to figure out what to do with the red frame.

 13

I originally wanted to do a trio of hearts and use the frame horizontally.  That would have been beautiful, but because I put a heart in the other frame I wanted to do something different. Sometimes in projects, simple is the best way to go. I remembered an idea I had seen during Christmas to display cards and thought that might be a great idea for this! I used the back of the picture that came with the pink frame, it was heavy cardboard. I started the same and glued some of the book pages for the background. I then cut squares out of the book pages, 4” by 3 and 5/8”, the exact width of the frame. I glued the edges of the squares together to make a loop and glued each one in the frame. It made it very 3D and gave little areas to stick in a little valentine or cut out! My husband printed out a few Valentine Theme clip art things for me, and this little frame was done!

 12

I looked at both of them together and loved how they looked.  If I left them like this, they would have been adorable, but I had one item left that I hadn’t used, the hoop earrings! So what could I do with them!  I took them apart and had just enough to make the small heart in the aqua frame!  I am so pleased with how they turned out.  I had very little waste and still have some of the gold vinyl left and the red ribbon to use another time!  Don’t be afraid to try new things!

 14 17

Some quick tips

  1. Try to have a plan but be open to change.  I was hoping to find some buttons or jewelry. I did find the hoops but was hoping for a long necklace to take apart or a shirt with a lot of buttons.  There were purses and bags with some great fabric and hardware, they were just more money than I budgeted for this project.
  2. Don’t be afraid to change your idea if it isn’t working
  3. Use what you have, almost everyone has some glue, paint, construction paper, stamps, ribbon, and other odds and ends around the house. It's always a good idea to pick these types of items up when you see them at Goodwill.
  4. Have fun with it!

 

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Shendra De Oliveira is busy wife and mom of two young boys. She is the owner of Trendy Shendy’s, an embroidery and applique business, and is a creator of ChristmasGals.com, and Christmas craft and decorating blog. With a background in fashion and interior design, Shendra applies her creativity to DIY crafts and projects for the home and the holidays.

 

Goodwill Date Night Challenge

Trying to make Valentine’s Day special can be an overwhelming task. This year we’re proposing you make it fun. Here are a couple ideas that can help make this Valentine’s Day more exciting, Goodwill style!

Classy Date Night

You and your partner can make this Valentine’s more exciting by challenging each other to find a date night outfit for yourself at Goodwill for an agreed upon price. Split up and shop the store for clothes, shoes and accessories. Make it more fun and interesting by setting a time limit for your shopping trip. See what you can put together in under 30 minutes! Once your outfit is complete, you’re ready to go out for dinner. You won’t feel bad splurging on dessert because you saved so much on your ensemble.

 Classy

Take a cue from Oh So Lovely blog, check out how their outfits came together.

 

Make it a Group Activity

For this date night, you’ll need to gather your closest friends. Confirm that everyone is available for dinner at a specified date, time and place. Then tell them the date will consist of a shopping trip to Goodwill! Similar to the above challenge, each person has a $10 spending limit but this time you’re shopping for your significant other. Be sure to have fun with it, like the group in the photo below. Once everyone has their outfits, they’ll meet at the selected restaurant fully decked out in their Goodwill finds. This date night with all your besties is sure to be one of the most memorable date nights ever!

 Group Activity

Read the full Blog post from Living in Yellow about this Group Goodwill Date Night.

 

Scavenger Hunt Date Night

This is a great option to spice up the average date night.  Before stepping into the store decide the rules, time limit, and prize for the winner. Will the person with the most items checked in a specified time limit win or the first person to find all the items on the list? The prize could range from loser buys dinner, winner picks the movie, or whatever works for you both. 

Set the rules! Do you and your partner not want to run into each other while completing your scavenger hunt? If so, pick opposite sides of the store to start. Maybe it’s okay to bump into each other with just a little bit of boosting about your finds! Give bonus points for finds you want to purchase, add those items to your cart and require photographic evidence for anything else checked off the list. (We know how hard the Goodwill team works keep the store clean.) Have fun and happy Goodwill hunting!

 Goodwill Scavenger Hunt

Download the list and send to your partner.

We hope these date night ideas give you some inspiration for this Valentine’s Day. Let us know if you try any of these by tagging us of Facebook and Instagram @goodwillgoodskills.

10 Things You Should Finally Declutter and Donate This Year

I’m kicking off the new decade by finally facing those areas in the house that I tend to neglect all year long. Keep reading for 10 big and little areas I’ll be downsizing and donating to Goodwill of Greater Cleveland East Central Ohio this month:  

 Declutter  Declutter2

1. Coat Closet

I’ve neglected this area for too long and it quickly went from an everyday coat closet to long-term coat storage. It felt incredibly productive to get a head start on downsizing and donating our coats before spring so they can have a second life this winter!

2. Board Game Stash 

Have board games you haven’t played in a while? Time to tackle that collection. I got rid of broken games and donated the gently used and newer games to Goodwill. Donation tip: secure game pieces in small bags and don’t worry if you can’t find the instruction manual, most manuals can be located online with a simple google search. 

3. Halloween Costumes

I’m all about recycling and reusing Halloween costumes as long as possible but it can easily become an area that gets neglected for too long. I dusted off the old box of costumes and donated the ones our family has outgrown. Goodwill is an incredible resource for Halloween costumes, and your costume may be the exact thing someone is looking for this fall! 

4. Linen Closet

If your linen closet is starting to look like an aisle at a bedding and bath store (like mine), it might be time to downsize. Goodwill accepts most gently used blankets and sheets. Bag those items up and start the year off with a freshly organized space. 

5. Dishes & Mug Cabinet

I definitely like to keep enough dishes and mugs on hand for guests, but this is another area around the house that quickly gets cluttered- especially since I have the tendency to collect quirky mugs.  The beginning of the year is a great time to donate gently used dishware and mugs that haven’t been used in the last year and pass those mugs on to another quirky shopper! 

6. Suitcases, Duffle & Diaper Bags

If your family has accumulated suitcases and diaper bags like ours has, it might be time to free up some of that precious storage space!  We finally got rid of broken bags, kept a couple for travel and everyday use, and donated our new or gently used ones to Goodwill. 

7. Vases

Anyone else feel like they blinked and all of a sudden have a cabinet full of vases? I have no idea why I’ve held on to so many vases for so long. It’s nice to have a few on hand (they also make great hostess gifts) but I couldn’t believe how much precious storage space I was able to clear up in our dining room cabinets by donating an entire box of vases to Goodwill. 

8. Loungewear

This is definitely one of the most neglected areas in my house. We easily accumulate several sets over the year, especially around the holidays as gifts. I try to tackle this drawer every three months or so and donate the unworn or like new ones to Goodwill. 

9. Bulky appliances

2020 is going to be the year I finally take inventory of multiple or unused cooking appliances in our kitchen like panini makers, griddles, waffle makers, and slow cookers and donate the ones we rarely use anymore to make space for the ones we actually need! 

10. Costume Jewelry

I love a good statement necklace, but let’s face it, between gifts, holidays and those “add $5 necklace to cart so I can get free shipping” moments, inexpensive costume jewelry piles up quickly. I finally tackled the huge pile and realized I tend to wear only a handful of everyday, go-to accessories and a couple of special event pieces. The rest will now be enjoyed by a Goodwill shopper! 

Dina

Dina Younis a thrift blogger and host of the thrift podcast, Allow Us to Rethriftroduece Ourselves. You can follow her blog at dinasdays.com or on Instagram at @dinasdays

7 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags

The recent ban on plastic bags in the Cleveland area has been a big move toward a greener city. We at Goodwill applaud those efforts!

 Plastic1

At Cleveland area Goodwill stores, no plastic bags are used during a purchase. Instead, customers have the option of purchasing, at cost, a paper bag, purchasing a Goodwill reusable tote or using a bag from our bag share program.

What is a bag share program? Each Cleveland area Goodwill store is equipped with a bag share bin. These white bins can be found near the entrance of each store and offer customers a chance to either donate bags for others to use, or a chance for customers to use a bag free of charge.

 Plastic2

Only two weeks into this bag share program and our bag share bins are overflowing….mostly with single-use plastic bags which have been leftover since the new legislation. Thanks for your donation!

This made us think, what other uses are there for plastic bags besides shopping at your favorite thrift store (hint, hint, nudge, urge)? Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

1. Clean up after Fido!

If you have a four-legged friend then you most likely have messes that your dog may leave on walks or in your yard, or a cat that leaves presents in the litterbox. Plastic bags are an easy cleanup method. Use plastic bags to pick up any messes in the yard, or plastic bags to line the litter pan. And, if you have extra bags to spare, leave a stack of plastic bags at your local dog park for others to use.

Plastic3

2. Line it!

We all have smaller wastebaskets at our home. And, we all have found that those smaller wastebaskets can get dirty very quickly. You may empty the trash out of the bin, but you oftentimes find a mess left behind. Save yourself the wastebasket clean up and line with plastic bags.

3. Car clean up.

Receipts, notes, wrappers, food crumbs. Ugh. It's enough to make your car feel like a mobile trash can. Use a small plastic bag hung over the headrest to serve as a trash collector for your vehicle.

4. Boot liners.

This may be an old-school idea, but nothing will keep your socks drier than using a plastic bag as a boot liner this winter. Trouble getting your boots on and off? Again, the plastic bag is a way for your foot to slip in and out of the boots easily.

5. Travel buddy.

Plastic bags serve a great use when you travel. Wrap items that could leak in a plastic bag before packing into your luggage. And, use plastic bags to store your shoes in. The plastic will keep any dirt or grime off the rest of your clothes in the suitcase.

6. Protect your breakables.

Shipping anything fragile? Maybe still packing away your Christmas ornaments? Plastic bags are a great packing material to keep your breakable items safe.

7. Upcycle into jewelry.

Okay, okay. Our ideas so far haven’t been groundbreaking. But, this might be the most creative idea yet! You can turn your plastic bags into jewelry! Follow these step by step instructions on how to make plastic bag flower earring!  

 

5 Reasons to Get Thrifty in 2020

Consumers are becoming more aware of how they are spending their money. With our current environmental climate, they are even more conscious of this. The new wave of “thrifting” is taking over, and it is no longer just for the budget-conscious shopper. All of these factors considered, what actually are the benefits of thrifting and donating your used items?

1.Thrifting reduces your carbon footprint. 

Think about everything that goes into one garment. From growing the plant that the fibers come from, all the way to the fuel it takes to get it to stores. Every step along the way is a resource being used. Shopping at Goodwill reduces the waste of resources and eliminates how many are being used to get your product home. Think of it as recycling for your clothing!

11 12

2. Fast fashion is bad for the environment and everyone involved. 

So we talked carbon footprint, but what about the steps in between? The dyes used to color clothing take a lot of water, and then get washed out and contaminate the waterways during the process. Not only that, but fumes from factories are released into the air, hurting the environment and affecting air quality. Factories are to blame not only for pollution but also for the sweatshops that are housed inside of them. Bangladesh is home to a large number of sweatshops for common brands such as Gap, H&M, and Zara. In many of these sweatshops, workers earn around US$32 a month, working over 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 21 22

3. Reduced Water Usage

Over 20 billion gallons of water are used annually in the textile industry from growing cotton and other sources of natural fibers to dyeing fabric. By shopping at Goodwill, you are doing your part to lower water usage. 

 Happy Earth Day

4. Support local causes instead. 

Goodwill’s mission is to create employment opportunities and job training in the community. By donating and shopping at Goodwill, you are helping Goodwill raise money to fund job and life skills training to people with barriers to employment. When you round up, that money goes to supporting this mission. Consider rounding up next time you are in the stores to help others in the area!

5. Find great brands at a fraction of the price.

Shopping at Goodwill is more like a treasure hunt. You genuinely never know what you’re going to get. The thrill of the hunt is exciting, and it is so easy to walk out with more than you intended. It’s also not uncommon to find name brands on the racks!

5

By donating to Goodwill, you are making sure your clothing does not end up in a landfill, you are supporting good causes in your own community, and you are giving others the opportunity to not purchase fast fashion. After putting in perspective just how bad buying only new is for the environment, take a look at your closet to see what you don’t need anymore and start fresh in 2020!

5 Reasons You Can't Let Go and What To Do About It

The new year represents a fresh start and for many people, that means getting organized and getting rid of unwanted stuff. However, trying to declutter your home can be tough for a multitude of reasons. Today we’re going to cover the top five reasons it can be difficult to declutter and what you can do to help let it go.

via GIPHY

1. Your stuff has sentimental value.

There are many reasons an item can have sentimental value. A mug purchased from your favorite vacation spot, a high school sports t-shirt, a piece of grandmother’s jewelry, or a teddy bear won on a first date night with your significant other. Regardless of the reason, attaching sentimental value to an item can make it hard to part with.

If this is the case, ask yourself if you didn’t have the item would you still remember the event or the person that gave it to you. If you can easily answer yes, then it’s okay to donate that item. Give someone else an opportunity to love it as much as you once did.

If you’re worried you might not remember the event as much, snap a photo of the item and write down a few memories alongside the photo. That way it’s not taking up space in your home and you’ll have a place to keep memories in a keepsake album.

 Coffee Maker

2. You might need that item again in the future.

This excuse is common, especially when merging two households together. All of a sudden, you have two toasters and two coffee makers. We create excuses to keep these extra items just in case something happens to the first one. Let’s be honest though, the second coffee maker is just collecting dust in a cabinet that could serve a better purpose. There’s a difference between needing something and possibly needing something.

To help, ask yourself when the last time you used that item. If it’s been a year or longer, it’s time to let it go. Donating it gives the item a new life and helps promote a reduce, reuse, recycle mentality. 

What happens if you do need that item again in the future? Ask a friend or family member if they have an extra (you were just holding on to two, maybe they are too) or repurchase it. Maybe there’s a new model out with more features or to keep expenses down, visit your local Goodwill.

 Gift

3. You feel guilty because the item was a gift from a loved one.

Guilt can play a huge role in our struggle to declutter our homes. It can be difficult to separate the love for the person and their gift.

Remember, the intention of the gift giver was to provide a token of affection not to burden you with items you don’t want or need. If it will just take up space and collect dust, it’s okay to return it, re-gift it, or donate it to someone who will really appreciate the item.

 Knitting

4. Your hopes are dreams are attached to these items.

You've been telling yourself that you're going to learn how to knit for the past 2 years. You have all the supplies, just not the time. Maybe you’re keeping those art supplies or calligraphy set and not putting them to use. You still have that pair of jeans from years ago that you would wear, if you lost those extra pounds. That stack of cooking magazines in case you try that dish someday.

Letting go of these items might feel like letting go of your dreams. Be honest with yourself, if you can’t make guitar lessons a priority maybe it’s time to donate that guitar to a future rock star! Letting go of these items will help create possibilities and habits that better suit your lifestyle.

 

5. You feel guilty because you spent a lot of money on that item.

Have you ever forgot to return an item and it was too late to get your money back? Or an item that was passed on to you that you assume was very expensive. The guilt can add up when you believe there’s a significant amount of money spent on it.

Instead, ask yourself if the value of the item is worth more than what it will mean to free yourself and your space of that item.

Donation Boxes

Hopefully these tips will help you let go and free up space in your life. Help your items spark joy in the lives of others taking your gently used items to your local Goodwill.