Monthly Archives: January 2020

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:  

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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 Younis a thrift blogger and host of the thrift podcast, Allow Us to Rethriftroduece Ourselves. You can follow her blog at 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!


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.


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.


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!

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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.

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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!


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!