Simplify NOW for Holiday Season

The calendar doesn’t lie, we are heading into the Holiday season fast and furious!  With the hustle and bustle of the holidays comes stress and chaos. Say Yes to Less now and simplify your life so the holidays are less stressful.  This will allow to enjoy more time with friends and family. …and isn’t that what the holiday season is really all about?

5 ideas to help you start decluttering BEFORE the holiday season takes over:

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  1. Holiday Decorations.  Throughout different stages of our life, our decorating needs change as does our taste in decor.  Have you recently become an empty nester?  Donate the kid-focused decorations to Goodwill and try a new color scheme. Your local Goodwill Store is also a great place to start your new holiday decor collection; or if you are crafty, look in the aisles of Goodwill for things you can paint or #repurpose or #upstyle and make your own.  Just got married?  Time to start building your holiday decor collection!  Be sure to only keep what fits in your storage space.

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  1. The Kitchen.  Ask yourself how many things in your kitchen you really use.  If you haven’t used the turkey platter in 20 years, donate it to Goodwill and free up room in your kitchen.  Have a set of holiday dishes you love, but are missing a few pieces? Goodwill is a fantastic place to search for those random pieces to complete your collection.

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  1. Kids Stuff.  Now is the time to go through all the toys and games and pare down by donating gently-used toys to Goodwill.  Why not brighten someone’s day when they find that treasure you’ve donated?  Since I know many of you will have a ton of this kind of donation, here is a helpful tip:  did you know you can also use a Goodwill Drive-Thru to get help with unloading?

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  1. Closets.  As you change your closets over for the new season, it is the perfect time to access those out-of-season things.  Did you wear it over the summer?  Is it showing signs of wear?  Donate what you don’t love and what doesn’t get worn to Goodwill.  And when you are filling your closet with your current season clothing, make a shopping list of the things that are missing.  Maybe you don’t have a scarf or mittens to match your winter coat?. When you are at Goodwill donating, take a look to see if you find something perfect to add to your closet!    

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  1. Garage. Over the summer, we all drop things in the garage when we’re busy having fun during the warmer months.  Now that the weather is changing, clean up that clutter!  Bring in all the outdoor planters and pots, organize all of the storage areas in your garage and fill your car with those things you really don’t need cluttering up your garage…and donate them to Goodwill.  In the Spring, you will be so happy you did this now!

Say Yes to Less and have a less stressful holiday season!

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Back To School Organization

Back to school organization isn’t as overwhelming as it seems. Preparing for this exciting time takes energy, effort, and can be expensive. However, if you are organized, it will take a lot of stress out of this time of year.  I recommend heading to your nearest Goodwill store to look for fun and unique containers for school supplies.


Organizing School Supplies

Back to school organizing means being organized for the first days and weeks of school.  This organizing begins at home and will become habit. For example, you might have a drawer in your house that can be emptied and used for school supplies…extra pens, #2 pencils, markers, erasers, tape, glue, etc.  While at Goodwill, look for square or oblong containers that fit in your supply drawer.   Sort your supplies so pens are not mixed in with  markers, for example. Have a home for these things to make it easier and less expensive to restock your backpack. Don’t re-purchase crayons and glue, shop in your supply drawer!


Backpack Storage and Organization

Backpacks need a home. Ideally, hang backpacks near the entry/exit door of your home. If you do not have a mudroom with lockers or cubbies, create your own.  Use simple, sturdy hooks at eye level. This encourages the habit of getting home from school, emptying the backpack of homework and other papers, and hanging the backpack directly on the hook.

If you don’t have space for hooks, try a door organizer. The one pictured was intended for handbags, but works perfectly for backpacks.

No more searching all over the house for the backpacks or the papers that need to return to school.


Paperwork Organization

Back to school organizing means dealing with mountains of paperwork.  Create a home for all that paper – shop at Goodwill and look for containers suitable for holding temporary papers.  For example, baskets and trays work well.  Label the containers with words that suggest action, such as “Homework to do”,  “Mom to sign and return”, or “Put on calendar.”


Organizing kids clothes

Another area in your home where organization is key is the kids bedroom closet. Simply decide on your next day’s outfit the night before and set it out (don’t forget the shoes). One easy way to organize the next days outfits is to find hanging storage cubes at Goodwill. Having 2 of these storage units makes things even easier. One for tops and one for bottoms.  Label days of the week for each cube to eliminate morning frustration. Get your kids involved with choosing outfits by allowing them to choose tops, and you add bottoms.

This smart move will give you extra time in the morning for a healthy, relaxing breakfast.

Have a Happy, Organized School Year!!


This months guest blogger is Cathy Fairchild from Say Yes to Less.

Get in touch with Cathy at:  http://www.sayyestoless.guru  

Find Cathy on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/sayyestoless.guru/

Repurposed Picture Frame Wreath

Are you ready for Christmas? This repurposed picture frame wreath is the perfect final decoration for your home, and is an easy DIY Christmas décor project using things found at Goodwill.

What you’ll need:

  1. Frames
  2. Greenery
  3. Hot Glue Gun / Glue Sticks

Supply Run!

You’ll want to start out this repurposed picture frame wreath project by going on a supply run to your local Goodwill Store. They will have a ton of picture frame options for you to choose from!

Once you’ve picked out your frame or frames for this easy DIY Christmas décor project, head over to the Christmas aisle at Goodwill for some greenery. This is where you’ll need a little vision. Any donated Christmas arrangements will work as long as they can be disassembled.

Here’s What I Used

For my wreaths, I found a rustic wood frame, an elaborate gold frame, and a lighter wood frame. I also used an evergreen centerpiece, a potted poinsettia arrangement, and some red poinsettias I found on a previous trip. With those I was able to create three repurposed picture frame wreath decorations!

I preferred mine to be more minimal, and so was able to stretch the greenery farther. If you prefer a fuller look, you can easily add more to your own DIY Christmas décor project.

Pull It All Apart

The next thing you’ll want to do for your repurposed picture frame wreath, is disassemble your supplies. Remove any pictures and glass from your frames, and separate the greenery you found.

I pulled mine apart and piled all the similar kinds together to see what I had of each. Then I organized which piles I wanted to go with each frame. Feel free to mix and match or stick to only one. Design it however you’re inspired! The beauty of this easy DIY Christmas décor project is that you can personalize it for your own preferences.

Lay It All Out

Once you’ve decided what greenery goes with each frame, you’ll want to lay it all out to make sure you have enough and perfect how it will be arranged on the frame. Find a center point that you will be working out from. For mine, I used the corner of the frame as the center point and laid it out so the greenery met at that point.

When that’s done, you can pull out the hot glue gun and get it warmed up.

Finishing Touches

When the glue gun is all warmed up, you can start applying the greenery to your repurposed picture frame wreath. Start with the farthest greenery from the center point and work toward the center. That way, you will hide any stems or glue under the next piece. Once you get to the center, you can nest the stems and glue under pieces that are already glued down so they aren’t visible.

If you are nervous about being able to disguise the glue points, you can add your own embellishment to the center point like a ribbon or bulb. You may even have one laying around after disassembling your greenery!

Get Hanging!

After the glue dries, your easy DIY Christmas décor is ready to be displayed! You can hang your repurposed picture frame wreath, or display it from a shelf.

I was so happy with how mine turned out! They look great on their own or as the focal point of your holiday wall arrangements! Enjoy your DIY Christmas décor pieces! You can find tutorials for the DIY Winter Décor Glass Trees and picket fence DIY Stocking Hanger on my website www.ThisGrowingHome.com

Or go directly to the posts:

https://www.thisgrowinghome.com/diy-winter-decor-glass-trees/

https://www.thisgrowinghome.com/diy-stocking-hanger/

Hopefully you enjoyed this fun and easy DIY Christmas décor project and are already getting started on your own repurposed picture frame wreath! Check in later for more fun and easy projects supplied by your local Goodwill! And… Happy Decorating!!

Guest Bloggers Wanted!

We are looking for a few experts as

guest bloggers!

 
We are looking for a few key people to partner with us to post amazing and useful content for our Goodwill blog community.  Specifically, experts in the following areas we see as a good fit:
  • Artist / crafter (that uses supplies found at Goodwill for their art)
  • Lover of repurposing (taking things purchased at Goodwill and repurposing them into something new)
  • Organizer – are you someone that helps people clear the clutter?
 All Interested Bloggers Must:
  • Currently have a blog with a following
  • Be ‘known’ for the expert area you wish to blog about
  • Live near these areas
    • Indiana: South Bend, Elkhart, Granger, Goshen, Warsaw, Rochester, Logansport, Gary, Crown Point, Hammond, Valparaiso, LaPorte, Dyer, Hobart, St. John, Michigan City, Portage
    • Michigan: Niles
    • Illinois: Lansing
Please submit your interest to goodwill@kathyfriend.com and include:
  • Contact information
  • Links to your blog / website / social media
 Once we receive your interest to be a Guest Blogger, we’ll send you more details about how to submit posts, guidelines etc.
Please Note:  Guest bloggers will not be paid for their submissions posted on the Goodwill Blog managed by: Goodwill Industries of Michiana.  Guest bloggers will receive name recognition for the content submitted and exposure to the over 5,000 followers on our blog.

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