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5 Ways to Pare Down Your Stuff — Before It Gets in the Door

Want to free up some room around the house? Rethink gift giving, give yourself a shopping mantra and just say, ‘No, thank you’ to freebies Full Story
     Comment   last Saturday
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Sigrid, I made quilts out of the t-shirts my kids had from school events they participated in. Here is a quilt I made with the t-shirts from a Baltic cruise. Cut the t-shirts up and save till they graduate. Send them to college with a unique quilt.
September 9, 2014 at 8:25AM     
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I absolutely agree with the idea of giving gifts of experiences - concert tix, sports events, water parks, etc. Also things that many people love but may feel bad about spoiling themselves with - massage, manicure/pedicure, facial, and on and on. The one thing that bothered me in reading the above comments is how many people mentioned throwing things away. No matter how useless the item is to you, I guarantee that it is something that another person may need or even see as a luxury. In addition to Goodwill, think about women's shelters - a place where a woman (often with children) goes after escaping an abusive environment, quite often with nothing more than the clothing on their backs, and grateful just to have escaped with their lives. PLEASE consider donating everything you no longer need! If you don't have time to drop by goodwill, then post it for free on craigslist or contact a local shelter to see if they'll pick up your items. The old saying "one man's trash is another's treasure" is not only true, but can be a lifesaver for someone who can barely get by. And even if not homeless, maybe some one who's lost a job and drained their savings while job your unwanted items to someone else who can try to sell them on CL to pay their rent or utility bill sounds like an awesome contribution to society.

I've always made clear to everyone who's given me gifts for birthdays and Christmas how much I would love nothing more than a small donation to the animal shelter or a women's shelter in my name, but for some reason this suggestion continues to fall on deaf ears. Last Christmas my best friend and I decided to tell everyone "NO GIFTS", and instead we went to the grocery store and bought all the fixings to make sandwiches, fresh oranges, bottled juice, and a cookie, put the meals in lunch bags that we personally wrote inspirational messages on, such as "someone loves you", "our prayers are with you", "2014 will be your year", etc...and drove through questionable neighborhoods to deliver them to homeless park dwellers and the ONLY shelter that remained open on the actual holiday, because all the other shelters threw a holiday party the week before and then locked their doors on Christmas day. We received so many hugs, tears, blessings, and prayers from people who are often overlooked in society that moved us tremendously! Even now - 9 months later - we both agree that it was our best Christmas ever (I'm 48 and she's 60, both with loving families and not shut-ins by any stretch of the imagination). That might be too extreme for some, but start small by giving away what you don't want to keep or sell. I guarantee the joy and appreciation you see on the faces of less fortunate folks will bring you more joy than almost any gift you'll ever receive!
September 10, 2014 at 3:37AM     
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7-Day Plan: Get a Spotless, Beautifully Organized Kitchen

Strike fear into the hearts of gunky corners and grimy walls. Our weeklong plan will get your kitchen spick-and-span from top to bottom Full Story
     Comment   last Saturday
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Rose Friton
ragsamgle, Nice to hear your comment. Reminded me of when the kids had snowdays and of course never stayed in the house. When they came in , I had them come into my laundry room and get out of all the frozen clothing and right away threw them, gloves, mittnes, parkas, pants into the dryer to get them ready for the next hour when they, of course went out again. It was a non-ending process for snowdays. I still love snow and often think of those kids getting their stuff dry in the dryer for their next snow fight...
August 13, 2014 at 6:03AM     
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@Rose. We were so lucky because or falling down 1920s house still has the radiator in the kitchen (the next owners will remove it & put a well needed dishwasher there!) with the silverware drawer above it, so we put the kid's mittens in there with the drawer partly closed: dry mittens, wet flatware, worked for us! and it's a fab place to raise dough..
August 13, 2014 at 1:04PM     
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