Spring-cleaning! It’s time go through this last year’s accumulation of things. Have you kept every piece of clothing that you’ve bought in the last five years? Has your collection of books begun to weigh down the shelf? Who else could use and enjoy these things? To you it has become clutter. But to another it’s exactly what he needs.
Here are three tips to help you find another man’s treasure while you’re sorting through your things:
The 6-Month Rule
If you haven’t used it recently, you won’t use it anytime soon. If you haven’t worn those pants or shirt in the past six months, you may not wear them in the next six months. A few exceptions to this rule is things that are used yearly—so don’t give up your backyard barbeque you use every summer. Things that you use on a regular basis—cooking utensils, your favorite jewelry, that over-read book—should be kept.
Consider how much space you have to keep your things. If you have a small house or apartment (and you don’t plan on moving anytime soon), you may want to consider creating a little more space, or saving money by getting a smaller storage unit. None of the extra furniture stuffing your garage or storage unit will see the light of day until at least 5 years from now. Wouldn’t it be better used by someone who needs it more than you do?
What is Significant?
Most of us have the typical pack-rat rationalizations. “Oh! But my aunt gave me this—I couldn’t possibly give it away,” we tell ourselves. But the fact is, that the only things you should be holding on to is what your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren would appreciate. Your grandmother’s formal jewelry and your grandfather’s old gun are certainly worth keeping. The old baby clothes could go—but perhaps your daughter would like to keep her old baptismal dress. The rest—that old bike, the old chest of drawers, the old toys—could go to those who have little.
How to Give it Away
Once you’ve gathered everything, there are several options to help you give away your things to those who need it.
- Charities are a great way to get your things to those who truly need it.
- Thrift Stores sell your things at a cheap price and then use the money earned for charity. Not only do your things go to people who need it, but they also generate money for other causes.
- The Curb is surprisingly a great place for your things to be given away quickly. The only downside to this is that you may be just giving your things to opportunists, not necessarily to those who need it.
- Your Friends and Neighbors surely need an item or two. Give your old coffee table to your newlywed friends, or give away your toddler’s newborn clothes to your pregnant friend.
Whatever you give away or to whomever you give, it doesn’t matter. You will be benefitted as well. You will not only have more space, but you will gain that strange gratification for helping someone in need. Take the opportunity during your spring-cleaning to let your extra things become another man’s treasure.
Jami Castleton is a freelance writer who has a passion for giving back and sharing her knowledge with local companies. She writes for companies like U.S. Storage in Arlington.
Spring is here and we have searched the web to bring you some of the best and most creative DIY projects for your home. Check these out and don't forget to share your ideas with us.
Portable Vegetable Garden
It turns out that if you do it right, you can grow vegetables in a wine box or any type of crate for that matter. If you want to learn how to make your own portable garden, head over to Michelle Slatalla’s blog to get started. The great thing about this garden is that you don't need a whole lot of space and if you move to a new home, you can just take your garden with you.
Affordable Napa Style Barrel Planter
After spotting a recycled wine barrel planter in a catalog for almost $300, Kate decided to create her own version for a much more affordable price. Head over to her blog to find out how you can create your own wine barrel planter in a few easy steps for less than $30.
Simple spring Arrangement
This arrangement by Matthew Robbins Design is sure to brighten up any room. It's incredibly easy and will take you a few minutes to whip out. Click here to see the instructions on how to make this beautiful centerpiece.
Egg crate garden for your workspace
Adding flowers is a great way to brighten up your home or workspace, and this DIY may be the perfect project to help you do that. In her blog, Julia walks you through the steps to make an egg crate garden. To get started, all you need is a dozen eggs, seeds of choice and seed starting soil. To get the step by step instructions for this DIY, click here.
Create your own birdhouse
There's no better way to welcome spring than with an awesome birdhouse. Among many creative ideas, in her blog, Mimi teaches us how to turn a bucket into a fun birdhouse. This is no ordinary birdhouse. As a matter of fact, it would probably be more appropriate to call Mimi's creation a 'Bird Condo'. Visit her blog to learn how you can create this birdhouse with some simple supplies.
Do you know of any unique spring DIY projects that we should share with everyone? Are you working on one? Share with us in the comment section. Oh any by the way, when you create any of these, we would love to see some pictures.
Fact: More than one acre of rainforest is lost every second.
Deforestation is one of the biggest ecological problems the earth is facing today. Forests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to money or people’s needs to provide for their families. Often many small farmers will each clear a few acres for timber, charcoal and agricultural needs.
THREE (OUT OF MANY) NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF DEFORESTATION
1) Loss of habitat for millions of species - Over 70% of animals and plants live in forests. Loss of trees deprives the forest of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds the heat at night. Cutting trees will lead to more extreme temperature swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.
2) Barren deserts – trees can help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back in to the atmosphere. Without trees most of these lands will quickly become barren deserts.
3) Climate change – trees play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming.
Save the Earth
As we approach Earth Day (April 22nd), we ask that you partner with us to make a tangible difference by how you purchase your everyday products. Every time you purchase a Project 7 Save the Earth product you help us plant a tree where they’re needed the most. Save the Earth products (gum, mints and 100% rPET bottled water) are available at national retailers. To find a list of retailers that carry our products click here.
So far, with your help, through Save the Earth purchases, we have been able to plant 3,011,796 trees, and we're just getting started. We have partnered with great non-profit organizations such as Trees, Water & People and Plant With Purpose to plant the trees in Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Furthermore, most of the trees planted are fruit trees (avocados, citrus and coffee). Beyond the obvious positive ecological effects of planting these trees, the local communities can use the fruits as a food source and for trading purposes.
We recently visited Haiti to plant some of the trees. Check out the video here. Also. make sure to scroll through these inspiring images that our partners provided and if you have any questions ask us in the comment section below.
PHOTOS BY TREES, WATER & PEOPLE:
PHOTOS BY PLANT WITH PURPOSE:
Guest Post by Grant Young (@YoungMrYoung). Visit Grant's blog at closedlips.com.
I was just thinking about how privileged we are in America. Seriously, I think we get so consumed with self that we forget someone is worse off than you and that everyone needs encouragement. I don’t mean that we should not be upset when we go through difficulty. Here’s what I mean.
I was driving to work and only had a small lunch and was mentally overwhelmed with bills and the realization that I would have to do some major grocery shopping that day. I was pretty much in the “woe-is-me-if-only-I-had-a-better-job” phase that when I stopped at the red light I totally ignored the homeless guy next to me. I’m sure he would have appreciated the lunch I considered as “too small.”
After I got over myself and started the “should-I-give-him-my-food” debate my light turned and I had to start driving. I got to work and felt like such a jerk. My self-centered moment led me to ignore someone who was in a worse situation than me.
How often does that happen? I have a feeling I’m not the only person who has gone through a similar situation. Random acts of kindness can make someone’s day because they don’t expect it! The reason they don’t expect it is because our culture is too focused on themselves to touch the lives of someone else. Unfortunately, you can see this throughout social media.
SIDE NOTE: I actually took some time to stare at my mini-feed to see that there are more likes, shares and comments on the fake Harlem Shake or cat pictures than positive causes.
I just completed a school project about sex trafficking within the United States. I had no idea how prevalent that issue is in America! I also just read about Sub-Saharan African and their children not being able to go to school, the extreme poverty rates and the prevalent AIDS epidemic in that area.
The point I’m trying to make is that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. While we’re here lets touch hearts and impact the culture to make us less selfish individuals. Social media is an outlet that makes sharing information ridiculously simple. We can shed light on the social ills of the world and help a cause if we get over ourselves just like I could’ve helped that homeless man.
I know we are a generous nation that has unlimited potential. Use your influence for good and let’s spread the word on the causes that are fighting to make a positive impact.