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Letting it Go: The Great Blogger Giveaway

06 August 2013

How was everyone's weekend? We took a trip to support a dear friend in New York this weekend and enjoy the city. It was already nice to come home to a less cluttered house and more closet space to help along unpacking! 

Last week I shared where I was when it came to stuff, and some thoughts on my game plan. I spent the rest of my week off between jobs going through closets and packing up boxes and bags. When do we ever have that kind of time to really go through everything we own? And who else is crazy enough to want to do something like that when they have four days off from their real life? After some field research, connections and trial and error, I think I have boiled my process down and am happy to report on what a fun and rejuvenating experience this was!




Home Items - Dwell with Dignity

Dwell with Dignity is a truly one-of-a-kind charity that nurtures creativity, self-empowerment and change through DIY design for transitional housing apartments. Understanding how dark poverty and homelessness can be, DwD brings together interior designers and the wannabe ones like me to design spaces for families rising out of distressing situations. By getting to personally know the families living in transitional housing and designing a space just for them, they are creating an inspiring environment and quality of life that families then want to strive to maintain.

The DwD team does these projects on a dime, which means DIY junkies get to learn new tricks or hone their skills at work nights. And while all the items in a space are purposeful and beautiful, many are refurbished and recycled, so DwD is always looking for quality in-kind donations. I had a few pieces I thought were awesome finds from over the years, but I was just holding on to them for those reasons and not because I actually needed it. Donating my items to Dwell with Dignity made me excited that my finds would reach their full design potential while helping someone in need.



To make this donation, I emailed pictures of my items to donategoods@dwellwithdignity.com and we made a time to meet at their warehouse. I loved seeing how some of my donations, a set of blue and white linens, could already work in a blue and white room they were planning for a mom! I highly recommend following DwD on Instagram or their blog for design inspiration and getting in touch with them.  If you have items that you know you do not need but cannot emotionally deal with them sitting in the back of a thrift shop, this is the place for you.  (I too, have Toy Story 3 moments with my belongings. Your secret is safe with me).

My mom, a wonderful person and amateur blog photographer, took this to show my excitement for my donation already going to use on a project!

Clothes - Attitudes and Attire 
Just like I had home items that I wasn't letting go of because I thought they were "too nice" to be thrifted, I also had a sizable collection of clothing from working in Office Land the past five years that I had no affinity towards but that made it through repeated closet overhauls for the following reasons:
  • I could remember what I paid for it and couldn't make myself realize I had essentially wasted that money. 
  • I could wear it to work (something we all know trumps many things when you're digging around the closet at 8:00 a.m.)
  • For the above reasons, I rationalized that I probably needed it more than I didn't want it. 

This part of the clean out was exciting for me, since with my new job my schedule has a lot more variance where I need fewer office clothes! So I felt really energized to get ruthless because since I am only dressing all 9-5 for offsite client meetings, I can go for a small but higher quality rotation. 

Picking an organization with a phenomenal mission was also encouraging here. Every time I debated on something I thought of a woman who Attitudes and Attires serves - typically working poor single mothers who might be leaving domestic abuse situations or even veterans - and thought about how exciting a dress might be to them that is one of my "blah" pieces. The decision from there was easy and soon a huge chunk of my business wardrobe was gone and ready to work with women who were ready to work themselves. 


Another thing I loved about this donation was that it was insanely easy! Attitudes and Attire takes your clothing donations on hangers at their warehouse and - get this - at all Bibbentucker's dry cleaning locations! Since there is a Bibbentucker's right by my house, I went over there on the way to get groceries and was in and out the door in minutes, tax form in hand and everything. To get more information on their requirements and drop offs, visit Attitudes and Attire's website here

Home Items and Clothes - Genesis Women's Shelter

With the more strategic clean outs behind me, I was ready to get down to business on everything else. I went through drawer after drawer and found knits, jeans, shoes and handbags that were more casual and that I didn't need. You could say that from the momentum of my earlier projects and knowing the items would be going to a good cause, I found quite a few things ready to hit the road during the last round. 

I packed up the car on Thursday for another super easy drop off.  Genesis Benefit Store even has a drive through donation line in the parking lot, so donating is easy! 


There are a lot of options for gently used drop off in Dallas, but I decided on Genesis for a few good reasons. First of all, if you have not already seen a trend from above, women's self-sufficiency and empowerment is so important to me. Genesis provides a multitude of services to women in need, from safe shelters to escape abuse, trauma recovery, and schooling for children in transition with their mothers out of abusive homes. Profits from the Genesis thrift shop help fund these essential programs for our community, and Genesis clients are able to shop here for free since many of them left their belongings and clothes behind to escape abuse. My clothes and items had a chance to help get a woman and her children out of an abusive situation in a variety of ways - and I never had to even turn off my car air conditioning!

Letting go of so many items has made me aware of how easily things creep in and how good of a job marketers do at making us feel like we need things that we really don't. I've already walked through shops, gotten the twinkle of consumerism in my eye and then walked away, picturing the item hanging in my closet for a while and then eventually getting the same face I made to so many impulse purchases of my past. 

Turning down excess is a topic that evolves with time and community. I'm looking forward to checking back in and seeing how I evolve on the matter, and I am opening up the floor here for any other bloggers ready to share their journey through stuff and the feeling of letting it go. 

If you have a post on the topic, please join us in the link up below! You can even grab the "official" badge if you want to get fancy with it.


Pancakes and Beet Juice




2 comments:

  1. Lilly... you are an inspiration to us all!! Let's have lunch in Sept.

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  2. Those are two awesome charities! This is such a great link-up, Lilly! I've been decluttering my house. It's full of things I don't need but have felt like I can't part with. You're giving me the inspiration to go back and make a second cut.

    ReplyDelete

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