Where to get rid of stuff

where to get rid of stuff

I don’t know about you, but the return of Spring usually brings along the spring cleaning bug. But beyond the usual suspects like Craigslist, Goodwill, Salvation Army, eBay, and local recycling and trash pickup, where can you get rid of your unwanted stuff?

First, Donation Town is a great resource for connecting with local charities that will pick up donations from you. For example, I typed in my zip code and 10 different charities popped up for me to choose from. They also include some overall guidelines about acceptable donations, though every charity is different.

Earth911 is also a great resource for searching for local recycling centers. This is especially helpful when trying to get rid of hazardous materials, electronics, or other items not collected as part of the regular curbside recycling pickup.

Clothing and Accessories

While there are larger clutter offenders in my life, clothing seems to be one of the items I can part with the easiest. I usually just keep a bag for donations in my closet and take it to Goodwill once it gets full. I’ve also sold items on eBay. And while I haven’t had success selling items at a brick and morter consignment shop, I’m intrigued by thredUP. thredUP is an online consignment shop. They send you a Clean Out bag, which you mail back to them for free. After they review your clothing, you either get threadUp shopping credit or cash for the items accepted for resale. Any items not accepted for resale are then donated or sent to textile recycling companies (or mailed back to you for a fee, if you really want).

Formal Dresses, Wedding Dresses, or Bridesmaid Dresses

Depending on the time of year (i.e. homecoming or prom season) or style of dress, you might be able to donate dresses to charities such as Brides for a Cause, Brides Against Breast Cancer, or one of these many local non-profits. You can also sell your wedding dress on Once Wed,

Suits, Business Clothing

Now that our office lets us wear jeans all year-round, I’m considering donating some of my more business-y clothes to Dress for Success.

Makeup

Unopened makeup can also be donated to Dress for Success, a local women’s shelter, or non-profits that facilitate the donation of formal dresses.

Coats

It’s currently past coat donation drive season, but once it gets closer to the Fall, you might consider checking out One Warm Coat or the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids.

Athletic Shoes

Running or other athletic shoes that still have a few miles in them can be donated to Soles4Souls or several other charities. If your shoes are past their prime, drop them off at a Reuse-A-Shoe recycling bin in Nike stores and outlets to be turned into athletic surfaces.

Medications

To dispose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, call your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service and ask if a drug take-back program is available in your community. For example, I’ve seen drop off boxes at the police station and courthouse.

Books

I’ve dropped off several boxes of old books, including textbooks, at local donation bins. Some charities will recycle books if they are not fit to pass along.

Home Building Supplies

I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity during high school. In addition to helping build a house, I volunteered at one of their ReStores. “ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world.”

Sensitive Documents to be Shredded

If you don’t have a shredder at home, local banks and credit unions occassionally host paper shredding drives. For example, a local credit union shredded your documents on site in exchange for a food or monetary donation to a food bank.

Large Appliances

When we placed our refrigerator and oven, we just had the delivery guys haul it away. But if you have an extra appliance that won’t be replaced, some local utility companies will haul it away for you and gift you a rebate, to boot!

Linens (Sheets, Blankets, and Towels)

Local animal shelters will use these items as pet bedding or to line animal crates.

Baby Supplies

This could probably be a whole post in and of itself, but women’s shelters and crisis pregnancy centers can use donations of diapers (unused, obviously), clothes, toys, bottles, cribs, play mats, swings, strollers, and car seats. Also check to see if they accept unopened containers of formula or baby food.

And while it’s too late to make a donation for the 2014 tax year, it never hurts to make a dent on your 2015 tax bill by accumulating deductions for donated items to an eligible charity if you itemize deductions on your tax return.

Life Lately: Spring

Life Lately Spring Collage

Friends! Has it really been over a month since my last post? I knew things were a little hectic with my job, in addition to spending lots of quality time with a toddler, but I didn’t think it was that long. I started to miss it. And when John shared this article from Crain’s Chicago Business featuring some Chicago bloggers, I knew I needed to get back on the horse. To ease back into this whole blogging thing, I thought I would share a little bit about what’s going on:

The end of winter/start of spring in Chicago has been a bit backwards. It was in the 60’s about two ago and I was able to wear my new floral dress from eShakti (currently out of stock). With flats! And bare legs! Then it snowed twice this week….really?!!

The weather hasn’t stopped Monica from wanted to spend an inordinate amount of time outside. 6:15am when it’s still dark and 30 degrees?? Girlfriend is going to try with all her might to go outside! And yes, there have been a few meltdowns when it’s time to go in for dinner or go to bed. Except for this random snow, the weather has been nice enough out spend countless hours outside, going down slides, and swinging. We even took a trip to the local ice cream shop for a milkshake :)

In addition to being outside, Monica is really enjoying reading lately. This includes us reading a dozen books to her before bed (with her occassionally “reading” along with us) or simply flipping through her favorite books on the couch. Sometimes we have to read her books twice in a row, and there are others that have to be read in a certain order.

Other current favorites include trips to the grocery store, playing with Play-Doh, and her play piano purchased for a song at a local rummage sale :)

Finally, here’s a quick update on becoming a registered investment advisor. We’re still working through the registration process, so I can’t do any marketing activity until that’s complete. On the positive side, I’ve finalized my logo and branding and it’s goooood!

In conjunction with launching, I’m starting to close down my Etsy shop. Operation: Move that Inventory is coming along, but I still have a ways to go. Anyone interested in fabric or possibly zippers?

I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!

My Recent Favorites

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything style-related around here, so I wanted to share some of my favorite recent purchases/things I received for Christmas. Many of these things are upgrades of items that have worn out. Obviously this costs a little more, but hopefully these purchases will last longer.

february 2015 favorites

Warby Parker Curtis sunglasses in Bourbon Tortoise

I had a pair of sunglasses from Target for the longest time. I’m pretty sure Monica broke them, but they were probably about to break on their own anyways. Then I wore a pair of cheap Michelob Ultra freebie sunglasses from a half marathon. Then Monica broke those shortly before Christmas. (I hope this isn’t a trend!) John’s parents gifted me these sunglasses for Christmas and I’m being extra careful with them by keeping them out of Monica’s reach.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Natasha Mini cross-body

I was in the market for a new purse, particularly a cross-body bag because it’s difficult to wrestle a toddler and anything else at the same time. Yes, on the weekends I generally just carry the diaper bag with my wallet/phone/keys thrown in. And sure, it’s a slightly smaller purse, but in the hopes of simplifying, I’m forced to keep the junk out. This was a Christmas gift strategically purchased from Piperlime on Cyber Monday for 30% off :)

Saucony Jazz Low Pro sneakers

My silver Gola’s (first shared in this post) were looking really sad and I was due for a new pair of kicks. My running shoes are Saucony’s so I knew those would fit right. My sister thinks they’re old school, but I think they’re pretty fabulous. John thought suggested something a little more colorful (there are lots of snazzy colors available!), but I already have my pink shoes and wanted something a little more neutral.

Bobeau Fleece Wrap Cardigan (!)

Do you remember the movie “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” with the magic jeans that fit each friend perfectly? That’s how I feel about this sweater! My sister-in-law told me about the Bobeau over Christmas and shared this blog post written by her friend! It seems like this is universally loved cardigan. I’ve worn it to work, but usually wear it to lounge around the house or run errands on the weekends. Even though it feels like a blanket (especially on these frigid winter days!), I feel much more put together wearing this sweater than wearing a high school college hoodie. I have it in gray and am considering buying another color (maybe pink?) because this lovely is only $40!!

Black Gap 1969 legging jeans

We can now wear jeans everyday in the office. That means my dress pants have been gathering dust and my jeans have been working overtime. I live in my Gap legging jeans and wanted something other than a standard blue jean that could be dressed up or down. These black jeans are a little stretchy and perfect (especially since I got them for 40% off!). You’re in luck because Gap is offering 30% off everything through February 21, 2015 using coupon code “MAJOR”.

Magna-Tiles

OK, the Magna-Tiles were technically a Christmas gift for Monica, but John and I love playing with them too! We asked Monica’s teachers for Christmas gift suggestions and this is one of the items they recommended. At this point, Monica would rather knock down whatever we build (she’s 20 months old), but she’s starting to play with them more on her own.

I just realized I wore/used/played with every item on this list today! What are your current favorites you’d love to share?

Valentine’s Day Craft Ideas

This post is contributed by Chun Nguyen. It’s February and love is in the air once again! Of course, if you have a special someone you’d like to show your affections to this season, you might have to spend a little extra for something, right? Whether it’s a romantic dinner or a bunch of flowers,…

Read More »

Marimekko remnants and yardage

A Quick Update

Happy Friday! Do you have your Super Bowl party plans in place? We’re having some friends over and I’m still debating which New England- and/or Seattle-themed dessert to make! I also wanted to pop in to let you know that I’ve started listing some of my excess Marimekko fabric in my Etsy shop. There’s some…

Read More »

2015 Super Bowl desserts - Seattle coffee desserts

2015 Super Bowl Desserts

While 2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year in football with the brouhaha of DeflateGate (insert #shrinkage joke), not to mention booking Katy Perry as the Super Bowl halftime show, at least I have the commercials to look forward to! Additionally, I’m looking forward to the snacks (guacamole!!) and my personal tradition of baking…

Read More »

chocolate imperial stout bacon cupcakes

Chocolate Stout Brown Sugar Bacon Cupcakes

Hey there, January. While the rest of Internet is sharing uber-healthy recipes like an organic gluten-free kale cupcake (apparently that’s a real thing), I’m going to throw caution into the wind and tempt you with a cupcake from the opposite end of the New Year’s resolution spectrum. This cupcake is so good my coworkers said…

Read More »

new beginnings for Fiscally Chic

New Year, New Beginnings

Hi friends! How is your 2015 going? Did you have a good Christmas? I definitely enjoyed my time off with family. In lieu of a New Year’s resolutions blog post, I thought I would share some of my New Year’s reflections on blogging and the coming year. As you may or may not have noticed,…

Read More »

Christmas Ale bacon

Christmas Ale Bacon

Need to make a last ditch effort to get on Santa’s “nice” list? I have three words for you….Christmas Ale Bacon! As I mentioned last week, we enjoyed the world’s greatest bacon from Cleveland’s Pork Chop Shop over Thanksgiving. In addition to your standard pepper bacon and maple bacon; they have Cajun bacon and the best…

Read More »

new years eve with rent the runway

Celebrate in Style with Rent the Runway

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. Thanks for supporting Fiscally Chic! Friends! I have fantastic news to share with you! I took the Series 65 exam yesterday and passed!! That means I’m one step closer to becoming a Registered Investment Adviser…

Read More »

December Collage

Life Lately: Series 65 Edition

Tap, tap….Is this thing on? Things have been a bit quiet on the blog, but not for lack of activity. As you can tell from the post title, things have been all Series 65 (or Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam), all the time. A good portion of my free time has been spent reading the…

Read More »

pirate ship

Are you ready to become a Pirate of Financial Freedom?

Fiscally Chic is partnering with the Pirates of Financial Freedom to share this post. Opinions are my own. With gift guides flooding the Internet, you’re probably more than aware that Christmas is only three weeks away. Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune shared “Smart financial gifts for young adults” and the first item on their…

Read More »

Christmas picture outfit

Christmas Cards and Matching Outfits

This past weekend, John’s family got together to take pictures for Christmas cards. Admittedly, I fretted a bit too much about what our little family would wear. When you take photos, does everyone match? Or at least coordinate? I just purchased that Banana Republic plaid shirt; so I planned the outfits (in my head) around…

Read More »