Category: Life & Home

Decorate Your Room with Personality

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Quirky, whimsical and unique decor can make your dorm room or bedroom pop! You don’t need a costly whole-room makeover–just an affordable accent will spice up bland decor with new life for fall. I think there’s something on this list for every style.

For the Midnight Snacker

Pretzel pillowFinally, a late-night snack won’t leave crumbs in your bed. This Pretzel Pillow comes in a two pillowcase set.

For the Coastal Living Lover.

Missing the beach? Stay nautical all year with this Anchor Duvet Cover.

For the Animal Enthusiast.

Pet restrictions where you live? This feline friend pillow will be your shed-free companion, and it won’t chew on your purse handles or leave “surprises” on the rug while you’re gone.

For the Scientist.

constellation doormatIt’s always a starry, starry night when you welcome guests with a Constellation doormat.

All these items are currently part of the 20% Off Decor Sale off at Modcloth! No coupon needed.

May it Be of Use Month Recap

May it Be of Use Month has come to a close, and I’m happy to report that I more than reached my goal. It was challenging and fun and I highly encourage you to participate next year.

What I gave away since my last update:

I boxed up a bunch of clothes to send off to a girl a bit younger than me who has a style similar to mine (boho chic, feminine, and lots of skirts!).

Got this Art Nouveau print bag ready to mail to my old harp teacher. She used to admire a bag like this that I carried my music around in when I took lessons from her. I’d found one for her and meant to give it to her for years and yet I never got around to it. So I mailed it off to her along with a card and some old photos from a recital. I haven’t seen her since high school and I don’t even know if she remembers me or the bag. Art Nouveau Tote BagFound my old baby clothes from the 80s picked out a few items to give to my brother and sister-in-law who just had a baby. Cause who doesn’t want the most hipster baby on the block, wearing all genuine 80s vintage threads? 80s baby hatOther miscellaneous things were bagged up to be picked up by a local charity.

What I’ve learned this month is that letting things go to a good home is freeing. It’s also a lot of work. May it Be of Use Month is probably most successful as a year-round lifestyle. I have to change my way of thinking and always be on the lookout for what can be made of use by letting it go.

For more inspiration, see posts about organizing, giving stuff away and May it Be of Use.

Thanks to those who participated including the creator of May it Be of Use, Maggie Harris, and blogger Emma from It’s Emma Elise.

Where to Donate Stuff

Any fashionista has way too many clothes and is always acquiring more. I absolutely envy anyone with the natural skill to purge unwanted belongings and live with only what they need and use. I’ve written posts about different ways to downsize your stuff, and mentioned how I love getting second hand clothes from others. Since I’ve been committed to May it Be of Use Month in May, I’ve been thinking a lot about avenues for how to easily give stuff away. The obvious choices–Goodwill, Vietnam Veterans of America, local thrift stores–are great and sometimes they wilI even pick up stuff for you, but there are other lesser known organizations that deserve attention too. I compiled this list of specialty organizations as a resource for myself and others for where to donate stuff. I’d love to add to it, so if you see something missing let me know in the comments section or on my Facebook post.

Where to Donate Stuff: Books

Little Free Library Uptown Minneapolis
Little Free Library Uptown Minneapolis

Little Free Libraries are these amazing little hutches in neighborhood locations where residents can take and leave books. I found this one outside of Caffetto in Uptown Minneapolis. Find your nearest Little Free Library and make another reader’s day by stocking the shelf with your old volumes.

The creator of May it Be of Use suggested on the Facebook page another worthy organization for book donations: the Women’s Prison Book project. You can drop off donations at their downtown Minneapolis location or mail them via USPS Media Mail.

Where to Donate Stuff: Your Old Piano

Pianos 4 Kids
A colorful piano to be donated to a family, school or organization who needs it.

When I was at an art fair I found a great organization, Keys 4/4 Kids, that turns pianos into works of art and donates them to schools and organizations for children to learn to play. They’ll come pick up the piano for you, which is extra convenient. They do ask for a donation for this service–it’s an optional donation but well worth it in my opinion.

My parents actually donated an old piano to this organization and everything went smoothly for them. Plus, your old piano will look way cooler after than it ever did while it was sitting in your house getting dusty.

Donate Formal Dresses and Accessories

Local organizations like this one will turn formal attire into someone’s prom dress. You can find one nearest you at www.donatemydress.org.

Where to Donate Stuff: Baby Clothes and Supplies

Local organizations that serve families who need an extra helping hand often take donations. The one I know of, Way to Grow! in North Minneapolis, I found by driving past their brightly-muraled exterior every day on my way to work. They happily accept donations of children’s clothes and supplies and household items to distribute to the families that they serve.

How to Donate Clothes

Alight Fashion Blog has provided an amazing infographic checklist for donating old clothes. Check out the environmental benefits of donating clothes!

Where to donate stuff
Courtesy of: Alight

Where do you donate your stuff? I’d love suggestions and will add them to this list!

May it Be of Use Week 2

Not that I’m panicking or anything, but the Month of May is halfway over and so is May it Be of Use Month. I’ve so enjoyed spending this time getting inspired to let go of the things that are overcrowding my life. It’s been daunting at times because there is SO MUCH OF IT and I’m behind my goal. I’m quite overwhelmed.

Inspiration comes in unusual ways, though. I looked out the window yesterday morning to see two families gathered in the neighbor’s yard in front of their huge play structure. Their kids have apparently outgrown it, so they were disassembling the huge yellow slide, tire swing, and tree house to give to the three-year-old several houses down. I watched as they put it on a truck and both families walked it down the street to its new home. Wow, I’m inspired–these people didn’t even know about May it be of Use, and they just gave a huge gift to the littlest neighbor.

Speaking of May it Be of Use and little ones, I found several erasers to give to my coworker’s son who loves cute erasers.

Eraser collectionI even got a thank you note:

Thank You NoteIt’s the little things that keep you moving when you’re working on a daunting task like this! By the way, I’m working on compiling all the resources for giving items away–where to donate books, where to donate clothes, etc. If you give to a favorite charity or have a suggestion, let me know and I’ll include it in an upcoming post!

May it Be of Use Month Week 1 Update

Well we’re about a week into May it Be of Use Month and I want to update weekly on my progress. First of all I just want to say I am so excited about the energy behind this idea! It’s inspired me to finally move on some stuff that I’ve been putting off for quite a while. Seeing other bloggers get on board has been exciting as well–shout out to Emma from It’s Emma Elise for coming on board and writing this post about May it Be of Use.

I’ve thought a lot about how my stuff may be of use to others this past week. I’ve delved into the far corners of my closet, explored previously uncharted basement territory (scary) and used my creativity to imagine who might benefit from this stuff. Although I’ve identified a ton of stuff to give and organized it, I haven’t actually gotten around to giving it away. It takes more logistical juggling than I anticipated. You have to call for a charity pickup, arrange to see someone you want to give something to, or go to the post office and pay for shipping.

So the only thing I actually finished was something that didn’t require any work other than just stepping outside. I found four stray horse chestnuts and put them outside for the squirrels. Who said May it Be of Use can only benefit humans?horse chestnutTotal items actually given away: 1 (counting all four chestnuts as an item). Okay, so I’m a little behind, but I’ve laid the groundwork for a successful May it Be of Use Month ahead.

What are you giving away this month? Don’t forget to check out the online May it Be of Use Community on Facebook.