Spring Cleaning to Create Jobs

Have you finished your spring cleaning yet?  Need a little motivation? I’ve got plenty!  Did you know you can help create jobs AND help your bottom line {can you say tax deduction?} come tax time just by giving your old stuff to a charity like Goodwill?  Yep. It’s true… and I’ve got the details and some ideas for how to get your home in ship shape this season.

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:: Make Light Work of a BIG Job ::

Here’s some ideas on how to tackle the clutter without overwhelming yourself.  Tackle just one of these areas each day {or every couple of days as your schedule allows – even just one a week is better than nothing and it will still get done!}.

  1. Clothing closets – tackle one persons closet each day. Pack away clothes from the last season that children have outgrown if you have children who will use them later. If not, pack them in a box for Goodwill donation. Be sure to check for outgrown shoes and toys too!  For adult closets, donate anything that you haven’t worn in the last year. Don’t forget items like purses, bags, hats, and winter wear.
  2. Linen closet(s) – Go through your linen closet and pack up old blankets and sheets you no longer need for Goodwill. Don’t forget to also grab table cloths, curtains, etc. that you don’t need anymore.
  3. Kitchen cabinet(s) – If you have a lot of cabinets and doing them all at once is overwhelming, just choose one or two each day to go through. Take everything out and re-organize. Be honest with yourself about dishes and gadgets that never get used. Box anything you want to part with for Goodwill.
  4. Media – go through video games, old consoles, computers, phones, movies, music and any other tech toys that you no longer use, watch, or listen to. Box them up for Goodwill.
  5. Books – Donate any books from living room and children’s shelves that are no longer needed.
  6. Coat closets – If you have a separate closet where you keep winter coats make sure you gather any coats that you no longer wear or that you or your children have outgrown along with any other winter wear.
  7. Office Area(s) – don’t forget to gather up office supplies you don’t need.
  8. Holiday decorations – Donate all old holiday decorations you don’t need or don’t plan to use anymore. Also don’t forget any home decoration – pictures, decorative pieces, candles, etc. that you aren’t using anymore.

:: Help Yourself Come Tax Time ::

Make sure you keep a running list of the items you put in your Goodwill donation boxes. I keep a notebook and pen with me to keep a list and tally of items I bag and box up. Then, when you take your old stuff to Goodwill be sure to get a receipt. Staple your receipt to your list and place them in your tax folder. Come tax time you’ll have your proof of donation along with the list of items donated.  That will make it easy to get your tax deduction and every little bit helps when it comes tax time! My giving always makes the difference between owing taxes and not!

:: Help Others Today ::

Besides helping yourself, giving to Goodwill also helps others! It’s a win – win.  How does it help others?  When you donate to Goodwill, they sell your old items and that money goes for job training and education to help others find jobs.  Watch this video for a simple explanation of what I’m talking about:

It never ceases to amaze me how much clutter we can accumulate and donate each year. Just when I think there can’t be another thing to donate, I seem to be able to come up with at least another couple garbage bags and a box or two!  Where does this stuff come from?!?

This post was made possible through the support of Goodwill. All opinions are my own.

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Organic Food Now Made Affordable thanks to Walmart

Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, announced today it will carry Wild Oats organic food items.   Why does that matter to you and me?  If your budget is tight and you find it difficult to afford the organic foods that are a priority for your family, this is going to be music to your ears!  Wild Oats will be offering a wide selection of products – from salsa and pasta sauce to quinoa and chicken broth. Customers will save 25 percent or more when comparing Wild Oats to national brand organic products.

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Wild Oats, a trusted provider of organic groceries, will feature the following lines at Walmart:

  • Wild Oats Marketplace Organic™, which adheres to USDA guidelines for organic certification and includes everything from canned vegetables (15 oz) at $.88 to a full range of spices such as paprika, curry powder and ground cinnamon (2 oz) starting at $2.48. Organic items represent nearly 90 percent of the Wild Oats offering.
  • Wild Oats Marketplace™, which includes products with simple and real ingredients such as ready-to-prepare skillet meals (5.8 oz) at $1.50.
  • Wild Oats Marketplace Originals™, offering new and uniquely formulated items, will be available later this year.

“We know our customers are interested in purchasing organic products and, traditionally, those customers have had to pay more,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery at Walmart U.S. “We are changing that and creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access. This is part of our ongoing effort to use our scale to deliver quality, affordable groceries to our customers.”

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I’m most excited about products like apple sauce – it is SO expensive to buy organic, but since apples are on the top of the Environmental Working Group’s {EWG} dirty dozen list, it is a no compromise item for me. What I mean by “no compromise” is I just will not purchase conventional apple sauce.  That means I don’t buy it often because it is a budget buster for me. However, now thanks to Walmart’s partnership with Wild Oats organic apple sauce will be on my grocery list a little more often as a great packable lunchbox or picnic food and treat for my two littles.

I’m excited to see and try the whole assortment and see how it compares to other national brands that I’ve been used to purchasing.  But, of course, like most of you, I’m most excited about the amount of money I’ll be able to save on my grocery bill if these products are items I’ve been paying more for and purchasing regularly.

What about you? What would you like to see on the shelves at Walmart in this new Wild Oats line up?  What’s an item you pay a premium for right now that might find its way on this new line up?

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