Easter! New bonnet? Maybe not, but…

Alas, the tradition of a new hat (and little white gloves and patent-leather Mary Janes) for Easter seems to have gotten lost, but fortunately, all sorts of “welcome spring” ideas continue.

New clothes for Easter!

Even if you don’t celebrate Easter as a religious holiday, who can resist decorating and entertaining with renewal in mind? Or, for that matter, shopping for fresh clothes and home decor for your loved ones?

Not us, the ReJoice experts at HowToConsign!

With spring in mind, here’s some wonderful ideas:

The vintage photo was put on Flickr by this user.

Cash in on your Kids!

HowToConsign.com helps you turned cluttered closets into CASH!It’s amazing, isn’t it, the amount of stuff our kids can generate… and outgrow, under-use, and even just plain ignore. You know it’s a shame to let the usefulness of so many items go to waste… so you’ve decided to get all those underloved, gently-used items together and let them be loved by another family.

Congratulations, you’re over half the way to passing on previously-enjoyed items to another family…and to fattening up your family’s budget at the same time.

If you’re like most Moms, you want to get the most monetary return out of outgrown clothes, toys, and gear…but where to start? Sometimes it can be overwhelming, so let’s look at it step by profitable step:

Gather your items up gradually. If you’ve put a basket or bag in each child’s closet or the laundry room to collect outgrown clothes and a basket in the family room or basement for no-longer-played-with equipment, you’re ahead of the game. You have your batch all collected up.

If not (what Mom is ever as organized as she’d like?) start with the most obvious places first, the places where you store things you’re no longer using. From too-small clothes to past-interest sports gear, attic to basement to garage, these are the items which might need the most freshening up. Then venture into closets, toy boys and bedroom shelves. Visit your local consignment or resale shop or check their web site online at The Professional Resalers Directory  to see what they can sell.

Okay. Now it’s all in a pile and you’re ready to make your items best sellers!

First, of course, is cleanliness. Freshly-washed clothing sell best. And that means freshly-washed within the last few days, not when you packed them away. Using a fragrance-free detergent and fabric softener is safest, since many families have sensitivities to scented washing products.

Next is wrinkle-free. Wrinkle release spray works on minor wrinkles. If they still don’t look as great as they did new, take a few moments with an iron or garment steamer. The more brand-new your clothing items look, the more they’re worth. A touch of spray starch on a crisp shirt or dress can sell an item lickety-split!

And spot- and stain-less. Next, as you’re hanging or neatly folding (each shop has its preferences), hold each garment parallel to the fluorescent lighting in your laundry room or kitchen. These lights show color variations indicating spots, stains, and fading. Work on removing stains (my favorite online stain removal chart is on Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing web site.) If stains or fading remain, put these items aside for donation to your local charities.

Check zippers, buttons and fasteners. Clip any loose threads and make sure hems are secure and pockets hole-free.

Is the outfit complete? If you have accessories that match an outfit, they often enhance the value of the item.

Shoes are good sellers in most shops, but they need to be sparkling clean. Magic Eraser is a must-have tool. Baby wipes do a great job on most shoes. Be sure to clean the soles as well as the sides of shoes to give them a fresh appeal. Replacing shoe laces can turn a so-so pair into a sure sale.

Spiff up gear. That same Magic Eraser will also work wonders on toys and equipment. (And a regular eraser in hand as you page through your children’s books can up their value!) If you’re refurbishing a bike or metal ride-on toy, remember auto polish. That extra sheen means extra dollars for you.

Now that’s what HowToConsign.com calls turning your cluttered closets into cash!

I love that designer bag, but I can’t afford it. So do I buy a counterfeit?

Fake Burberry, from iacc.org

Fake Burberry handbag courtesy iacc.org

There’s much to love about designer handbags. But not all of us want to spend the price of a genuine designer’s product, even at resale or consignment shop prices. So the question:

Is it okay to buy a counterfeit just to look like you have “the real thing”?

Or should you opt, instead, for a bag whose shape and color and “look” are simply similar to the designer bag you wish you could buy?

Where’s the line between a “replica” and a purse that’s “inspired by”?

Replica, knockoff, fake, faux, counterfeit: These are the terms used to identify a handbag (scarf, shoes, sunglasses and so on) that’s made to fool the purchaser (or, actually, the onlooker) into thinking she’s getting the cachet or quality of a designer bag without the market price of the real thing… and of course, without recompense to the original designer.

Designer-inspired: I like to call these “market-driven.” A “designer-inspired” bag which uses the attributes of designer bags that consumers crave, without trying to use the reputation of the designer as a selling point for their product. Example: The perennially-popular Speedy bag by Louis Vuitton has been popular for so long because the shape, the length of the handles, and the material appeals to fashion shoppers. Many handbags on the market have these same characteristics. They look like, have been inspired by, a LV Speedy, but do not try to fool anyone into thinking they’re made by Louis Vuitton. Ethical manufacturers don’t market their bag as “designer-inspired”, but allow their creations to stand on their own style, utility, quality and price point.

The resale industry organization, NARTS, is especially concerned about fakes being sold as though they were “real” designer bags, and has an excellent article on the whole issue of counterfeiting on The Facts on Fakes. Resources for determining if a bag is a fake is on Too Good to be Threw’s Links Page.

Thanks to this blog for the inspiration for this post.

It’s February: Time for some CPR around your place!

February is the PERFECT time to do CPR on your closet or storage space:

Consider… Purge…Reorganize

Consider: Go through your possessions. Love it? Maybe it’s just not for YOU or your home. But it could be JUST what someone else wants. So consign or sell it at a profit or donate it to your favorite cause’s thrift shop.

Purge: If you don’t use it at least a few times a year, don’t let it hang in your closet or sit in a cupboard all unloved and forlorn. Pass it on.

Reorganize: Take a look at what remains, the things you love. Would a pair of red jeans or a brass lamp jazz up your wardrobe or your decor? An artist’s manikin accent your collection of oddities? You know what I’m going to say:

Shop consignment, resale and thrift to reorganize your most-prized possessions!

On a serious note, here’s some recommendations on keeping your heart healthy.

Warm weather, here you come!

If you’re lucky enough to be due a spell of sun and fun on a cruise or at a tropical resort, you’re doubly lucky!

You can shop consignment, resale and thrift for some nifty things to take along, and save enough for that special excursion. Parasailing anyone?

Here’s how to pack so your luggage doesn’t encumber your adventures:

Here’s how to have the most spectacular, romantic cocktail dress out of two scarves:

And here’s how to turn an oversize souvenir shop T-shirt into an outfit you’ll love (one of HowToConsign’s most popular pins!)


February Sweetie Valentine

No matter what your current sweetie situation is, your fav shop has some sweet deals for gifting yourself.

The best way to shop resale? Often.

Click for the Resale Shop Directory Sponsor Shops

Treat yourself to a Valentine’s present you KNOW you’ll love! Or find one for a friend, or even both ;)

Stuck inside ’cause of the weather? Here’s what to do!

Looks of folks are fielding lots of snow days recently, and we wouldn’t want you all to go bonkers… here are some quick-and-easy projects to have fun with, create something, and feel like the day hasn’t been wasted!

First up, make some industrial-chic vase:

Got soda cans? Got some spray paint? You got spray-painted can vases… and the kids will love crumbling them for you!

Or try getting around to that pesky task, polishing up your silver jewelry:

Cleaning silver jewelry and more: a Pinterest recipe

Click for a Pinterest recipe using ingredients you probably have around the house.

How about a time capsule in your home?

Light switch covers become time capsules!

Click for not only how-to’s, but even a template to create your “time-in-a-switchplate” message!

What better to do when you’re stuck inside, than bake? Here’s Vampire Cookies:

Vampire cookies are fun anytime, right?

Vampire Cookies! Everyone loves cookies, and it seems everyone loves vampires…

Amaze and astound the kids with Magic Cake!

Magic Cake to astound and delight!

You probably have the ingredients for the batter in the pantry… and this cake becomes, all on its own, three layers!

And then, of course, there’s always cleaning closets and cupboards to turn clutter into cash at a Professional Resale Shop!

Sources for these graphics.