3 Ways to Update Thrifted Baskets

3 Ways to Update Thrifted Baskets

Quick quiz—what screams summer, makes organizing a cinch in any place at all (even on the go!), and is waiting for you at your local Goodwill? Thrifted baskets! From burly laundry baskets to breezy woven seagrass, these permanently picnic-ready decor pieces will feel right at home in every room of your home and even out on adventures! Today we’ll highlight three quick and easy ways you can customize thrifted baskets for looks and functionality.

To add trendy tassels you’ll need:

-    A basket
-    Yarn
-    A small book or something else that makes just the right size tassels
-    Tapestry needle (Optional—can be helpful if the basket’s weave is tight)

Step 1: Wrap the yarn around the book (or whatever you found) until it looks thick enough. I went around 18 times. Slide the loops off of the book and cut along one end.

Step 2: With the yarn still folded in half, place a new length of yarn through the center of it. Then, lay that on top of another horizontal string. Double knot the horizontal piece of yarn around the tassel. You can wrap this around as many times as you want before tucking the ends inside the tassel if you want to (I kept it simple with mine).

Step 3: Repeat steps one and two until you have enough tassels.

Step 4: With the knots you just made placed against the basket, thread the top strings of the tassels through the basket and double knot them in place around the weave. If your basket’s weave is too tight for you to do this with just your fingers, use a tapestry needle to get through the narrow nooks. Do this, evenly spaced, all the way across the top of the basket.

Next up, I loved the unique shape of this square basket that I spotted while out thrifting, but I knew that adding some handles would make it easier to carry while full. While I was at it, I figured I’d just slap on a chalkboard label, too, so I could stick it up high on a shelf if I wanted to and I’d still know what was inside.

To add handles and a label you’ll need:

-    A basket
-    Faux-leather belt
-    Tough string
-    Tapestry needle
-    Paint mixing stick (or similarly thin wood)
-    Saw to cut the paint mixing stick
-    Power drill with a small bit (I used 1/8” bit)
-    Small paint brush
-    Chalkboard paint
-    Hammer
-    Nail
-    Scrap wood
-    Chalk marker
-    Sandpaper

Step 1: Cut your thin wood to the right size for your label. I used a saw to slice a 3.25” long section of the paint mixing stick. After that, drill two small holes toward either end of the label. Sand all sides well then wipe off the dust. Paint with chalkboard paint according to the container’s instructions and let dry.

Step 2: Measure two lengths of the belt to make the handles. Mine are each 6” long. Use the actual holes in the belt or add your own holes by hammering them in with scrap wood behind the belt.

Step 3: Thread a length of string through the needle, position the handles and label (after it’s completely dry) wherever you’d like them, and thread them through the basket’s weave to the be secured with a knot on the inside. Try to stitch the needle between the weave of the basket if possible so you aren’t poking holes into the straw/wood itself.

This last one is easy as pie and just as charming. I found this basket a couple of months ago and I love its size and shape so much. However, I noticed that since I keep it in a little nook in my bedroom, it tends to look pretty dark and shadowy over there. I was looking for a way to brighten this piece up and a fresh strip of white paint definitely helped!

To get that paint-dipped look you’ll need:

-    A basket
-    Paint (I used spray paint, but you don’t have to)
-    Paint brush if necessary
-    Painter’s tape
-    Newspaper

Step 1: Tape off the section you want to paint making sure to cover everything you don’t want to be painted. Remember that paint (especially spray paint) can seep through the basket’s weave so you may want to fill the basket with paper on the inside, too. Press the tape firmly into place so nothing can sneak through!

Step 2: In a well-ventilated area, paint the bottom with spray paint or by hand with a brush. Make sure you follow the directions on your paint to make sure you’re doing it safely.

Each of these is just a quick afternoon project that adds personality to one of the most versatile items on Goodwill shelves. Pile ‘em high with picnic supplies, replace your beach bag with something boho, or get a grip on your indoor organization. You could even use your thrifted basket to tote donations in on your next thrift store trip! Goodwill is where your stuff goes to work and any baskets you buy there are sure to carry more than their fair share of the workload. Have fun making them your own!

6th Annual Neighborhood Challenge

Holding a garage sale requires you to gather an assortment of unused items, price them, place them, and bargain with avid garage sale attendees all weekend. After the initial glee of a successful sale, a terrifying thought can occur, “After all this hard work, what am I going to do with what’s leftover?” Even if you’ve been picked clean besides a few t shirts and a leather recliner it may feel burdensome to figure out what to do with the items. There is no way they are re-entering your home, but they also won’t fit in your car for a quick trip to Goodwill. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could pick up the items for you? Goodwill is one step ahead of you.

Goodwill began doing neighborhood-wide pick ups after annual garage sales in order to give people a convenient way to donate their unsold garage sale items. As more neighborhoods got involved in the pick ups, Lincoln Goodwill created the Neighborhood Challenge. The first Neighborhood Challenge was held in 2013 and it evolved a post garage sale pick up into an opportunity for neighborhoods to build camaraderie and spark a friendly sense of competition between neighborhood associations.

Today, neighborhood associations across Lincoln compete in the Neighborhood Challenge by holding a neighborhood pick up after their garage sales. The top three neighborhoods who collect more than 2,000 pounds receive a cash prize to strengthen their neighborhood. The Challenge has allowed neighborhood associations to complete community projects ranging from landscape improvement to neighborhood events.  Thus far, Goodwill has worked with over 15 neighborhood organizations across Lincoln and last year the Challenge collected 17,321 pounds!

We want our 6th annual Neighborhood Challenge to be bigger than ever! Our goal is to collect 20,000 pounds of donations and increase participation. The Challenge begins on April 15th and it is not too late to get involved! Join the Challenge. Click here for more information and to register for the event!

If you aren’t participating, but still want to keep up with all the fun, ‘like’ our Facebook page! We will have dates of the garage sales and post what neighborhoods will do for their community if they win! In addition, if you are holding a garage sale, but aren’t participating in the Challenge, schedule a free home pick up here or call 402-438-2022.

Valentine's Day at Lincoln Goodwill

Valentine’s Day at Lincoln Goodwill

There are more ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day than a romantic dinner with a box of chocolates. So whether you are having a girls’ night out, watching scary movies with your dog, or giving your mom a much deserved call, we want Goodwill to be a part of your preparation and celebration.

Say bye to BAE
First, you can get rid yourself of the lingering memory of your ex by donating their stuff to Goodwill. You can finally move on and support employment programming in the process. In addition, donate something that you love, but don’t use anymore. You don’t have to leave your house to do this! If you have a large furniture item that no longer fits with your décor, schedule a curbside home pick-up under the Donations tab and we’ll free up your space for free.

Spread the Love
You can also utilize Goodwill to spread the love this Valentine’s Day. Sign up to volunteer with us and see first-hand how we work to help those with barriers to employment. All you have to do is submit a quick online application and attend a volunteer orientation. Then you can spend your V-Day doing good for the community. You can also shop our stores to spread the love by finding the perfect gift for someone you care about. Buy paper and markers from our bits and pieces section and make a good ol’ handmade card. To add extra zest, find a cute jar to fill with candy! Tie a ribbon around the lid and you have yourself an affordable and thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift.

Treat Yourself
No matter your relationship status, you deserve to treat yourself! Come into Goodwill and you will find a unique set of jewelry that changes every day. You can buy delicate hoops for work and shimmering teardrop earrings for later in the night (or maybe even little heart-shaped studs if you’re in the spirit)! The fun part is you never know the treasures you will come across. Don’t miss the $10/10 clothing sale the Friday and Saturday before Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect time to treat yourself. Bring a bag to donate and fill it back up with affordable new items to fit into any V-Day plan.  In addition, when you round up your change to the nearest dollar at check-out you help our partner organizations: Lincoln Literacy, Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Community Justice Center, and YWCA Job Outfitters. Treating yourself supports Lincoln organizations that work to give people job readiness tools.

5 Ways to Reduce Your E-Waste

1.    NEVER throw electronics away
This may seems obvious, but only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled each year! There are many alternatives to throwing an electronic away. Earth911.com allows you to search in your area for the item you want to recycle and gives you a donation location. Just type in your zip code and the electronic and they will give you a list of nearby places that accept your product.

2.    Donate to Goodwill
Goodwill takes many forms of technology ranging from radios, video games, computer monitors, and almost anything that can plug into a computer! With the wide range of products accepted, Goodwill is a great resource for recycling old electronics.

3.    Think before you buy
Before going all in on the latest and greatest product, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” There are many options before buying a brand new product. You can increase the life of current electronics by buying protective cases and installing inexpensive upgrades for increased space and speed. This idea leads to number four…

4.    Buy electronics used
You can also find deals online from someone who is switching or upgrading their electronics! If you are worried about the products having problems, check reviews and return policy to ensure the legitimacy of the website and the possibility of return.

There are many outlets for buying used electronics. This ranges from Facebook groups, listings on EBay and Craigslist, or stores in town selling gently used products. By giving an electronic new life you can get a great deal and keep a product out of the landfill. Also, be sure to check out Goodwill’s Computer and Electronic store on 17th and Sumner!

5.    Educate Yourself and Others
As you continue to learn about the benefits of e-cycling and recycling in general, spread your knowledge. If you discover a nearby recycling site that takes old electronics, tell your neighbors! If you get a great deal on a used iPhone, share the place or website with friends! Continue to educate yourself on e-waste and e-cycling, then spread the knowledge and we will continue to reduce e-waste in our community and world.

12 Ways You Can Help Your Community While Cleaning and Shopping This Spring

As the weather warms and flowers bloom, thoughts turn to exchanging the drabness and darkness of winter for the bright freshness of spring. The annual ritual of spring cleaning has deep roots associated with various cultures and traditions. Today, the exercise of deep cleaning in springtime is practiced by 72 percent of Americans, and more than half (57 percent) of U.S. consumers say they shop for spring/summer apparel items during this time of year.

Whether you plan to rejuvenate your home or refresh your wardrobe (or both!), include Goodwill in your spring plans. You can help give people in the Lincoln community a fresh start through job training and placement, which is supported by donating to and shopping at Lincoln Goodwill stores.

Through its social enterprise model, Goodwill sells donated items to create job opportunities and programs for job seekers, including youth, older workers, veterans and military families, people with disabilities and disadvantages, and others with specialized needs. In 2015, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed 312,000 people in employment in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 35 million people accessed Goodwill education classes, mentoring services and training online to strengthen their skills.

By donating to Goodwill during this spring cleaning season, you can extend the lifecycle of your goods, which helps the environment while creating employment programs in our community. After you donate, why not also spend some time shopping at Goodwill, replenishing your wardrobe while helping even more?

Here are 12 great ways to spring into action!

1.    Head to your nearest Goodwill store and create a mix-and-match collection of glasses to use as a great centerpiece and guest giveaway at your next spring fling gathering.

IMG 21652.    Put a spring in your step with the perfect spring soundtrack. At Goodwill, you'll find a selection of vinyl records from artists old and new. What’s your pleasure?

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3.    Explore. Breathe in that fresh spring air and get outside again! Visit the National Park Service and prepare for your spring camping trip with gear and equipment found at Goodwill.

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4.    Design a statement wall in your home and show off your individual style with Goodwill's selection of mirrors, frames, baskets, art, clocks, plates and other decorative items.

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5.    Get moving! Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet. Toss out unhealthy winter habits and shape up for spring with workout clothes and equipment from Goodwill.

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6.    Donate the business attire you no longer wear. You’ll be helping your community and someone else can use it to rock their interview or first day at a new job.

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7.    Did you resolve to stop looking at your smartphone to find out the time every five minutes? Spring forward while being fashion forward with a new watch from Goodwill.

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8.    Play! Tis the season for spring sports — think, soccer, softball, lacrosse, golf — and you can save on sports equipment. Be a game changer for someone in your community by shopping at Goodwill for your gear.

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9.    Power up and change your community.  Donate your electronics for someone else to enjoy and be a sustainable shopper by picking up something for yourself!

10.    Shop for spring style. Warmer weather means time to shed those layers! Update your wardrobe with bright colors and patterns by shopping at Goodwill.

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11.    Clean out the clutter and organize your space. Take your unwanted items to Goodwill and pick up some storage bins or creative storage items while you're there.

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12.    Grow opportunity and plant seeds of change in your community this spring by donating to and shopping at Goodwill. Get your gardening items and creative planting pots to create the perfect outdoor landscapes.

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No matter how you celebrate the arrival of spring, by including Goodwill in your warm weather plans, you can make a significant and lasting impact in the Lincoln area community well past summer.

Happy spring from Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska!

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