Archive for the ‘Spread the Cheer’ Category

The day after Christmas

December 26, 2011

So you got a new phone or camera or other electronic goodie from Santa, and you need to

pass the old one on.

Do it now.

Pass it on: recycle, resell, rejoice!Don’t put your old gadget away until it’s outmoded and obsolete. Let someone else get the joy of using it. (Same applies to wardrobe items, you fashionista you! It only gets less desirable in your closet. Even kids’ stuff and home decor items become dated faster than you think. Pass it on now!)

Here’s some ideas:

Pass it on. A friend, neighbor, neighbor’s kid? Relative or co-worker? Try posting a note at work or your community center, or visit if no one comes to mind. My old kayak is now part of the Girl Scouts’ fleet.

Donate it. Of course, the obvious choice is your favorite non-profit charity’s thrift store, where they turn donated goods into support for their cause. But don’t overlook other charities. Would a senior living center or elementary school be able to use your old computer? Verizon offers used phones to domestic violence victims. Got a new recliner? The old one can be turned into cash for your church’s food pantry, turned into job training via Goodwill’s stores, or a bed and warm meals when the Salvation Army sells it.

Resell it. If there’s not a specialty-electronic resale shop in your area, try an online buyer like Gazelle , NextWorth or My Bone Yard. Sell the jeans that have been supplanted by new ones to a buy-outright shop, or consign last year’s favorite toys to make room for the new favorites.

Recycle it. Dispose of items thoughtfully. If you’re unsure how to trash something, call your local government. More than likely, they have a web site or brochure telling you how to do your part to keep the world green and safe.

Would you like to see how your neighborhood professional resaler decides where to donate unsaleable goods? Take a peek behind the scenes at’s Pass it On page.


Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2011

May your day be merry and bright…

and may all your Christmases be green.

Keep the light in Christmas from

With best wishes for this season and a wonderful New Year from Kate Holmes

web host of / Turn your Cluttered Closets into Cash / Too Good to be Threw, The Premiere Site for Professional Resalers
and / The Resale Shopkeeper’s Blog

Stop. DO NOT go to the mall today.

December 24, 2011

If you’re seeing RED over Holiday Overindulgence and the damage it’s doing to your budget, do not, I repeat do NOT venture anywhere near a mall or a Big Box today.

Okay, you need a few more little gifts. Well, go GREEN.

Do it the eco-way… which is also the loving-friend/parent/child/aunt way.

Figure out what the recipient of your present-giving truly wants. An afternoon at the museum with you? Your undivided attention on a walk in the woods? Your famous BeansNWeenies on demand some gloomy day in January?


Now write a nice note promising same, and buzz on over to a consignment, resale, or thrift shop to pick up an appropriate container for your note (an Oriental jar? teapot? candy dish? wallet? basket? casserole dish?), and you’ve gone green and given that person just what he or she wants… something only you can give!




Happy Hanukkah!

December 20, 2011

Soft candlelight, donuts, potato pancakes and chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Not to mention the Western custom of 8, yes EIGHT, days of presents. Pretty fun holiday. So, Happy Hanukkah to all…

Hanukkah is the most widely celebrated American Jewish holiday, possibly because it is a fun, child-centered occasion. It is celebrated with excellent food, an exchange of gifts, and the lighting of beautiful menorahs (special Hanukkah candelabras) filled with brightly colored candles. Unlike some of the other Jewish holidays, which require intense spiritual reflection or elaborate preparation, it is easy to celebrate.

Many Jewish holidays commemorate events invested with historical and religious meaning, and Hanukkah is no exception. Hanukkah means “rededication,” and it commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by foreign forces. The celebration also reaffirms the continuing struggle to live by God’s commandments and to lead Jewish lives.

When all is said and done, perhaps the most important message of Hanukkah may be found in the name of the holiday itself: Dedication. When Jews have dedicated themselves, through faith and action, to the pursuit of high religious and human ideals, Judaism has been strong. That imperative, to strengthen our religion and our people, remains an important challenge at this season, in every generation. —Jewish Outreach Institute

The Wikipedia entry on Hanukkah.  Other holidays around this time include Kwanzaa. Then there’s Festivus, birthed by a defunct TV show. And our Brit-descendent friends get to have Boxing Day as well.  Then there’s Three Kings Day, St. Lucia Day, Winter Solstice, getting your toenails done for New Year’s Eve… well, seems like December is the time to celebrate!

So maybe saying “Happy Holidays” is appropriate…




Give a holiday gift to your town.

December 18, 2011

Your holidays can be special and frugal… and help your community be stronger.

Celebrate your town: shop local!Did you realize that you can help your town recover from challenging economic times? Preserve and protect your town by shopping for the holidays locally. What better gift to give the community where you and your family live, than by supporting it with your shopping dollars?

What does this involve? Buying from your neighbors. The locally-owned pet-supply store you rely upon for the unusual things or the special order you need: shop his store, too, for the standard stuff that you might otherwise pick up at a Big Box store. After all, Gertie the Gerbil would miss her little maple-flavored treats if your neighbor’s store couldn’t survive.

The greengrocer, if you’re lucky enough to have one in your area, or the farmer’s market. The little dance-studio shop for your daughter’s tutus. Your peer-owned consignment shop. The local charity’s thrift store. The oil-change joint run by your friend’s uncle. All economics are local. In other words:

Shop Locally to Keep your Wallet Local.

Yes, sometimes (but not as often as you think) you may pay a little extra because Amy Flo’s Floral Shop pays more for its holly wreaths than MallMart does. That’s a fact of life. But think of it this way: the extra 3 or 7% you spend at Amy Flo’s will keep your town viable economically. Consider it an investment in Main Street.

And what of us who don’t live in the postcard-perfect little town…or whose little town died a shopping death long ago, thanks to huge retailers who call your town Store #3482? Take the time to search out locally-owned enterprises. Shop the Christmas-tree farm out on the national road, or do your gift-buying in the museum shop or the Friends of the Library sale or a church’s holiday bazaar. And while you’re shopping locally, you’re also saving time and gas, meeting your neighbors, making contacts, and supporting your neighbors. And imagine the memories you’re making for your children (and yourself): That’s where we always buy our tree, from Mr. Overalls… the lady at the meat market always gave us a candy cane…  As we say over at, a Merry Thrifty Christmas to all!

It’s kinda “save the earth” as your Christmas gift to all…one neighborhood at a time.

A version of this post, addressed to resale shopkeepers, originally appeared in Auntie Kate the Blog.

More joy, less jingle

December 12, 2011

Crowded malls, not so Christmas-peaceful

‘Tis the season to jingle-jangle your nerves?

We don’t think so.

Jangled nerves. That’s what so many holiday shopping excursions can lead to. Why voluntarily do this to yourself during the season of joy and peace? That’s totally silly, when you can enjoy the calm and comfort of consignment, resale, and thrift shopping, while doing good for the planet as well.  And we shopkeepers certainly don’t want to jingle your budget, either.

So drop in to your favorite shops (find the Directory and Zoomable Map of Professional Resalers here) and enjoy a low-key, down-home, shop-local, eco-aware wallet-friendly shopping experience. Experience peace and neighborliness.

Relax at a consignment, resale, or thrift shop for the holidaysWho knows, they might even offer you some cocoa and a candy cane.

The crowded mall photo from David Porter on Flickr; the peaceful shop photo from luncheonsatthejunction blog.

More on-the-button Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips

December 8, 2011

Okay, so you want a green holiday celebration. We Professional Resalers of applaud you! We, of course, believe in recycling, reusing, and reinventing. (And this Professional Resaler adores these little button wreathes and plans to give lots of them this year! After all, every resale shop in the country has boxes of “lost” buttons*…)

And there are so many ways to have not only a joyous and green celebration. Here’s a bundle of ideas from our friends in the UK.

* Here’s another way I’ll be using lost buttons for holiday decor. And if I had fat quarters lying around, this is what I’d make with them.

The Perfect Hostess Gift this Holiday Season

December 3, 2011

Whether or not you do the hostess-gift thing throughout the year (and if you’re coming to my house, why yes thank you), the holidays just seem to call for a little something.

Here’s how to make a little something into a bigger one:

Bring something yummie to eat on a dish picked out especially for your hostess.

First, choose one (or more) of the recipes from The Picker Who Perished, a TGtbT Consignment Shop Mystery. The recipes are here.

Use a recycled plate for those hostess goodiesThen, with all the time you’ve saved by using one of Wendy Sam’s simple recipes, hustle over to your favorite consignment, resale, or thrift shop, and pick up a serving plate. It might be holiday-themed, or it might complement your hostess’s decor, or it might be a giggle (“Razorbacks” plate, anyone?)

That way, once the goodies have all been nibbled, the hostess gets to keep… or re-gift… the platter.

The Arkansas plate was one of Style Gallery’s offerings on Etsy.

Resale makes my heart RACE!

November 29, 2011

Resale makes my heart raceResale, thrift, and consignment shops are my retail suppliers of choice. I would no sooner go first to a “real” store before checking out the secondhand possibilities, than I would rip up 20-dollar bills.

And not really only for budgetary reasons. Sure, a major perk of latching onto Read the rest of this entry »

How to shop responsibly

November 25, 2011

Choose holiday gifts and trimmings with your heart in your hand,

not their hand in your wallet. Or their supertankers in our harbors.

Keep the light in Christmas from