Unearthing Treasures from Trash

I love to thrift. There’s something uniquely entertaining about sifting through piles and shelves of assorted brick a brack, and something undeniably satisfying about diving into it without a guarantee of success and emerging with something great. It’s like when an old friend texts you out of the blue to say “hello”, or when a butterfly perches right next to you to sun itself. It’s a gift, of sorts.  The thrill of the bargain, and a more intimate experience than copy/pasting a coupon code or picking through three dozen identical tops on a clearance rack. Way before Mackelmore brought the joy of the thrift shop into vogue in 2012, I was a wee, wide-eyed treasure hunter combing through Goodwill and Salvation Army stores with my mom and grandma, learning how to spot a deal and bumming a dollar to buy that stuffed animal I liked.  As you can probably tell, the love of thrift has stuck with me, so it’s also not surprising that my adulthood finds me managing a secondhand store myself.

Second Chance of Charlotte is a secondhand furniture and home decor store that solicits business on behalf of our charity partner Project 658, a nonprofit that serves at-risk and underprivileged families in the Charlotte area. We’re also a sister company with the Junkluggers, which is where we get the majority of our inventory. In a nutshell, the Junkluggers remove items from their clients’ homes, garages, yards, storage units, or businesses with the pledge to keep as much of the removed material out of the landfill as humanly possible. That means recycling broken TVs and ancient refrigerators, and making a lot of phone calls to make sure every IV pole and dog kennel is given to a nonprofit that needs it. Second Chance was actually started by the Junkluggers to benefit our community with the furniture they remove – because let’s face it, a charity can do a lot more with $100 than they can with a denim upholstered loveseat and five-foot-tall wooden cutlery (no, I’m not making these up). The Junkluggers remove the furniture and bring it to Second Chance, where we clean it, repair it, and send it back out into the world. The proceeds are sent to Project 658, and the original owner of the furniture is sent a tax-deductible receipt for their donation.

On paper, it’s not very exciting. Sure, it’s wonderful to support charity and save the planet, but this kind of business model has existed since forever, and there are thrift stores in every neighborhood of every city in the country. I know I’m lucky. I get to see the exciting parts from the inside. I’m in the nitty-gritty, unearthing twentieth century barrel-top trunks from piles of rubbish and peeling away dry-rotted wicker seats to see the wrought iron bench underneath get a shot at beautifying a garden again. I’ve seen antique tiger oak buffet rescued from someone’s backyard and upcycled into a beautiful bar, and dressers that just needed a few screws tightened and new hardware scooped up by families who couldn’t (or like me, didn’t want to) buy brand new furniture for their homes.

And I love it. I love the silly old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, tired and overused as it is. Because it’s true, and it’s timely. We’ve all heard the statistics about waste – 230 million tons of solid waste are produced by the US every year, approximately. Almost five pounds of waste per person per day, with less than a quarter of it ever being recycled, even though 70% of it could be. We all have different opinions on how big an impact this is having on the globe, but most everyone who uses money to provide for their day-to-day needs can agree that that’s a lot of resources to just toss into a hole in the ground or into an incinerator. And to sentimental types like me, it’s also a lot of wasted opportunity.

So much of what we throw away still has life left in it, and I’m not talking about composting coffee grounds and recycling cereal boxes, as important as those are.  I’m talking about what we do when we’re moving and our mom’s armoire doesn’t fit the modern style of our new apartment, or what we do when we need someplace to put toilet paper in our bathroom because the cabinet under the sink is full of cleaners.  Sometimes push comes to shove and you need to just haul the armoire out to the curb or go order the cheapest over-the-toilet shelf from Amazon.  Life is busy and chaotic — there’s no shame in that.  But if you have a moment to pause and think about it, you’ll find much more interesting solutions – on Pinterest, on Google, from your friends and neighbors.  You don’t need tons of artistic skill to turn an old armoire into a cool liquor cabinet, just some paint and the guts to use it.  And hanging shelving for your TP is only a rescued wood plank and two lengths of rope away, and is almost guaranteed to be more attractive than the plastic thing you found online.

Our goal at Second Chance is to help people see the potential in their unwanted stuff, in the “junk” they ask the Luggers to haul away.  Because maybe you don’t have the time/energy/paint/desire to make over your mom’s armoire, but chances are, someone else does.  Or someone else didn’t need their weirdly skinny corner shelves anymore, but man wouldn’t they be perfect in your bathroom?

It’s an exciting thing, to find that perfect piece to complete your bathroom or living room or stair landing, and so rewarding when you know you rescued it from an untimely demise, or made it beautiful with your own hands.  And the truly exciting thing is that it doesn’t require any more effort of you than a trip to the furniture store or comparing prices online.  It’s as simple as making a phone call, or opening Facebook, or picking out paint.

Now, go find that treasure!

Kassidi Gniadek, Store Manager

Second Chance

521-C Pitts School Rd NW

Concord, NC 28027

704-292-6226


Cleaning out your Inner Junk Drawer

We are all familiar with the physical clutter that seems to grow before our eyes, but how tuned in are you to your mental clutter? You know, that chatter that goes on in your head, the things you believe to be true about yourself and others, the unique lens through which we see and experience the world?

Yep, that stuff matters.

You may not be consciously aware of how your beliefs shape your worldview. Our automatic responses are so ingrained they happen before we realize we have a choice – a choice to feel how we feel about something. Think for a minute about a person or situation in your life that recently upset you.

What if instead of building your case for being hurt and angry, you try this instead:

Release judgment: So many times judgment and automatic responses jump in to respond or defend our position and we react to what we believe happened: our interpretation of the facts.

Try this: Look at the facts. Stop short of assigning meaning to what happened. How does it change if you take a more neutral view?

Invite a different perspective: Have you ever been describing a stressful situation to a trusted friend who replies, “I don’t see if that way at all”?

How do you respond? Shut her down, tell her “thanks but no thanks” or do you try to see things differently?

Sometimes just a small shift in perspective can open up new possibilities while holding on tightly to our perspective can breakdown relationships and potential for growth.

Stop “shoulding” yourself: “Should” can be a motivator but more often seems to indicate there is a standard which is not being met. When coupled with “I”, we create resentment toward ourselves. What are the things you tell yourself you “should” do and how does that set you up for falling short? “I’m so bad, I should have exercised today but went out to lunch instead.” You feel guilty about how you chose to spend your day rather than enjoying it.  

Bottom Line: Clean out that junk! Be aware of your automatic responses and ask yourself: Is there a different way to look at this?

Thoughts are not facts.

Want to learn more? Lorree is hosting a workshop on Nov. 10, 9-11:30am at her Cotswold office. The workshop is designed for busy women needing a time out before the holidays. We will sort through your mental junk drawer, throw out old ways of thinking and bring peace and purpose to your life. Please RSVP to reserve your spot: lorree@envisionengageembrace.com. Cost is $15 per person.

Lorree Riley is a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of Envision Creative Counseling, PLLC. Working with emerging adults and those experiencing difficult life transitions, Lorree blends talk therapy and creative art therapy to facilitate insight, learning and growth.

www.EnvisionEngageEmbrace.com

https://www.facebook.com/Envision-Creative-Counseling

 


Simplicity Serves

 

Love organizing and looking for a way to give back to those in need?
There are lots of families in Charlotte facing difficult circumstances and are overwhelmed by life’s challenges.  Simplicity offers complimentary organizational services to those who are unable to afford our services.

 

We are in search of volunteers to offer their time and organizational skills.
If you are interested in this opportunity we  would love to invite you to our next Simplicity Serves Information Meeting!


Our next meetings are Wednesday, November 7th from 10am-11am and Tuesday, November 13th from 10am-11am.  

Please contact info@simplicity-organizers.com for more information.


Charlotte Parenting Solutions

Simplicity Organizers Interviews Wendy Petricoff of Charlotte Parenting Solutions.

What is Charlotte Parenting Solutions?

Charlotte Parenting Solutions is a business created to help support parents through the journey of parenthood. My passion is making parents’ lives easier by teaching them how to use the best tools available for their family. I help parents get on the same page, figure out how and when to set limits and which consequences will work best. This is the work we do together, putting together plans that you can easily implement. My goal is to help parents to feel CALM, CONFIDENT and CREDIBLE when they are raising their children!

How long have you been a parenting coach?

I have been working with parents for 11 years! It is an incredibly rewarding job.

What types of services do you offer?

I work with parents in private sessions, in my online course Happy Parents & Thriving Kids, or if you’re local…I teach in-person workshops! I provide parents the tools and skills they need to tackle their parenting challenges. In my online workshop and private sessions we work closely together to create customized parenting plans for your family. (Yes, that means we put together consequences and I even give you scripts to use!)

How does organization play a role in having healthy and happy family members and family dynamics?

If parents aren’t organized, family stress is often magnified. Things that appear simple, like getting out the door on time end up becoming a HUGE source of frustration. When parents become emotionally escalated we often “lose it” (yelling, using sarcasm, etc.) which results in us eventually feeling guilty about our own actions. This is a cycle that becomes a repetitive pattern. In order to break this pattern parents need to learn both organizational skills as well as parenting tools. These skills are a gift to the entire family!

How are Charlotte Parenting Solutions and Simplicity Organizers connected in enhancing families’ lives?

Together we work hand in hand to help families live more peaceful, purposeful lives. Simplicity can provide a family with organizational tools and I step in to help with the implementation and follow through. As parents we are the leaders of our families. It’s our job to set limits and I teach parents how to follow through in a loving way that builds strong parent/child relationships. I believe that both Simplicity and Charlotte Parenting Solutions work in tandem to get you the skills and the CONFIDENCE you need to become a great role model for your children.

 


Garage Organization Day With the Bremers

 

Part of Simplicity’s mission is to serve the Charlotte community with our gift of organization.  A few months ago at the ChariTea fundraiser event for the Charlotte Rescue Mission, Sharon Bremer mentioned that she really needed our services.  When asked what area of her home needed our services the most, she quickly said her garage. Sharon had just wrapped up her final treatment of  chemotherapy, so we decided there was no better gift to her family than the gift of organization. Soon after, we informed Sharon that our company would be coming to work alongside of her and help her organize her garage.  To understand more about our process, we asked Sharon to share about her experience working with Simplicity…

What was your reaction when Simplicity told you they were volunteering to organize your garage?  

I was overwhelmed with joy and SO surprised.  It is something I have been wanting to do for years.

 

Describe your garage prior to Simplicity arriving.  

Disheveled.  We have been stockpiling items for about 9 years including kids toys, camping gear, paint, old files, photos, etc…  

 

 

What feelings did you have when you came home to a driveway full of your stuff?  I could not believe that all of that “stuff” had been in our garage for so long.  I am not sure where we hid it all.

 

What was the process like having Simplicity work alongside of you?   

Simplicity made it easy.  When I came home everything was laid out in our driveway.  All I had to do was go through each pile and say keep, throw out, or donate.  Then they organized by section (sports, entertainment, camping, holiday, etc…) A few hours later the sweetest man, Vincent McCullough, with Trinity Painters, took our old paint to recycle and Junkluggers took the rest to donate and trash.  Simplicity lined up all the vendors and it was so such a relief to have it all completed in one day.

How long do you think it would have taken you to organize your garage on your own?

Well, with the help of Simplicity, it took 16 hours to organize the garage.  I don’t think I would ever organized like that. I think I would have given up after 2 days of going through old stuff.  It is mentally, physically, and emotionally draining, so to have a motivated and experienced team-made the entire process easy.

 

How has this experience impacted you and your family?  

My kids are actually keeping their toys and sports equipment organized.  Before they would throw it anywhere. Now everything has its place which saves SO much time when heading to the ball field.  Now when I go into the garage I feel at peace whereas before I felt anxious from all of the chaos. Having Simplicity organize our garage has made us realize the importance of organizing other rooms in the house to free up all the clutter.

 


2018 READ a Book, GIVE a Book Celebration!

Reading is a life skill and it is unfortunate that during the summer months, many students lose valuable literacy skills when they stop reading during their break from school. Summer reading loss negatively impacts our struggling readers, and ultimately our entire community. Children who do not have access to books or adults who can read to them are especially susceptible to falling behind over the summer.

As a result, by the end of fifth grade, these students are approximately 2 1/2 years behind their peers in terms of reading ability.

Simplicity Organizers is hosting our annual book drive in the month of May. We are encouraging the Charlotte community to donate gently used children’s books (PreK-5th Gr.) to our READ A BOOK, GIVE A BOOK celebration. 

This year we will be donating the books again to Windsor Park Elementary in hopes that every single student will be able to take home several books to read over the summer!

We would love for you to partner with us and help us reach our goal of collecting 4,000 books this May!

Click here to download our Read a Book, Give a Book Flyer

Books can be dropped off at Windsor Park Elementary, My Gym or One Hott Mama Maternity

or email Simplicity to find a book drop off location near you:

Ballantyne, Barclay Downs, Cotswold, Dilworth, Matthews, Myers Park & Southpark

Simplicity Organizers

info@simplicity-organizers.com

704.464.3713

Windsor Park Elementary

3910 Sudbury Road 28205

980.343.6405


Simplicity + The Junkluggers = A Win Win for Customers in Charlotte

Ready to reclaim your home? Whether your garage is overflowing with clutter, your basement is packed with boxes, or your attic is in disarray, The Junkluggers of Charlotte has partnered with Simplicity bringing world-class junk removal and professional organizing to homes and businesses in the Charlotte area.

The Junkluggers of Charlotte provides an environmentally-friendly alternative, saving tons of junk from landfills each year by donating on average 50% of the items they remove to local charities and recycling centers. When an item is donated on a customer’s behalf, Junkluggers will provide a tax-deductible receipt within 14 business days.

Serving Simplicity Clients

Our services match perfectly with what Simplicity does best; organize. After Simplicity has gone through your home or business we act as the “clean-up crew.” Our trucks arrive onsite removing items ready to be donated, recycled, or disposed of. The Junkluggers are dedicated to making sure your items are taken care of and bless the community.

Besides our 5-Star rating, Simplicity customers can trust The Junkluggers for their junk removal needs for many reasons, including:

  1. Free, no-obligation estimates. Simply call our office at (980) 288-5848 or book online for a free, in-person junk removal estimate.
  2. We’re on time. We’ll arrive within the two-hour appointment window you choose, and if we don’t, you’ll get a discount of up to 10% based on our arrival time.
  3. We price by volume and guarantee our estimates. When our fully insured Luggers arrive, just point out what needs to be removed, and they’ll provide you with an estimate that guarantees you won’t pay more than the quoted price. Even better, if your items take up less than expected, you’ll pay the lower price!
  4. We remove & load your items. If you accept the estimate, we’ll get started right away. Our luggers will lift and haul away your items safely, taking great care to protect your property from damage.
  5. We recycle & donate. At The Junkluggers, we’re dedicated to eco-friendly junk removal, and will donate or recycle whenever possible. We know how to safely recycle, donate, and dispose of e-waste from old printers, appliances and TV’s. We provide tax-deductible receipts within 14 days for anything we can donate on your behalf.

Our crews can also provide muscle (hourly labor) for jobs that require heavy lifting, staging furniture, or emptying of attics and basements.

About The Junkluggers

Founded in 2016, The Junkluggers of Charlotte is family owned and operated by Bryan Rainey and his two sons, Caleb and Josh. Currently serving Myers Park, Dilworth, Ballantyne, Concord, Statesville, Davidson, Huntersville, Lake Norman, Fort Mill and the surrounding Charlotte areas.

The Junkluggers® of Charlotte

1-800-LUG-JUNK (584-5865)

www.junkluggers.com

 

 


Five Simple Tips for Organizing your Playroom

Keep in Mind that “Less Is More”

When setting up a playroom or kid-centric area, it’s important to consider the concept that “less is more.” I always think of the 80-20 Rule. According to Anne Steppe, professional organizer and member of the Simplicity team, 80 percent of the time, your children are playing with only 20 percent of their toys. This should give you insight into just how many things kids have that they don’t even play with. Keep this in mind when choosing the amount of toys to keep in a playroom at any given time.

Label Bins with Pictures as well as Words

Labeling toy bins is an obvious organizational plus, but including a picture of each bin’s contents (on both ends) offers an added bonus. This allows even young children to know where items belong and makes it easier for them to put things away during cleanup. It helps them develop a sense of maintaining order — a great habit they will use for years to come in other areas of their lives.

Label the Back of Puzzle Pieces

My kids love puzzles, but whenever they played with different puzzles at the same time, the pieces always got mixed up. This made it hard for them to finish the puzzles, which was always frustrating. On top of that, when it came time to clean up, it was usually quite difficult to figure out which pieces went with each puzzle. The solution for this is simple. For each puzzle, place an identifying mark — a colored dot, a number, a simple shape — on the back of each piece. This makes it easy to know which pieces belong with each particular puzzle.

Store Bins Containing Small Toys or Figurines Out of Reach

Instead of allowing your child easy access to bins containing little toys or pieces, which inevitably end up being dumped out and often mixed up with other toys, keep these bins out of reach. You should be the one to manage them. I always tell my kids that I will take down a new bin once the current toys they are playing with have been cleaned up. This helps prevent kids from dumping a ton of toys on the floor, which creates a messy, confusing atmosphere that makes it difficult to play effectively.

Rotate/Purge Toys Every Few Months

Kids’ interests and abilities change frequently and they may quickly outgrow their toys. What was appropriate a few months ago soon becomes too easy or boring for them. Typically, this results in a bunch of toys gathering dust and taking up valuable space in your playroom. For this reason, every few months, flip the toys, keeping those that are most appropriate in rotation. Kids will then enjoy their toys more, playing with them more eagerly and effectively. And when it comes time to purge toys from the playroom, let your kids help. Along with having them play a role in the cleanup, this allows them to realize how many things they haven’t been playing with that could be shared with other children.

By Jess O’Rorke, Simplicity Organizer

ENOUGH

Stress, anxiety, regret – these words too often describe our lives in today’s modern culture. We are overwhelmed by clutter in our calendars, our homes, and even in our wants and needs.

At the end of 2017 I read “Enough – Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity” by Adam Hamilton. Realizing when we have enough and living in a place of simplicity and generosity are in stark contrast to how our society works today. We live in a continuous state of consumerism and we are constantly told we need more, bigger, and better.

When is enough ENOUGH?

In his book, Hamilton discusses how chasing the “American Dream” has resulted in many of us living beyond our means and drowning in credit card debt. “A key part of experiencing financial and spiritual freedom is found in simplicity and in exercising restraint.” What if we started 2018 by being wise with our finances?

Much of our desire for more, or the newest, or the best comes from a deep struggle with discontentment.  Adam outlines four keys to how you can cultivate contentment:

  1. Make it a habit to look on the bright side or find the silver lining in your circumstances. There is always something positive to focus on.
  2. Ask yourself, “How long will this make me happy?” Too often you may buy something, thinking it will make you happy, only to find that the happiness lasted about as long as it took to open the box. Try asking that question before you make a purchase. It’s amazing how often you will change your mind.
  3. Develop a grateful heart – gratitude is essential if you are to be content. In every situation you can either complain or be grateful, focus on the disappointments or give thanks for the blessings.
  4. Ask yourself, “Where does my soul find true satisfaction?” Contrary to what the world would have you believe, the longing of your soul cannot be satisfied by shopping in a mall or online.

Rather than focusing all of our energy on the now and seeking only pleasure from our material things, we need to find that magical place where we spend wisely and we are living within our means. Please don’t misunderstand because I’m not saying don’t buy things, don’t go out to eat, don’t have fun. I am saying make a budget, stick to it, be smart with your finances in 2018, and be thankful for everything you have. Choose to live more simply, to be more generous, and to enjoy life and the people you love.  

Adam also suggests ways to simplify and make financial goals easier to accomplish:

  1. Set a goal of reducing your consumption and choose to live below your means. Imagine small changes that will reduce your trash and require fewer trips to the gas station!  
  2. Before making a purchase, ask yourself “Do I really need this?” and “Why do I want this?” This will help you discover the true motive behind your desire to buy something. Also, practice the 24-hour rule: wait 24 hours before making a purchase that is not a necessity.
  3. Use something up before buying something new. Take good care of the things you buy and use them until they are empty, broken or worn-out.
  4. Plan low-cost entertainment – simple and cheap – that enriches your life. You don’t always have to spend money to have fun.
  5. Ask yourself, “Are there major changes that would allow me to simplify my life?” What things in your life are causing you stress? Is it time to downsize? Are there things you pay for every month but never use? These questions can apply to your home, possessions, job and activities.

When striving to simplify our lives and our finances, we need to remember that less is often more. Having less definitely reduces the stress and the financial burdens in our lives. Let’s start 2018 with thankful hearts, focused on living simply and being generous because the most important things in life aren’t things.  We have been blessed so that we can bless others.  

By Melissa Stultz, Simplicity Organizers


Create a Timeline for Your Decluttering Plan

Have a list of every room that needs to be decluttered. Looking at this list, create a realistic timeline for completing each project. Give yourself at least one day to complete each room. If you’re decluttering multiple days in a row, give yourself a day off once a week to complete other tasks, relax and avoid getting burnt out. Allow yourself at least 30 minutes to complete the subsections of each room on that list.

“Stacks and piles didn’t appear overnight. It took time to accumulate. Getting organized takes time too! Estimate how long you think an area will take and then time yourself. Remember success breeds success. Start small and experience the joy of being organized!” – Laurie Martin

For the full article with more decluttering tips click here.