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How I Saved More than $200 AND Cleaned Out My Closet (At the Same Time!)

This post is sponsored by thredUP. Which is awesome because thredUP is a company I’ve been using for several years and totally love. The opinions and experiences and clutter-prone closets and modeling/fashion-ability-or-lack-thereof are all mine. The photography skills (or lack thereof) are my kids’.

SecondHand Shopping AND Cleaning Out my Closet with thredUP

I love a bargain. Sometimes too much. Part of my deslobification process has been cutting way back on willy-nilly, out-in-the-wild bargain hunting trips.

But I still have a condition that prevents me from paying full price.

Enter thredUP. thredUP is a huge online store that buys and sells high-quality secondhand fashion for women and kids, always up to 90% off retail price. 

thredup box

Things you should know about thredUP :

First of all, the stuff is CUTE. And high quality.

Seriously. thredUP is very picky about accepting and selling on-trend items and name brands, so there are no polyester pantsuits to shove out of the way until you find something awesome. It’s all awesome.

Secondly, my amazingly distractible mind gets the chance to focus. When I bargain shop, my goal is to find high-quality stuff in great condition. thredUP allows me to find exactly that by typing in the exact brand and size I’m looking for, and even in a specific color or style.

For example, I don’t have to browse through all the tops in my size. I can sort by sleeve length and neckline. If you don’t like turtlenecks, you don’t have to wade through turtlenecks to find what you need.

For example, this:

FInding Exactly what I need at thredUP

I needed a new navy tank top to go with this cardigan I already had. I found a navy tank top in my size, no digging required. (And doesn’t it look good with those new booties and my new jeans!)

And then there’s my favorite aspect of secondhand shopping with thredUP: major discounts on expensive brands.

I put the first outfit pictured together for 69.96 (vest-$14.99, top-$9.99, jeans-$28.99, boots-$15.99). The retail value of the outfit was $275 (vest-$60, top-$36, jeans-$119 and boots-$60) . That’s a 74% savings.

But let’s talk specifically about the jeans, I’ve developed some major brand loyalty to Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. About a year ago, I got some from thredUP. They live up to any and all hype I’d heard about them. They fit well, maintain their shape (unlike most jeans that fit great right after they’re washed but then sag like crazy after wearing them for an hour), and they’re comfortable.

I’d worn my other pair of NYDJ on a plane. ON A PLANE, y’all. Where anything that binds or itches or pokes gives me crazy eyes. That plane ride turned me into a fan, and I needed another pair of these jeans. (The first pair I have was an animal-print.)

But they’re expensive jeans. Over $100 jeans. But on thredUP , I got them for less than $30. Those are the jeans I’m wearing in all of these pics.

So, as I change my clutter-prone mindset toward Quality over Quantity (spend the money to get one thing that performs amazingly instead of six things that are mediocre), thredUP lets me do that.

But there’s more. 

The Clean Out bag.

thredUP bag

I named the post “Cleaning Out the Closet with thredUP , right? It can’t be all about getting new (to me) clothes . . . 

Can you believe how big that bag is? AND, it’s pre-labeled and ready to go.

In my own deslobification process I’ve learned: THE key to preventing a cluttered closet is to accept that the size of the closet determines how many clothes I can have. More clothes than will fit in my closet = an out of control closet. An out of control closet = clothes all over the floor and clothes all over the everywhere.

And the key to getting new stuff (no matter how awesome and no matter how amazingly priced) and not letting an under control closet turn into an out of control closet is to follow the One In One Out Rule.

Meaning, once I have decluttered my clothing down to what I can keep under control easily in the closet I have, I must get rid of something in the closet each time I bring a new thing into my closet.

Closet

I started looking at the clothes in my closet with new eyes.

What do I not love as much as my new stuff? 

Once I asked myself that question, it was easy to identify the top that doesn’t look as great when I’m wearing it as it does when I think about myself wearing it.

And the top that has been too small for too long.

And the jeans that are nice, but not as nice as the new ones I’ve worn more than once in the last week while this pair sat ignored.

So I grabbed those things, and kept on grabbing. Surprisingly quickly, I’d found enough to almost fill the bag.

filled thredUP bag

And bonus, I found even more things that I stuck in my Donate Box. Remember how I told you thredUP is picky about what it accepts? As I pulled things out of the closet, I put the usable but not perfect stuff in the Donate Box.

Even more decluttering happened than I intended. Yay for that!

My Other FInds at thredUP

Other things to know about thredUP:

thredUP is very honest about how picky they are about the things they accept to sell. And how they accept things. And what they do with the things that are not accepted. And how you get paid.

If you have a million questions, the thredUP site most likely answers them, along with one hundred you didn’t even know you had. I encourage you to check it out, as their process and their mission to make shopping secondhand easier is impressive.

I’m calling this sponsored post a major win. I got great bargains on super cute secondhand clothes without leaving my home. The clothes arrived on my doorstep in a super cute box. I also One-In-TWO-Outed my closet without leaving my house.

The clothes in the bag are already gone. I followed a link on the thredUP site to have my mailman pick up the bag from my house the day after I filled the bag. I just set a reminder on my phone so I wouldn’t forget to put it outside my front door! Setting up a pickup with USPS is incredibly easy.

These are all clothes I probably would have eventually donated, so it’s exciting to have the motivation to get them out of my house and see what I will get for my nicer stuff! I’m choosing to get credit on thredUP (I’ll keep on one-inning-one-outing), but I could choose to get paid or to have any proceeds donated to charity.

And here’s the most exciting part! thredUP is offering A Slob Comes Clean readers a special discount! The first 100 people to use my code CLEAN40 will get an extra 40% off their first order! (Applies to new customers only. Discount up to $50). Click HERE to shop now!

Secondhand shopping at thredUP

--Nony

My Chance to Serve as an Aflac Holiday Helper #AflacHolidayHelpers #ad

This post is sponsored by Aflac. I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100% mine.
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Sometimes, this crazy job I have brings the most amazing opportunities. A few weeks ago, one of those opportunities hit my inbox, and I replied with a “YES!!!! I’d love to do that!” so fast that I’m sure the person who sent the email assumed it had bounced back.

I was asked to serve as an Aflac Holiday Helper for a family in my community who had to take time off work due to an accident or a major health event. The ripple effect of the financial burden caused by an unplanned health event can be especially compounded around the holidays. This is the inspiration behind the #AflacHolidayHelpers program.

By partnering with online influencers across the country, and celebrity parents Kevin and Danielle Jonas, Aflac will give a combined $50,000 this holiday season to help families who are going through particularly challenging times due to recent health events. The individuals that Aflac is reaching out to may need help with things like getting into the holiday spirit, decorating their homes, preparing holiday meals or shopping for loved ones – things most families take for granted – because their financial situation has been significantly impacted by out-of-pocket costs associated with their unexpected health event.

#AflacHolidayHelpers are fulfilling holiday wishes like providing families with presents, treating a family to a day of excursions in their city, decorating homes for the holidays and much more.

Did I know someone in that situation whom I could help?

Yes. I did. I totally did.

Maria.

Maria was my oldest son’s fourth grade teacher, and our family has known hers for many years. Maria is the kind of teacher you hope your child gets. She’s the teacher who turns kids on to learning. My son came home every day that year, telling story after story of what he’d been learning in her class.

But Maria has been on a leave of absence from teaching for most of 2016, because of her commitment to be her husband’s fulltime caregiver during his fight with cancer. She has always been one of the most on the go people I’ve ever known, traveling to speech tournaments almost every weekend with her own high school kids, planning experience-based travel for her family, or volunteering in scouts or church or some other capacity in our community.

Making our list

When Maria and I sat down to figure out which needs I could help meet with this project, the most difficult part was helping her admit what she really did need. She’d already bought gifts for her kids, so we budgeted out the money in other ways to help them with other out-of-pocket costs during the holidays which are made extra stressful by the difficult circumstances. We arranged for a housecleaner (so she wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning before extended family arrives), decided on a tablet as a family gift, and took care of meals so she wouldn’t need to worry about meal planning or cooking and could focus on spending time with her family. I even talked her into letting me get her some spa treatments to enjoy with her daughter over the holiday break from school – a much deserved respite for the woman tirelessly taking such good care of her husband and family.

And then I asked, “Is there an appliance you fear will go out soon?” Her eyes lit up and she sighed with relief. “My dishwasher is going to be completely gone any time now.”

Maria’s husband had fixed her there-when-they-bought-the-house dishwasher many times, but was no longer able to work on it the way he could in the past because of his diagnosis.

You know me, right? So you know how thrilled I was to go dishwasher shopping!

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I was so glad to help provide some dishwashing excitement in Maria’s life. It might not seem related to cancer, but these everyday expenses are what oftentimes get put on the backburner when a family is dealing with a major health event like cancer and the resulting medical bills. I’m also so thankful to have the opportunity to help ease some of her holiday stress at this difficult time.

I am so sad to say, though, that Maria’s husband lost his long battle with cancer just after we started working on this project. I hope that having some financial stress removed can help during this incredibly difficult time as she, her family, and our entire community grieve his loss.

aflaclogo

Aflac is there in your time of need – big or small. To learn more about Aflac, visit www.aflac.com/lifestyle. Along with the holiday and winter season comes winter sports and hobbies, like skiing. Aflac recently debuted a new ad, “Ski Patrol,” which takes a light-hearted approach to highlighting how life sometimes throws you the unexpected that can ultimately impact you and your family’s lifestyle. The commercial reminds us to make sure we’re protecting our health and our lifestyle with help from supplemental insurance, like Aflac’s.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.

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--Nony

Using Dawn to Clean More than Just Dishes

Cleaning the Fish Kitchen with Dawn Dish Soap ASlobComesClean.com

I’m excited to once again serve as a Dawn Wildlife Ambassador!

Two years ago, I traveled to California with Dawn to experience firsthand the work done by The Marine Mammal Center. Dawn is a huge supporter of this organization and so many other wildlife organizations including The International Bird Rescue.

This relationship between Dawn and wildlife rescue is real. You’ve seen the oil-covered birds being washed in Dawn, right? Well, Dawn is used all over The Marine Mammal Center as well, though not on the animals.

Photo Credit - Susan Goldman

Photo Credit – Susan Goldman

While we were there, we had the chance to help out the volunteers in their day to day duties around the center. The center is basically a hospital for marine mammals who are injured in the wild, and brought in for rehabilitation. We used Dawn to clean, well . . . ummm . . . . everything.  We cleaned the entire kitchen (where they grind up the fish for “yummy” fishshakes for the sea lions) with Dawn, and we cleaned the crates they use to transport animals. They spend so much time and energy getting injured animals to the center and healed animals back to the wild. (Did I mention that the people working there are volunteering their time?)

washing-a-car-with-dawn

We even cleaned the trucks using Dawn.

So even though I already used Dawn for many different cleaning tasks in my home before that trip, over the last two years I’ve expanded my bag of cleaning-with-Dawn tricks.

I always squirt a little on a wet dishrag as I’m wiping down counters. I love to sling a circle of Dawn around my sink to give it a good (and super fast) scrubbing with a dish scrubber. I squirt some in small buckets of water and hand them to my kids so they can clean outdoor furniture, or their bikes, or anything else that needs cleaning.

My daughter used one of those Dawn-plus-water buckets to spiffy up her play kitchen that she’ll be selling soon.

And, of course, I use it on Scruffy:

Oh my word, isn't she even cuter when she's wet??

I decided if it’s good enough for the birds . . .

No, really. I’ve heard from so many people since I started working with Dawn about all of the ways they like to use this versatile not-just-for-dirty-dishes cleaner. One thing I hear over and over again is how people who deal with puppies love to bathe them in Dawn. It’s safe for the dog while also being amazingly effective.

One way I haven’t tried using Dawn, but definitely will is on grease stains on laundry. I despise grease stains on my kids’ shirts (fine, and my shirts), and it makes sense that Dawn’s grease-cutting power would be effective on those stains.  I’ll let you know my results.

61% of Americans use dish soap for other purposes besides cleaning dishes!

Tell me the ways you use Dawn! 

Disclosure: I’m a paid ambassador for Dawn, but the obsession with using it to clean as many things as I possibly can is all mine! 

--Nony

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