Article specially written for www.goodwillnm.org by Aline Harper
Clothes are a great way to express yourself but buying into fast fashion is not the most practical or environmentally friendly. An estimated 100 billion new garments are made yearly to satisfy demand. From this, a whopping 85% of textiles in America goes into landfills.
That’s why it’s not surprising that more people are opting to buy preloved instead. Secondhand items are usually more affordable and help lengthen the life cycle of a garment. Many fashionistas are even able to find vintage designer gems at a bargain. If you’re new to thrift shopping or want to do it like the pros, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Dress Appropriately
This rings true for any shopping trip where you plan to walk around. Since you’ll want to cover as much ground as you can, make sure you aren’t in any attire that will be restrictive or uncomfortable. Not all stores have dressing rooms, and the ones that do are often occupied. This means you may have to try things on over your own clothes. Hence, your thrifting outfit should be form-fitting and breathable. Sneakers, leggings, biker shorts, and tanks or slim tees are the most ideal.
2. Know Your Body Type
Many preloved items, especially vintage ones, may not have labels. This can make it difficult to gauge whether an item will fit you properly. To remedy this, measure yourself beforehand. The most important vitals to note are the bust, waist, inseam, and hips. Of course, your build and silhouette should also be taken into consideration. There are no hard rules but generally you want to elongate and accentuate. Stylists agree that plus-sized ladies are blessed with curves they can complement with peplum or pencil cuts. Meanwhile, knee-length sheath and V-neck dresses will elongate smaller girls as noted in a guide to dressing for petites by Pretty Me. Notably, pieces like trench coats and wrap dresses are universally flattering.
3. Plan your shopping list
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the endless bargains around you. It’s likely that you’ll end up buying more than you need and spending more than you meant. To avoid unnecessary purchases, create a physical shopping list. Write down specific brands and pieces that you’re looking for so you have a goal. You can even save pictures that can help you remember. Fashion mood boards, as suggested by The Good Trade, help visualize your style. At the same time, it also helps to review your current wardrobe before a shopping trip. This way you’ll know what items you already have and what new additions will fit in.
4. Don’t feel pressured
When you start shopping, try to focus on just that. We don’t even realize it, but we let our minds think of a dozen different things at once. But researchers at the Cleveland Clinic say multi-tasking doesn’t work. They even go so far as to say it makes us less efficient and prone to mistakes. If you’re out shopping, relax. Make the rounds of the store and focus on just this task. You don’t have to buy anything, either. If what you want isn’t there, save yourself some time and just go to the next store.
5. Know the staff and store
It’s always a good idea to be familiar with the staff. Not only can they help you find elusive pieces, but they’re likely to give you shopping tips. Many clerks will be happy to let you know when a new drop is coming or when they expect to see certain brands pop up. In smaller thrift stores, some clerks also handle the acquirement of each new shipment. They’ll likely know whether you can expect anything special. Many stores have special promos or discounts, too. For example, Goodwill offers a VIP Shopper program where shoppers receive exclusive coupons and advanced notice of sales. You can sign up here www.textgoodwillit.org
Think of shopping for preloved clothes as a stylish adventure that won’t hurt your pocket or the planet. With a little patience and some simple planning, you can unearth dozens of one-of-a-kind treasures.
Spring-cleaning is a time-honored tradition of clearing out the clutter to make way for New Mexico's beautiful spring weather. It's not just a physical clean; it can be great for your mental and emotional health, too. If you want to feel good (and do good), you can set aside gently-used items you no longer want and take them to your closest Goodwill! Now, let's dig into five things you should include in your spring cleaning!
#1: Scrub those walls
Most of us will clean out our closets and scrub out the inside of our kitchen drawers, but have you ever closely inspected your walls? You might not realize how dirty they get over the year. When you're walking by, they may look fine, but take a closer look, and they likely have splotches and spots you didn't even realize were there. Please give them a good wipe-down with a bleach-based cleaner. Clean walls tie a whole room together.
#2: Clean appliances
Our washers and dishwashers are the cornerstones of keeping our homes clean, but they too need to be cleaned from time to time. Washers, dishwashers, toilets, sinks, and other appliances all can have nasty buildup. Most of these appliances have filters that you can clean out. Dishwashers have traps at the bottom you might not realize are there.
You can also buy specially formulated dishwasher cleaner that you simply run during a washing cycle. It's good to combine these with standard dishwasher soap. Clean out the trap on the bottom and give the inner walls a good scrub. Washers also have filters to clean. Wipe down the gasket at the door and the inner lid. Run the washing machine with some detergent and bleach to freshen it up. Shop around; you can also buy cleaners specific to your other appliances.
#3: Soak your shower head
Over time, your shower head can build up minerals from your water. If you've noticed some of the holes getting clogged, or the pressure isn't as good as it used to be, this tip is for you: grab a jug of Lime-Away or a similar product, and soak your showerhead in it overnight. Make sure it's completely submerged. By morning, it should be free from clogs!
#4: Set a timer
If the thought of cleaning your whole house makes you want to cry, it's alright; we've all been there. Try this method: Set a timer on your phone for 10 or 20-minute increments to make it more manageable. In that time, clean as much as you can. You'd be surprised how much you can clean in only 10 minutes. Do this a few times a day, or as many as you are able. In a week or so, your house will look noticeably better. You may even find that you want to keep cleaning!
#5: Donate your old stuff
Many thrifty people love gently-used items, so bringing your unwanted stuff to Goodwill is a way to support the thrifty. It also keeps things out of the landfill, helps the unemployed find local jobs, and makes you feel better because your old stuff just helped in so many ways!
You should know that Goodwill Industries of New Mexico was founded in 1941 with the mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services for New Mexicans. Revenue from the sale of donated items funds an array of free programs and services to individuals in 33 counties of the state. In 2020, Goodwill served over 13,000 individuals and placed 1,124 individuals in community-based employment. That's why we say donating to Goodwill "Feels Good, Does Good!"
Happy spring cleaning!
Written by guest author: Beverly Leesman, Albuquerque NM
Many New Mexicans need a little help these days finding a job. In-person interviews seem like a distant memory. Pandemic restrictions drastically changed how we search for jobs. The traditional interview, where you met your prospective employer at their place of business, seldom happens these days. Recruiters turned to virtual job interviews to maintain safe social distancing and minimize contact. (Steinberg, Scott, 2020) Today’s job hunter needs to get tech-savvy and quick. Goodwill’s Career Specialists can help you.
As of February 1st, Goodwill is offering virtual and in-person consultations with Career Specialists. Our career experts can teach you to navigate a virtual world. You’ll learn how to use video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Meets like a pro. They even help you download the apps and make sure they work on your phone, computer, laptop, or tablet. The benefit is knowing how to use them to aid your job search.
Our Career Specialists will:
Goodwill focuses on work history, polishing up resumes, and providing job leads. If a candidate’s skills strongly match a particular job, we encourage the employer to interview them!
“Sometimes the person with the best interview skills gets the job, not the one with the best skill set,” said Ramon Torres, NM Goodwill Employment Program Manager. “Most people need help because after they don’t get a job, they never find out it was a terrible interview.”
When someone has been out of work for a while, the stress begins to affect their confidence. A lack of confidence shows in subtle ways, often creating a perfect storm that keeps them from landing that next job. The loss of self-confidence can infiltrate a person’s tone of voice, facial expression and body language. Goodwill can boost job seekers confidence by addressing these issues during mock interviews.
“Remember, when you interview,” Ramon Torres advises, “don’t say you are honest, hardworking—these attributes are expected for all employees. They are not considered job skills.”
Other interview tips from Goodwill include:
Torres suggests since your virtual recruiter cannot see your desk, take advantage of your at-home-interview. Put your resume in front of you or taped to a wall. Remember, the interviewer can only see you. Place post-it-notes with talking points on your laptop and get ready to nail that job interview.
And, of course, when interviewing at home, be prepared for the unexpected photobomb or unavoidable interruptions. We love our kids, but no one needs a visit from a toddler during an interview. Inform your recruiter that your dog may furiously bark if Amazon makes a delivery. And above all, watch out for the scene-stealing family cat. (The Pet Collective, 2020) If that happens, show them how well you handle an unexpected crisis.
What to Expect from Goodwill’s Free Job Placement Program
Those over 18 years old and looking for full or part-time work are eligible for this free program. Participants range from less than high school educations to job seekers with multiple degrees. All of them want to improve their interview skills and freshen up their resume. Goodwill Career Specialists help veterans, seniors, young people, the learning disabled (LD), handicapped, and those with audio deficiencies. Job seekers with criminal backgrounds, those with gaps in employment, or transitioning to a new field can also get assistance. (R. Torres, personal communication, January 26, 2021)
Our free program works with all types of job seekers. As long as a person qualifies to work in the US, Goodwill can help with their job search and teach them to market themselves. Plus, our website leads learners to a portal with free online courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Sheets and Docs, Photoshop, and hundreds of others to freshen up outdated computer skills or learn new ones.
Expect to meet with a Career Specialist once a week for 30 minutes to go over your progress.
Where to Find Jobs Today
After the pandemic ends, some jobs may transition back to the workplace; others will not. Call centers; personal shoppers; curbside pickups operations; those who deliver food and goods to homes; and restaurants with established drive-up windows have experienced job growth. Telecom, healthcare, and technology exploded in the number of people needed to fill new jobs. (Steinberg, Scott, 2020) Goodwill’s job placement program can help you find your niche in this fluctuating job market.
As national chains closed their doors and local small businesses disappeared, New Mexico suffered. Our unemployment rate rose to 8.8% in December 2020, when the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 6.7%. That translated to 10.7 million Americans out of work across the country. (Johnston, Stacy, 2021) Before the pandemic put our state in lockdown last Spring, we had an employee-friendly market. New Mexico flipped to a pro-employer job market during the pandemic with the coronavirus restrictions and high infection rates—too many applicants for too few jobs. And that is what makes finding a job in this world-wide pandemic a challenge.
Worse, there are also new risks associated with virtual job hunting. Sophisticated scammers only want your information, web histories, and web footprint to sell. Avoiding shady marketing scams, pop-up ads, and bogus phone calls keeps you safe. When you receive an unsolicited email with odd typos, broken English, or from a company you never contacted, be leery. If a recruiter offers you a job for which you are not qualified, think twice about replying. That ploy is called a “hook” or a “con,” meant to get you so excited you fall for their scam. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Our Goodwill Career Specialists can show you how to spot schemes.
Now You Know that Goodwill Finds People Jobs. Want to be One?
If you are ready to get expert help finding a new job there are two easy ways to get started. Call 505-881-6401 or click here: https://www.goodwillnm.org/job-search-help.html and submit your application to participate. There are no obligations, no hoops to jump through and no reasons why you shouldn’t take advantage of this free help.
Goodwill Industries of New Mexico was founded in 1941 with the mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services for New Mexicans. Goodwill® provides a wide array of free programs and services to individuals in 33 counties of the state. In 2021, Goodwill's goal is to serve 21,100 individuals and place 1750 individuals in community-based employment. For more information about Goodwill and its programs and services, visit https://www.goodwillnm.org/free-services.html.
Johnston, Stacy. (2021, January 26). “Current News Release: Economic Update January 26, Jobs State of New Mexico, US, Workforce Connection.” New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). (Accessed 2021, January 31.) https://www.jobs.state.nm.us/gsipub/index.asp?enc=JdKtFhuODzQ+aO5C6MuCGQ==
Steinberg, Scott. (2020, May 24). “Coronavirus hiring: How Recruiters are selecting and interviewing job candidates during the pandemic.” CNBC @AKEYNOTESPEAKER. (Accessed 2021, January 30.) https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/24/how-recruiters-select-and-interview-job-candidates-amid-coronavirus.html
The Pet Collective. (2020, August 3). “The Pet Collective. “Cats on Zoom Calls” episode of Try Not to Laugh.” [Video]. YouTube and Facebook. (Accessed 2021, Jan. 31.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=762tbD11LxI; (Original Source) https://www.facebook.com/thepetcollective/videos/287253372699156
A great way to find hidden treasures at Goodwill New Mexico is by shopping at our Clearance Corner store. This store is unlike our other retail locations. The merchandise is displayed in large bins and separated by categories; hardline (houseware, tools, equipment) and softline (textiles). Shoppers can move easily through the wide aisles and search through the bins. Plus, we refresh the inventory hourly, so there is always an opportunity to find amazing items. Items are priced by the pound. At Clearance Corner, your entire cart is weighed, and you pay a single price a check-out. And now your shopping experience can be even more exciting because we've moved to a larger location and increased our store hours. Clearance Corner will reopen, in its new location, on January 4th, 2020.
New Location and Hours
New Location: 5000 San Mateo Blvd, NE Albuquerque, NM.
New Hours: Mon-Fri: 9AM - 2PM
For more info call us at (505)881-6566
This year has been tough on everyone. During these stressful unprecedented times of the pandemic, it could be easy to neglect self-care. However, our culture is truly changing, and taking time for self-care and relaxation is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity!
Whether you like to relax solo or find solace with family on a casual night in, self-care is more than just slathering layers of moisturizer on your face and gearing up for a bubble bath. Self-care is about being conscious of what you are eating, reading, and watching. It's about creating a healthy environment and thoughtfully choosing how to spend your time. Self-care even extends to the clothing and housewares you choose to surround yourself with. And this is where Goodwill becomes a great resource!
According to Elizabeth Beecroft, an LMSW quoted in a recent article published on Refinery29.com, "the act of getting dressed is directly tied to your mental health. "Getting dressed in the morning can play a role in your mood throughout the day and lead to further productivity, optimism, motivation, and an overall improved mood."
Your local Goodwill is packed with luxurious fabrics and cozy textiles. Could you find instant calm by wrapping yourself in silk, cashmere, fleece, or chenille? Probably! Especially if it only costs a few dollars! And what's so wrong with looking decadent while couch surfing?
Goodwill also offers hundreds of home decor items and furnishings that can spice up your space. Our homes have become our sanctuaries, and the way our environments look and feel has become paramount. So, pull yourself out of the recliner and make a trip to the closest Goodwill store. You'll get some fresh air and probably find something inspiring for only a few dollars! We have 12 retail stores across New Mexico and three specialty stores. Explore the savings Goodwill has to offer! Your self-care routine will thank you!
Veterans, veteran family members, and other unemployed New Mexicans in need will continue to receive free services through Goodwill’s new virtual platform. This means that qualifying New Mexico veterans and their family members who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can receive help with job placement, temporary housing, rent, utilities, childcare, emergency supplies, assistance with VA or other public benefits, and much more.
Additionally, the virtual services provide critical job placement assistance to any unemployed New Mexican. Goodwill can introduce job seekers to an extensive partner network of local employers who are hiring now. “New Mexicans need Goodwill’s free programs and services now more than ever. It was an obvious choice for us to adapt to offering services virtually,” says Goodwill’s Marketing Manager, Pamela Russom.
As a nonprofit partner in New Mexico for 79 years, Goodwill remains committed to advancing its mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services to New Mexicans. Goodwill offers free programs and services to individuals in 33 counties of the state. In 2019, Goodwill served over 20,000 individuals and placed over 1600 individuals in community-based employment.
Halloween is going to be different this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued recommendations and guidelines for low- and high-risk Halloween activities. Those guidelines can be found here. The guidelines are advising against traditional activities like door-to-door trick or treating. But New Mexico's parents are getting creative and thinking of ways to celebrate Halloween in the house!
"There is no way the pandemic will stop our Goodwill DIY shoppers from celebrating Halloween safely. Those we have spoken with tell us they are not going door-to-door, instead, they are planning to have fun in the house. They also want to spend way less money to celebrate. This makes Goodwill a perfect place to shop for Halloween décor and clothing pieces for DIY costumes", says Goodwill Marketing Manager, Pamela Russom.
Goodwill wants all New Mexico kids and kids-at-heart to have fun this Halloween! So, we put our heads together and did a little research to determine what parents across the country are planning. Here are some of the fantastic Halloween ideas we found!
DIY Halloween costumes from Goodwill are the trend for 2020! Parents are looking for old clothing that can be altered, distressed, or repurposed. Among the most popular costume ideas are everyday heroes like police, doctors, and nurses and the good old-fashioned choices such as zombies, kitty cats, and creepy dolls.
Our team of Halloween "experts" this year are kids ranging from 7 – 13 years old. Within 10 minutes of starting their shopping adventure at our Goodwill store on San Mateo Blvd, they found inexpensive clothing, shoes, and accessories to create their DIY costume. Each costume should cost you less than $20 even after you include the price of make-up and other accessories that you may not find at Goodwill.
Here are supply lists, prices, and our "easy to make" ratings for the three DIY costumes we tried:
Interest in supplies for Halloween craft projects is at an all-time high at Goodwill. We narrowed our DIY choices to the easiest and most entertaining projects we could find.
Spell Book = $2.99 (price may vary)
What you need: Old books from Goodwill, mod-podge (make it yourself) paper towels, string or yarn, candle, black, brown, white paint (make it yourself)
This spell-binding project is only moderately messy. Prep your
workspace with a trash bag or paper bags to avoid mishaps.
Trash Bag Spider Webs = $.99 (price may vary)
What you need: black trash bags, plastic spiders, scissors
You may not need to leave the house to pull off this project. Although, the Halloween section at your Goodwill has tons of plastic spiders looking for a good home. Plus, kids of all ages will enjoy this inexpensive project. Just watch the younger children if you allow them to use scissors.
Head in a Jar = $2.99 (price may vary)
What you need: A jar or glass container, a rubber Halloween mask
This is a hands-down favorite of Goodwill. We always have old jars (containers) and Halloween masks on hand. Plus, even the youngest
kids can handle this craft project. So easy, so spooky, so fun!
Ok, Albuquerque Moms and Dads, what's the Halloween plan? The New Mexico Governor's Office has shared CDC guidelines on high-risk Halloween activities. Guidelines call for no door-to-door trick or treating. Boooooooo!
But don't get witchy about it! Instead, cast a spell to create your own indoor fun! Would you like a few fun and economical ideas for celebrating in the house? Don't worry; Goodwill’s got you covered on supplies for affordable fun!
Catherine Roster, Professor of Marketing, Anderson School of Management, University of New Mexico thinks it may have! Dr. Roster is a consumer behavior researcher who specializes in consumers’ decisions about getting rid of possessions and the impact of clutter on consumers’ health, safety, and psychological well-being. She graciously shared her findings from a recent project with Goodwill Industries of New Mexico.
Findings from Dr. Roster
Recently, I interviewed a group of professional organizers, experts who help people declutter for a living. My goal was to learn how the pandemic had impacted people’s motivation to declutter. Most agreed that their clients were highly motivated to clear out spaces in their homes. It was surprising to learn that people’s decluttering motivations varied widely, depending on their personal circumstances. For those who were fortunate enough to have extra time on their hands, the pandemic represented an opportunity to organize, redecorate, or transform spaces for different uses or purposes. But many people all of a sudden found their work and home were colliding. Stuff piled on the dining room table had to be cleared out quickly to serve as the children’s schoolroom. Bedrooms became dorm rooms for adult children kids returning from college, or home offices for telecommuting adults. There were not enough hours in the day as people assumed new responsibilities, like homeschooling while trying to do their jobs. For these folks, extra time did not create the decluttering. Immediate needs drove it, and this only added to the stress of the pandemic.
I also learned from the focus group that people cared less about what happened to the things they decided to get rid of - they simply wanted them gone. They no longer had the luxury of storing bags of items while deciding if they wanted to donate or sell them. Those storage spaces, like closets, sheds, and garages, were being taken up by toilet paper and canned goods!
In some ways, the pandemic may have helped people with a tendency to hang onto everything. Several of the organizers remarked that clients of theirs who formerly had a great deal of difficulty getting rid of things became more decisive and gained more clarity as to what was really valuable in their lives during the pandemic. One told a story about a client who realized “she doesn’t need 50 pairs of shoes in different shades of the same color.” Others noted that clients were more willing to be creative in re-imagining spaces. And perhaps most importantly, all of the organizers agreed that people gained a new awareness of the value of family instead of things.
In today’s throwaway world, it’s more important than ever to reuse the things we already have in circulation. The process of upcycling involves taking something old or already used, and repurposing and revamping it into something even better. Whether you’re new to the concept of upcycling furniture or you’re just curious, and want a DIY project, there are lots of ways you can take existing items and give them new life. Read on to discover more about products you can upcycle yourself to enjoy unique products for the home while contributing to a greener world.
The Benefits of UpcyclingUpcycling furniture is a great way to reuse items and give them a fun personal touch. There are many amazing benefits to upcycling, including:
Upcycling Ideas for Different RoomsFrom your home’s entryway to the bathroom and beyond, there are several ways you can use upcycling to add new looks and new furniture to various rooms.