- OUT WITH THE OLD: Time to declutter.
So it's January, the Sunday ads are full of shelving systems and plastic bins, and you've got a pile of Christmas presents/post-Christmas clearance purchases you need to make room for in your closet. Or maybe you're just broke and you need to sell some stuff to tide you over until President Obama's had time to wave his magic wand over the economy.
Either way, this week I'm not going to write about where you can buy more stuff. I'm going to tell you where you can get rid of what you've already got — either to benefit yourself or to help a worthy non-profit organization that's also feeling the hard-times pinch.
First, the benefit-others route.
There's Goodwill and the Salvation Army, of course. Nothing wrong with those organizations, and Goodwill in particular is convenient, with at least four locations in Little Rock and North Little Rock where you can drop off donations (2904 S. University, 9700 N. Rodney Parham, 1801 Green Mountain Drive and 6929 JFK Blvd.).
But don't forget about the smaller thrifts around town that benefit smaller, locally based charities. Savers (4135 JFK Blvd., NLR, 603-9831) donates a portion of its proceeds to the ARC, which works with people with developmental disabilities. Kaleidoscope Resale Boutique (3608 Kavanaugh Blvd., near Hocott's; 975-6666) is a small store with a great selection that benefits Kaleidoscope Grief Center, an organization that helps children who have lost a loved one. And My Favorite Thrift Store (109 N. Van Buren, 353-0642) raises money for Our House, Little Rock's only homeless shelter that lets families stay together. If you've got women's clothing that would be appropriate for a professional job interview (suits, shoes, jackets, skirts, slacks, handbags, etc.), consider Dress for Success, an organization that helps women move from public assistance to employment. The Little Rock location is inside Lakeshore Baptist Church, 21 Lakeshore Drive near UALR. Donations are accepted on Saturday mornings; call 562-4571 for more info.
Alternately, you can unload your extra stuff through Freecycle. This is an Internet-based group that allows you to send out a mass e-mail listing anything you want to get rid of, and interested members e-mail you back. You choose who gets your stuff, and arrange the how/where/when of the exchange. It's for give-aways only — selling and bartering are strictly prohibited. Sign up for the Central Arkansas group at www.freecycle.org.
Now. If you're a little on the needy side yourself, or perhaps just have some items that seem a little upscale for Goodwill, Little Rock and North Little Rock have several consignment stores that'll help you get a little return on your past investment. Each store will have its own policy, but in general, they want clothes that are in season, in style and in good condition. They'll usually keep the clothes on the racks for a designated period of time, with automatic markdowns taken after a month or two. If your stuff sells, you and the shop split the proceeds. If it doesn't, you can either pick it up or the shop will donate it to charity.
Some of the local options:
Caroline's Children's Consignment Boutique (5915 H. St., 614-9294). Just like the name says, the store specializes in infant and children's clothing, furniture and accessories — particularly high-end designers and formalwear.
Elaine's Closet (7801 Cantrell Road, 223-8655) and Poor Little Rich Girl (611 Beechwood, 664-4440) both carry women's clothing and accessories, from medium-low-end to holy-crap-are-you-serious? high-end (racks of Armani suits with the tags still on at Elaine's, for instance).
Name Brand Second Hand (5107 Warden Road, NLR, 791-7008) has men's, women's and children's, and the merchandise tends to be not so highbrow. And there's also As Good as New (9867 Maumelle Blvd., 791-7311), which I haven't been able to check out yet.
If you can afford to wait a couple of months and don't mind a more labor-intensive and crowd-heavy experience, Little Rock's two major children's consignment sales are good options as well — you can sell women's clothing too (maternity only at Rhea Lana's), not just children's. Spring dates for Rhea Lana's (www.rhealana.com) are Feb. 28-March 7 at the former M.M. Cohn store at McCain Mall, and consigners can already register through the website. The Duck Duck Goose Web site (www.duckduckgoosesale.com) hadn't been updated with spring dates when I checked last weekend, but it's usually in mid-March. These sales are also good places to sell toys, baby furniture and equipment, children's DVDs, etc.
Happy decluttering ...
Sales, tips, etc.?