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Friday, December 26, 2008

Resolve before the New Year

Ann-Marie Luciano Bio

As the holidays come to a close and the New Year approaches, many of us begin to think about getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. The New Year often brings pledges of resolutions so big that we often never end up having enough resolve to follow through. With the economy still faltering and more and more people losing their jobs and/or benefits, the end of the year is the perfect time to think about efficiency and simplicity before 2009.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Do you have one of those post-holiday stacks of trinkets, over sized sweaters and contraptions that you'll never use? Do you have a basement full of items for the Spring garage sale? The end of the year, after you receive so many new things, is a perfect time to reduce all of the unwanted stuff in our lives that take over our closets, basements, attics, garages and sometimes our peace of mind.

Replace the old with the new. It's a two-for-one deal: you can reduce the clutter in your life while giving to others who are less fortunate (plus you can get a tax deduction for your donations – make sure to get a receipt). There are many local organizations seeking donations, especially during these tough economic times when more and more residents rely on donated or reduced price clothes and goods. The following is a list of some of these organizations:

Goodwill Industries
400 E. Church St.
Frederick, MD
(301) 662-0622

5831 Buckeystown Pike
Frederick, MD
(301) 668-5363

Salvation Army
223 W. 5th St.
Frederick, MD
(301) 662-2311

467 W. Patrick St. #8
Frederick, MD (301) 631-2489

As another alternative, think about how you can recycle the things that you do have. Aside from regifting, there are many creative projects you can do just by using old buttons, scrap ribbon and old candles lying around your house.

Creating gifts out of recycled materials are great projects for kids, perfect for this holiday time when kids are off from school and looking for things to do other than playing with their holiday toys. There are many websites dedicated to the subject, such as

Entire books are dedicated to this subject as well, such as the book I received on Christmas morning, Recycled Crafts Box, by Laura C. Martin. Whatever you decide, figuring out ways to eliminate the clutter in our lives often brings the spirit of renewal we long for with a New Year.


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