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Get Ready for the Chiristmas Influx of Gifts

Christmas is right around the corner, and everyone’s excited about the holidays and the gifts that may be waiting under the tree. With so many wonderful goodies waiting to move into the home, it’s time to get rid of some of the old stuff. The challenge for many families is deciding what they’ll get rid of and when.  Well, here’s a few ideas that just may inspire you.

 The Toy Exchange
This is a fantastic opportunity to teach your kids how to purge. Talk to them about the holidays and that there will likely be new toys and other items coming in. Tell them that it’s time to make room for the treasures by getting rid of some old stuff, and then have them help you sort through the toys to decide what they want to send off to charity or the trash bin.

If your child feels overwhelmed by this task, then start with the obvious choices. Purge any toys that are broken or missing parts. Consider how long it’s been since your son or daughter played with a certain toy. Things that have been outgrown can be sent to charity thrift stores, and the broken items can be tossed in the trash.

Focus on the Closets
Quite often, it’s the hidden areas that fill up first. When you clear out the closets, you’ll more space to move around and store your new favorite items. Cleaning out closets is easier than you think. With clothes, just ask yourself if you’ve worn it in the last year.  What happened the last time you put it on?  Did you take it off because the color wasn’t quite right? Maybe it felt a little tight around the neck.  Take that shirt and toss it in the donation bag. Do the same thing with your kids. Tell them that your feelings won’t be hurt by any of the clothes they decide to get rid of, and encourage them to purge that closet.

The other storage closets can be a little tricky, but there’s an easy way to get rid of the excess items.  Start by grabbing a small portable table, your trash can, and a donation box. Remove items from the closet starting at the top shelf. If you think it’s worth keeping, then put it on the table. Otherwise, decide if it should go in the trash or to donation. Once the “keep” items are on the table, you can easily see how many duplicates you have and get rid of those. Before long, you’ll have more storage space in your closets and less junk throughout the house.

Get Creative with Disposal
You don’t have to send those unwanted items to the garbage. Places like Salvation Army are happy to take your extra serving platters, kitchen accessories, and bedding that’s in good condition. Call your local homeless shelter to see if they can use any clothing or shoes that are still in great shape. If you have items that are in really good condition and you feel like they can be sold, then get them listed with apps like Let It Go and Offer Up. Finally, think twice before throwing away any bedding that’s a little worn or stained. While the charities may not want this, animal shelters can use those old towels, sheets and blankets!  Call the APL in your city to find out how you can go about making donations.

The holidays are almost here, and you can start the new year off right with a clean home. Here at JDog, we work in all kinds of weather, so the ice and snow don’t slow us down too much. If you need help getting rid of the old stuff so that you have room for the new, then give us a call today for your free, on-site consultation.

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Fun Ways to Creep up Your House this Halloween

It may be August, but Halloween is already creeping into stores. This slow invasion of zombies and witches isn’t a bad thing as it reminds you that the seasons are changing and you may want to shift gears yourself. Rather than waiting until the last minute and then tossing out a few inflatables, consider going all out this year to really spook up the house and make it more frightening to people passing by. Here are a few fun and interesting ideas that just might give you inspiration while using up some old things you’ve got lying around the house. 

Ring Around the Ghostie
Imagine walking your pooch around the block one early fall night and seeing a ring of ghosts dancing around a fire in your neighbor’s yard. Yeah, that’s the response we’re looking for here. It’s easy to do with a little creativity. Use yard stakes to support your circle of ghosts. With sheets or white trash bags, fashion a head that you can fill with leaves and then tape off the neck using clear packing tape. Pull opposing corners out to either side so the ghosts can hold “hands.” To create the fire in the center of the ring, just put a pile of orange holiday lights under a smattering of leaves. Make sure that you use LED lights for the lower temperature levels.


If you have little girls who’ve outgrown some dresses that have seen better days, then you can use the dresses over the sheets for a slightly creepier look.

The Lazy Skeleton
Did your skeleton from last Halloween fall apart? Don’t fret – you can still use that decoration!  Just toss the loose bones in a wheelbarrow along with a bunch of leaves and maybe some loose dirt. Park it right by the front sidewalk with a sign asking for a proper burial.

A Hidden Entryway
If you have a covered porch, then you can have fun creeping out your front entrance. Hide the entryway from view with a thick layer of fake spiderwebs, tea-stained cheesecloth, or even some old flat sheets that have been shredded. Try to go with solid black or white colors to make the finished product extra creepy. Finish off the look by hanging spiders on your pillars or letting a few skeletons climb over your railings.

That Witchy Feeling
As you go through your decorations, are you finding a good collection of witches hats, robes, and cloaks? Add some natural brooms to the mix and then hang them in your foyer. Your friends will wonder who’s moving in, and you’ll put those old decorations to good use.

As you sort through your old decorations, take time to purge the items you rarely use. Donate them, sell them through Facebook Marketplace, or just toss them in the garbage. You’ll have less to worry about next year and it will open up some space in your storage area. If you need help with the purging, then call JDog and see how easy we can make it.