1. Clean & Toss for Charity
It's the season of spring cleaning and perhaps you feel like thinking outside the Salvation Army box? (If not, click here for their pick up service or for drop-off information.)
Here are other organizations in the metro D.C. area that accept "gently used" clothing, household items, and more:
bikes and usable bike parts to provide transport to those in the developing world
books to students
suits/dress clothes for men seeking employment
clothing for those in need
suits and accessories for men seeking employment
fitness and sports equipment for foster homes, schools, and rehab centers
clothing, working electronics, furniture, housewares, computer-related items
home furnishings, appliances, decor
functional cell phones for domestic abuse survivors
DVDs for pediatric hospital libraries
cell phones recycled to purchase water filtration systems
stuffed animals to children in hospitals, refugee camps, natural disaster areas
running gear for those in need throughout the world
paperback books to troops
clothing and household items to fund veteran initiatives
household items, toiletries
shoes for those in need
toys and games
2. eBay Valet + Fed Ex = Easy Selling
Or maybe you want to see if you if can get a little cash for something a bit more valuable?
eBay and FedEx have recently partnered to make it easy to sell your designer duds (click here for their list of acceptable clothing, shoe, handbag brands) electronics, high-end kitchen appliances, musical instruments, sporting goods, and collectibles.
Your local FedEx drop-off center will package your item and it to an eBay Valet who will photograph, list, and ship your item when it sells. The eBay Valet will keep you posted on the status of your item and will take a 20% cut of the sale price. Find your nearest drop-off center and more information about eBay Valet here.
3. Phenomenal Photomyne
As the owner of four generations of photo albums, including some fabulous-yet-oh-so-delicate 90-year-old black paper scrapbook albums, I've been waiting for a phone app like Photomyne.
Aim your device at an entire album page, over multiple photos laid out on a table, or even at a photo mounted under plastic -- press the camera button and do a happy dance: the apps's software will separate the individual prints into a digital equivalent and automatically enhance the photo.
When I tested it out, I found I did have to adjust the cropping a little, and in some cases, the colors came out a tiny bit darker than the photo, but it was most definitely worth the $4.99.
4. AP Stylebook Has Spoken
Consider yourself warned: There are only mere days left to capitalize the words internet and web with total abandon. Effective June 1st, there will be no more more capping, say AP Stylebook.
You should also be aware that dashcam and voicemail are now officially one word, it should be cross-dresser instead of transvestite, and the Chicago train system is L, not El -- and no quote marks will be necessary with that, thank you.
5a. E-ZPass Flex
If you often take advantage of toll-free travel in the interstate 495 and 95 Express Lanes with three people in your car want want to drive for free, you should contact VDOT to get the E-ZPass Flex. The Flex device works the same as the standard E-ZPass, but has an added toggle switch that allows travelers to designate themselves as either toll-paying or HOV-3+ vehicles before entering the roadway. You can get more information and order here.
5b. All Eyes on the Luggage
Chronic key losers who are happily synced up with the handy Tile device might to consider buying a multi-pack before summer vacation. Tile suggests you put them in your luggage to keep tabs of your checked bags. Read here for more information. They are also available on Amazon.
5c. Pretending You Know Your Wine
Bon Appetit has your back here if you need help faking wine wisdom.
5d. Hope for Hamilton
Your chances of getting tickets to the record-breaking, Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony Award-nominated, Broadway show hit just increased--by a fraction. Read here for tips for scoring the coveted tickets. In the meantime, "you gotta fend for yourself" with YouTube.
6. Father's Day Gift Alert
The inventors of Bottlekeeper have a good gift idea for the father who likes his beer cold--and quite protected--as the Bottlekeeper is "padded for serious impact", lined with neoprene, and has a cap to seal the bottle. You can order it in 12 oz. and 22 oz. sizes, in five different colors, and if Dad has been extra good this year, you can toss in a sports decal and/or a handy bottle opener.