Decluttering and Donating
When thoughts of simplified spaces finally convince us to pare down our possessions, the first thing that comes to mind is donating the excess. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Lupus, Vietnam Vets are all great organizations who have historically taken the collective castoffs of our consumerism. Their pickup and drop off services are very convenient, where available, and the thrill of having goods out of the house and hopefully into the hands of those in need is wonderful. However, being selective about what you donate and where takes a little more time, but can greatly increase the chances that your goods will be put to good use.
It is helpful to recognize how we got here in the first place. Americans have never had a need that a product couldn’t fill. Thanks to a burgeoning economy, having the latest and greatest was as close as a click. The capacity to enjoy and store our once-prized possessions eventually diminishes, though, and an all-out decluttering effort is in order.
Hanging onto things we no longer need, use or love is what creates the clutter in our homes, but letting go of them is harder. There can be many reasons for this reluctance – regret over money spent, perceived or sentimental value, guilt about having accumulated so much stuff, or fear that it may be needed in the future.
Being thoughtful about purchases going forward can go a long way in keeping our homes clutter-free. Being thoughtful about how to let go of things is also important.
If you feel something has value, and you have time to pursue a sale, go onto E-Bay and see what the market will bear. The same goes for local online sites, like FaceBook Marketplace or Let Go. Yard sales, in theory, have been traditional venues for turning your cast-offs into cash, but the time spent preparing, advertising and haggling can leave you exhausted and without much to show for it. Be realistic about any process; you want a good return on your investment of time.
When it is time to donate, think local. Are there any organizations who can use your specific items, such as a church or transitional housing agency, or a thrift shop that benefits a hospital or food pantry? Can a school, daycare or library use any of your goods? Freecycle is another option to get things directly into the hands of those who can use them. College Hunks Hauling Junk are known to have warehousing facilities that local organizations can “shop” from when the need arises. While not a free service, this company finds good homes for your items. Some communities have drop off bins in parking lots or municipal buildings, but too often, they are dumping grounds for people anxious to unload anything.
When local options are few, then consider calling national organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Purple Heart and the like. Some of these groups give the items to those in need, others sell them to raise money.
Lastly, be selective about what you donate. Don’t give away dirty/stained or broken items, outdated clothing, threadbare linens or outdated technology items. Ask yourself if you would buy it. If not, chances are it will never go to someone in need, as many organizations will discard it after pickup.
Nothing beats the feeling of an organized home, but be thoughtful about how you pass on your excess. And remember that feeling of “too much” before you make your next purchase.
Contact Organized to a T and start simplifying your spaces!
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Hillsborough, NJ – (908) 812-4882