If you are looking to donate things but are confused on how and where to begin, here are some tried and true ways to donate your belongings easily.
Before we walk through the suggestions, take a step back and really look at your items carefully. Are they in good shape? Clothes with holes or stains, or damaged furniture may not be good items to give away unless the person accepting them has the skill to repurpose them like a tailor, artist or a carpenter.
1. Ask friends/family
You may have seen some prior blog posts of mine where I talk about hand-me-downs. I have two daughters with a 19 month age difference, so needless to say, the younger one gets a lot of hand-me-downs. However, both daughters have benefited greatly from hand-me-downs from other family members. I believe if there is something you have that is in good shape, instead of throwing it away, try to get more use out of it. It feels good and it's better for the planet, and it could save someone a lot of money!
I have been lucky because my sister-in-law also has 2 girls older than mine so we got not only clothes from them, but furniture, books, toys, strollers - all kinds of useful things to help when we had kids. We likely saved thousands of dollars over the years utilizing these items. Also, there is something nostalgic about seeing one of your daughters in an outfit that her older cousin wore a long time ago. In fact, since kids grow so fast, we have seen outfits my older niece wore as a baby and toddler (she is now 22 years old), that my brother's daughter wears now (she is 3 years old). Those items have been worn by 5 kids and are still going strong!
So, if you want to be rid of items, ask someone you think might benefit from them. This doesn't just apply to clothes. You might have a friend that is moving and needs furniture or a relative that loves to cook and would use that old rice cooker sitting in your closet waiting to be utilized.
However, the goal isn't to rid yourself of your clutter and pass it off to someone else. The goal is to ensure your items are given a new lease of life. If no one wants them, there are more options below.
2. Buy Nothing
If you have a few items that you don't want to drop off to a charity or have them pick-up, you can use a Buy Nothing group in your neighborhood. It's a great way to recycle something in your local community. You help neighbors and the close proximity of pick-ups mean less of an impact on the environment.
I joined my Buy Nothing group on Facebook and have given away dozens of items. Another good thing is that the items get picked up quickly, so you don't have to worry about storing it and forgetting about it. You can have it out of your home in a matter of hours.
GreenDrop is a great service selected by the American Red Cross, the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, the National Federation of the Blind and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia. Greendrop helps these charities raise funds through the collection of donations. It is so simple to use. You can either drop off or pick-up. I always choose pick-up as I usually have a lot of items to give away. I schedule a pick-up with an approximation of the number of bags/boxes to be collected. You can leave them on your front porch or the driveway with a sign, and they come by and pick-up your donated items. They then leave you a tax receipt which you can use for deductions.
What I love about Greendrop is that the items go to charity, I don't have to leave my home to donate them, and they take so many things. In fact, they have a list of acceptable items on the website to make it easy. I love that I'm not creating more landfill waste by using GreenDrop.
Next time you come across something in your home that is in good shape, but you no longer use, consider giving it a new lease of life by gifting or donating it to someone who can make use of it or benefit from it.
Need help getting started with decluttering? Connect with me - there is nothing I love more than a good decluttering session! I believe spaces hold energy, so be sure the spaces in your home are filled with positive energy and potential, not clutter and despair!