March 11, 2019 — “Tastes great!! Less filling!!” Remember the ferocity of that chant? Well, it has nothing on the polarizing effects of “Marie Kondo talk” in a room full of professional organizers. LOOK OUT! However, this blog post is not about the pros or cons of the KonMari method, nor of the merits of decluttering. (there are already plenty of those out there)
After reading how thrift stores are overrun lately with worthless, unusable donations, I’m here to passionately addresses a this newly pressing issue: Americans do not get HOW TO DONATE in such a way that their cast-offs MAKE A DIFFERENCE to someone else. Here’s an opportunity to LIFT OTHERS UP with items they need and you no longer want!!
Way before I even became an organizer in people’s homes, I recall pulling together items in my own object-overrun house, being very excited to “get rid of it”, but then noticing a few things: “the school really needs those school supplies and good shorts” and “the lady down the street loves books for her grandkids” and “my friend needs these maternity clothes” etc etc. So, even though it took more effort, I ALWAYS distributed items instead of one-stop donating. I literally couldn’t force myself to take it all to a big-box donation spot. (and imagine if I’d known about Austin Creative ReUse back then!?!! Or the H4H Restore?)
Am I advocating that everyone do this? No, of course not! (I’m realistic) but get online and find FB groups like the Buy Nothing Project, Craigslist free and Offer Up free who are making it so very easy and satisfying to get your castoffs into someone’s else hands. Once you start participating in this FREECYCLING life, you’ll be addicted in 0.0 seconds.
But just honor some basic donating etiquette, citizens! Do NOT donate your dirty, ripped, USELESS trash to donation sites. They are almost exclusively run by volunteers and do not have time, money, or resources to then toss YOUR trash! Nor will they likely want to return to that place to spend their precious volunteer time and deal with YOUR GARBAGE. Please, either throw away your stuff, or even better, take them to places that recycle textiles, electronics, batteries, lightbulbs, or basically anything that shouldn’t go in the landfill. A quick Google search will fill you with hope and options. Or simply find a local church to drop off your GOOD stuff and benefit others.
Go forth and donate, properly! And check out my tab Give Where You Live🙂