This is a huge topic and passion of mine. Not only will I refuse to buy anything that I do not need, or that does not fit within my “need” criteria, when I do buy something new I get rid of something old. In getting rid of things, I will find a new home for it rather than throwing it out, unless it is no longer usable. I also go by the rule that if we haven’t used it in a year and it’s not a seasonal item, then it needs to go. By sticking to this, our house is never cluttered. It’s a great and freeing feeling and one that all should experience! What I’ve found is that in the past when I’d accumulated a fair amount of “things”, and when I got to the point of having moved so many times lugging all of these seldom used things around, I became suddenly aware of how much a person holds on to. Without all of the extra, moving would have been quite effortless had I understood this sooner. I began then to understand that in the end these “things” are only things. I began to understand that for me the memories go much further than the objects would. Objects after all just fill a room. Memories fill ones heart and mind. I understood how liberating it is to have the courage and ability to get rid of things, and how wonderful it is to have open space. I see people every day buying things they do not need as well as buying gifts for others just to give them something. I’ve turned to gift cards as gifts and flowers, something that they will use up rather than imposing objects on them that I hope they might like or find a use for.
This brings me to Goodwill, the store. Goodwill is an amazing resource for your unwanted and unneeded items. An interesting story, Goodwill, was founded in Boston in 1902 by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. He would go through the wealthy areas in Boston collecting unwanted goods and would sell them through his goodwill store in order to give people the ability to build ups their skills by working at his store, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out” was born. Knowing this makes me want to support Goodwill even more then I already do!!!
Here is a list of some of the other great places to donate. Please check your city, state or province to find more in your area:
Purple Heart (through green drop boxes. United States only)
Habitat for Humanity Restore
American Cancer society
Dress for Success
eBay Giving Works
Baby2baby (USA only)
Pickup Please (USA only)