Donate Your Clutter!

August 30, 2011 by  

Helping Others With Things You Don’t Use

I tend to donate most of my unused or unwanted things to the Good Will store in our town.  I have to admit it is the easy way out, but I got the most enjoyment when the kids and I went to our local nursing home and took them stuff animals we had.

Dave gets me stuff animals (I love to get them!) usually once a year or so for different occasions.  I  display one, maybe two of them on my dresser in my room and then store the others in a trunk at the end of my bed.

Elise, like many young girls had many stuffed animals that she was ready to give up.  We called the nursing home first and asked permission, and then took over several animals to hand out around Valentine’s Day.
donate stuffed animals

It was a little uncomfortable for the kids and myself.  But it was a good uncomfortable. We were stepping out of our comfort zone, doing something we weren’t used to.  We had someone who walked us around and helped us decide which residences to give the stuffed animals to. I specifically asked for residents who did not have many vistors.

donate stuffed animalsWe had two different residents start crying. One kept saying… “Oh, this can’t be for me! This is too nice for me!” She began to cry and just hugged that stuffed animal.  I had a very difficult time not crying myself.

Wow…  the power in giving.

Think of all the things you have boxed up, packed up and hidden away.  Have you asked yourself why you are keeping it?

  1. Keeping it for your kids?
  2. Keeping it for memories?
  3. Keeping it because you feel guilt?
  4. Keeping it because you might use it one day?

I’m not saying to get rid of everything you have stored.  But I do want you to think about it.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. When was the last time you used it?
  2. Is it something you can live without?
  3. Is it something you think you will use each year? (holiday decorations, camping gear, skiing equipment)
  4. Do you really need to keep it?
  5. Could it benefit and help someone else, instead of being packed away in your house?

So you decide that you do need to get rid of some things, but how do you do it and who do you give it to?

First step it to go through and sort the items.  Decide what you need to keep and what you can give up.

Then decide where you can donate it.  Please only donate things that are in good shape.  No one wants your stained, torn or broken items.  When you take these items to a donation facility, they have to go through them. Guess what? They dispose of them. So help to save them some work.

Here are several suggestions:

  1. Donate to a local shelter
  2. Donate to a larger donation facility (Good Will, Kidney foundation etc)
  3. Donate to your church or a local church that takes donations
  4. Call your nursing home to see if they can use donations
  5. Check the internet to see if there are any disaster areas that still need donations (tornado ravaged, or hurricane, earthquake areas)
  6. Check with your local firehouse or city hall to ask if they know of any local residents who can use help.

If you feel that you can donate some things, but other things you can use some income for, here are a couple other ideas.

  1. Have a garage sale
  2. Take to a resale shop
  3. Sell on eBay

I have had several people tell me that they have parents who have aged and have either a home that needs to be cleared out or  a storage facility that needs to be cleared out and they have no idea where to start.

You can start with a local Professional Organizer in your area.  They might have resources, or know of someone else that helps to take care of those kinds of situations.

Think of others

Think of the good that your item (that hasn’t been used, seen or thought about in years) might do for someone else

Donate your clutter! It will do a body good (yours and someone else’s!)


Some of you may recognize the pictures. I have done a previous post on donating to this nursing home.

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10 Responses to “Donate Your Clutter!”
  1. Jan says:

    Wonderful article and very timely for me. Our much smaller home will be finished in 3 weeks. I have realized all of the stuff…yes…stuff, that I keep is taking up room. Let someone else enjoy it who doe not have any stuff!!!

  2. Andrea says:

    Oh goodness. That just brought tears to my eyes. I saw this tweeted and was saying, yes! That’s my plan for today, actually. But now this, this is so touching and real – I may have to do something like this soon. Love it. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  3. Sandy says:

    Thanks Andrea. But don’t let that stop you from getting done what you planned for today. Ok to set a couple things aside to take in, but don’t hold off getting things done because you want to look into a nursing home or such.

  4. I LOVE this Sandy! My kids hate when I “bring to the attic” -aka donate- un-used clutter… but I know it’s going to someone who could use it! I wish they could read…. lol

  5. Couldn’t agree more! When something is stored away, I ask myself this question: Doesn’t this item deserve to live a better life then sitting in a box collecting dust? 100% of the time the answer is yes – so out of my house it goes and on to someone who will get enjoyment out of it.

  6. Sandy says:

    Thanks Evelyn!

  7. Sandy says:

    lol They’ll learn from you. :)

  8. OneMommy says:

    I just did a post about going through the kid stuff and selling/donating it. Must be the season – you have great ideas, though! I never thought of a nursing home for the stuffed animals! I will have to remember that, b/c most places don’t want to take them anymore it seems…

  9. Sandy says:

    thanks! Yes I know on the stuffed animals. Be sure to call first. I think is probably because of the bedbug problem in many areas.

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