Reduce, reuse, repurpose

Nothing irks me more than seeing people throw away household items that may be worn but are still useable. When we were first married and living in an apartment I would routinely see vacuum cleaners, storage shelves, lamps, and sets of drawers sitting out by the dumpster simply because someone was moving and no longer had a use for them. My heart hurt. One, in thinking about all the people who could use and would welcome items in their homes if they had the means. I always wondered why people did not just donate the items. There are so many places who accept donations or a wide variety and even more so people who depend on donations to help their homes function. Second, I was baffled that in a world where selling items virtually is so easy to do and (who doesn’t want a little extra cash?) that they wouldn’t even try to make a profit even if it were minimal on the items they no longer wanted. Lastly, in thinking of the Earth and waste, the idea of these large home items sitting in a landfill for decades hurts my heart.

A few times a year if I can, I really try to clean out my closet and storage room. While there is always more that I could probably part with, I try to pull items that I think someone else could use or may enjoy. My rule parallels Marie Kondo (no I didn’t watch the show but I do feel like when she came on the scene you couldn’t turn without hearing the phrase “if it doesn’t spark you joy…”) and it’s true. Maybe I still like the item or article of clothing but if I haven’t used it or worn it in a period of time, it needs to go.

Now granted there are a few donation places with strict rules about what they will and will not take, but overall the following groups myself or family have donated to over the years and always had a good experience.

  • Salvation Army – What I love is that they will take a multitude of items and will even come directly to your house to pick them up. Simply go through their website to set up a pick up date that works best for you.
  • AMVETS – My family has used this one a lot over the years. Similar to Salvation Army they will arrange a date and time for a pick up at whatever address is easiest for you.
  • Goodwill – They will take from slightly used household items, cars, and even computers. If you are unsure of what is or isn’t accepted, check out their list here.
  • Unique Thrift Store – If you are local in the DMV, donations to this large scale thrift store are easy. While they do not pick up, you can swing by the loading dock and unload your items, and be on your way.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Various franchises and locations, will accept home construction items to use in building homes. They even have ReStores that you can shop for a fraction of the price the next time you decide to take on a renovation project in your home.
  • Other ideas – A simple Google search will turn up a variety of other thrift stores, consignment stores, and charities that accept items for donation.

So the next time you have unwanted items I’d like to encourage you to consider scheduling an easy, no stress, no contact, pick up with one of the organizations above. Not only will your items be utilized and appreciated by someone else, but they will also not sit in a landfill for decades to come.

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