Monday, November 3, 2014

How to figure out where to give things away

One of the things about minimizing is finding a home for the things that you don't need. I really don't believe in throwing things out. It's wasteful and it's a lot harder for me to part with things. So right from the start I had to look into different ways to get rid of things so that I would be willing to part with them.

First thing I do is sort through the things that I am willing to get rid of. I make a pile for things that are trash, recyclable, normal thrift store, and "nice enough to keep."

Trash and recyclable I think is pretty obvious where they go.

But thrift is a bit hard, because I actually really hate giving things to the thrift store here.
So here is my system.

Left over craft supplies - schools, 4H, or freecycle
Large furniture - freecycle
Random odds and ends - freecycle or free table
Clothes - free table here a Butler or cloth donation box at Wegman's
Small appliances - Free table or free cycle
Books and magazines - Princeton library or free table

Random odds and ends are that truely random. I once got rid of extra unused hair ties. Yesterday, I gave away a bag of ribbons. People are creative and different organizations need different things, like I gave old frames and cards to a nursing home worker. Daycares and preschools are always looking for good toys. I have found for the most part that people are willing to take most things if they are free.

Freecycle is by far my favorite thing to use. People are usually really nice and the stuff disappears quickly. I have even made some friends this way.

Yesterday for example, I got this email from a lady that picked up my quilting scraps.


I am the grateful and very excited recipient of your fabric. I'm over the moon with it!! I've just begun quilting 6 months ago and jumped into it with both feet. I've made 10 so far! I'm currently making lap quilts for my friends and I also joined a group which makes quilts for leukemia patients. 

Your fabrics are so appreciated and will be put to good use. I'm even going to use some of them to make a quilt for my wonderful friend who picked the fabric up for me.

The assortment is spectacular - a little of this and a little of that. I'm having so much fun looking at it all and sorting it. I try to keep my quilting costs low so I shop at yard sales and thrift stores. I do a lot with sheets. The addition of all your wonderful fabrics will really give my stash a huge boost. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this with me."

If you are friends with me on facebook, you probably saw the post about the sweet lady who gave me a blanket after I gave her a blender.

Here's what I put on facebook,

"The other week I gave a lady on freecycle our blender. It was a really bad mom day. The house was a mess and both Baby X and Madeleine were screaming as I was frantically trying to put them down for naps, when she showed up at the door. I basically threw the blender at her and shut the door in her face. Today, she showed up at the door with a blanket she made and a note of encouragement about being a mom. She gave me "a bit of sunshine" blanket for those days that are just hard. I don't think I have ever felt so touched and loved by a stranger before."

I have really met some great people through freecycle. One lady that picked up my heater, sends me emails whenever she thinks she's getting rid of something I might need.

So there is my plug for freecycle. :)

For the things that are "nice enough to keep."

We either sell or give to friends.
We sell things on ebay, craigslist, and facebook. Friends are wonderful to give things too. In my neighborhood, clothes are seriously passed down from kid to kid to kid. Bikes and outdoor toys too. It's been a lifesaver for our budget.

I hope this helps if you are considering getting rid of stuff or don't know where to start. There are so many resources, but they are a bit hard to find.

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