Thursday, March 6, 2014

De-cluttering - What about the old philosophies? - #3 - Donate?

Old Philosophy #3: "If it is worn out, you should give it to Goodwill."

This one goes way back to my childhood. 

When I was a young girl, I cleaned my closet one day, and I set aside games, which I no longer played with, to give them to Goodwill. My dad complained that I was trying to give away all my good games...and, consequently, he built each of us shelves in the basement to store the things we were not currently using. 

In some ways, I haven't changed much since I was a little girl. Here's my 'thing' about Goodwill. On the one hand, it doesn't have to be perfect for you to give it to Goodwill. Goodwill not only provides people with various products more cheaply than they can get them at the department store, but it is an organization which also trains people and gives people jobs. As a good friend recently pointed out, even sorting through the donated items is a job for someone. 

On the other hand, I don't feel comfortable thinking of Goodwill principally as a place for my worn-out items. I myself shop at Goodwill to find the "treasures". So, I like to help re-stock the place with treasures for others to find, also. I like to pass along some things I no longer want which are still very nice. 

Of course, Goodwill is not the only option. In my area, we have a St. Vincent de Paul bin with a sign on it, saying that clothing donations go to help the homeless in our local area. So, nowadays, that's where my clothing goes (and some other things go to Goodwill...and there is also the Vietnam Veterans, or our church's flea market in the summer). 

When I had blindness materials to distribute, I went to the Blindhomeschooler Yahoo group. When I had homeschooling materials to give away, I wrote to the local homeschool group we had participated in until my youngest went to college. The last two or three summers, I've had the opportunity to give religious and educational books to a visiting priest who was sending them back to his mission in Africa. 

I've given household items to local residents through Freecycle, and I've given old blankets to an animal shelter. Of course, all of this takes time, and sometimes it's easier to just pick it all up and take everything to two places, a thrift shop and the garbage. 

As far as worn out items, if it's really and truly worn out - not just in need of a minor repair - I throw it in the garbage. But if it's clothing, and it's at least partly cotton, I make it into a rag. I cut it open, so it won't sneak it's way back into a drawer. But first, I take off any buttons. Yes, I save buttons. Usually, when I need buttons for a project, I find myself buying them...still, I save buttons. But remember, recycle sewing is my hobby. I figure that saving stuff is okay if it's small and it's part of your hobby, right? 

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