Opening Your Eyes to the Obvious: Giving to Goodwill

by Matt B

Once every few months, we dig through the house and prepare some items for donation at the local goodwill. It seems as if every time I do this, I get a lesson in over consumption. We are just trying to get rid of the items that are taking up space in the house. Things we do not use, or we have forgotten that we even bought. With the cleaning, I always learn about myself in the process.

Clothing:
My first stop is usually my clothes closet. Even though my weight and height never fluctuate more than a couple of lbs. it seems as if I still outgrow my clothes. I have pants that seem too short or small, and shirts that get tighter with time. Don’t ask how it happens. In addition to that, I always have more clothing than I thought. There are usually a number of tee shirts that were either given to me or ended up in my closet some other way. Those instantly go into the goodwill pile. I try at all cost not to put clothing that is in sorry shape in the goodwill pile, after all, I do get clothes there sometimes myself. I just hope that others have the same consideration I do when donating.

Books:
Everyone has books lying around somewhere. Unread and dusty. What is the point of hanging on to them? Either you have read it, or not. Chances are that if you have not read it by now, you are not going to get around to it. Sell it or give it to goodwill. It amazes me how many households have books lying around, not helping anyone, when they could end up in the hands of others and help or entertain them.

Appliances/Electronics:
Remember when you got the new blender last spring? So why are you holding on to the old one? Sure, it has it’s eccentricities and you may think that you are the only person in the world who can operate it properly. You are wrong. As it sits in the cupboard wasting space, someone else could be enjoying wonderful smoothies or making homemade spaghetti sauce with it. Let us not forget the VCR that you have not used in 11 years. Even if nobody wants it, goodwill will eventually take it to a place to die and be properly recycled.

Household items:
Towels, sheets and pillows are also discarded on occasion at goodwill. For the most part, many of these items do not make it to the shelf, but it is easy to get them off your hands and potentially put them in the hands of others who need these wares.

After a thorough cleaning, my eyes are always opened to the wastefulness in my own house. Many of the items we donate are barely used, some not at all! It is a hard pill to swallow when I realize how much money we throw away on things that never or rarely get used. Has this ever happened to you? Do you regularly take items to goodwill or the salvation army?

  • Be sure to check out the carnival of cashflow consciousness at Money Energy. Great Carnival with a ton of great submissions. Read them all!

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