Here's a fun idea to help you part with some of your excess stuff:
a good old-fashioned swap.
The general idea is that you get together with a bunch of friends and/or neighbors and everyone brings things they don't want anymore but that are in good, usable condition. Then you all go "shopping" for each other's stuff!.
You can host your own -- make it a party! -- or sign up for the August 18th event at East Providence's wonderful Fuller Creative Learning Center.
If you decide to host a swap party, you can do it indoors or out, setting up tables or picnic blankets to display the wares.
It can be a pure swap ("I'll give you this coat for two of your books.") or you can assign items a value or rating. Give each item a star rating and trade based on how many stars items "cost." For example, you could trade three one-star items for one 3-star piece.
Your goal should be to end up going home with less than you brought, so choose to swap for smaller items or swap multiple items for one of something else.
At the end of the swap, offer to load up your car and drive ALL the leftovers to a donation center. Bring items to the closest one (Search for "donation center near me.") or your favorite charity.
Whatever you do, don't let that stuff back into your house! If you already decided you were ready to part with it, trust your instincts and stick with your decision.
Do you have an old Kindle e-reader (or two?) that you aren't using anymore?
A client of mine recently upgraded to the latest Kindle and wondered if there was a school that could use her older model. I did a little research and came across the Kindle Classroom Project www.kindleclassroomproject.org. San Francisco teacher Mark Isero provides each of his high-school students with a Kindle to instill in them a love of reading and encourage them to become avid readers.
Even though the Kindle Classroom Project is based out of California, it's pretty easy to ship Kindles because they fit well in a USPS small flat-rate Priority Mail box. Before shipping, just fill out the donation form on Mr. Isero's website and he'll get back to you with the address.
One small caveat: he doesn't take the very oldest model Kindles, so check the donation form to see if your model is listed.
Don't have a Kindle to donate but still want to support the Kindle Classroom Project? Donate money for books to be added to their Kindle library!
My 9-year-old daughter seems to be a chip off the old block – not only is she a crafter but she also likes organizing. “Yikes!” say my husband and 14-year-old daughter. Today’s post is a little encouragement from her to you.
The other day, she made this “Savers” truck and asked me to put it on my site. Of course, I couldn’t resist. She says it’s to remind you that Savers is “The best way to get rid of things.”
If you don’t have a Savers donation center and thrift store in your area, you probably have a Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other donation center nearby.
Why are these the best way to get rid of things?
1. They are conveniently located (pick one that’s close to home or on your usual route) so you’re more likely to follow through with your de-cluttering goals.
2. By donating to a thrift store, you’re benefitting your community by giving others the opportunity to buy at a low price your high quality, gently used items.
3. Most of these charities also offer pick-up services (hence, the truck) so you delete an errand from your To Do list and schedule them to come to your door and pick up your donations.
Be inspired: put a box or bag near your front door, fill it this week with things you no longer need, and bring it to Savers right away!
Are you worried about the influx of gifts that could be coming your way, or your children’s way, during the holidays? Concerned about incorporating new things into an already crowded home?
A great way to prepare for the holidays (also for birthdays) is to do a quick sweep through the house and find a few excess items you can part with to make room for new gifts.
If you know people like to give you certain types of items (clothes, candles, lotions, food), you might just glance at your closet, bathroom, or pantry and see if there are a few things you could use up or donate in the next week or so to make a little room on your shelves so any new items can easily be incorporated into your home.
For children, this is a great way for them to learn how to be discerning with their toys and possessions. They can see which things stand the test of time and become favorites, and which toys might have seemed so desirable during a fad but are now rarely used (because they weren’t that great) or broken (because they weren’t well made). Children can also feel good about participating in the spirit of giving by donating their used-but-still-usable toys to worthy charities.
This doesn’t have to be a huge chore. Just grab a shopping bag and a wastebasket, take five to ten minutes to check one or two areas (shelf, closet, drawer, etc.), and put the no-longer-needed items either into the shopping bag for donation or into the wastebasket if they’re really trashed.