tiny tip tuesday {donating *stuff*}

sunday, spencer and i spent hours gutting his room. cleaning. organizing. you know the drill. i had no idea it had gotten so out of hand. we had done a marvelous job of masking the mess it had become! we ended up with two and a half trash bags of actual garbage. PLUS two trash bags of items to be donated (along with several large items that wouldn't fit in a bag). yesterday, i made a goodwill run on my lunch hour to rid our home of the clutter. these activities inspired me to provide some tips here related to donating your stuff.

our culture encourages the collection of *stuff*. that's another whole blog post in and of itself, so let's focus on what happens when we no longer need that *stuff*. whether it's outgrown, unused, or just plain ugly...i can't throw something away unless it's 100% worthless to anyone. therefore, i donate. whether you already donate and need some help getting organized, or if you never donate a single thing, here are some pointers...

  • just do it. if you don't donate your *stuff*, you should really start. if you aren't already doing so it means one of two things. (1) you have a house full of things you should considering giving up (2) you are trashing items that could be treasures to someone else and a nice tax deduction for you.
  • write it off. though i've always donated stuff, i used to never keep track of it or do itemized deductions with our taxes. then, our accountant shared with us how much more money we'd get back with a standard amount of donating. WOW. what an eye opener. needless to say, i keep track of everything that's donated to a tax-deductible charity now!
  • pick a place. you need to make donations super easy so find ONE charity that fits these three requirements:
    1. donations to them are tax-deductible
    2. they accept a wide variety of items
    3. the drop-off location is convenient for you
  • be realistic. don't try to clean & reorganize your entire house in a weekend. tackle one room or closet per weekend, or per month...whatever works for your schedule (this is assuming that you haven't done this in a while...it may not even be necessary). regardless of how organized you are, chances are that each room in your house will need de-cluttering at least once a year.
  • pack and go. when you do a "big" purge of a whole room or closet, have three piles as you sort: keep, donate, trash. once you are done, immediately put the donate items in your vehicle. the next time you leave your house, drop them off. this is why it's so important to pick ONE donation place that is convenient to you (for instance, i go to a drive-through goodwill that is only minutes from my office).
  • keep it up. the best way to prevent clutter is to stick with the mentality of getting rid of stuff you don't need. if you run across something that you (or someone in your family) truly should discard, go ahead and set it aside for donation (see next step). you do not have to wait for a large purging day! this will save you so much time in the long run.
  • create a central location. find somewhere in your home where you can collect items for donating. you want it to be out of sight, but relatively easy to access. the container should be disposable so you can dump it at the drop location. i keep a medium-sized cardboard box in our garage marked "donation" (so my husband doesn't accidentally take it to the dump). when i find a shirt that i no longer love or a knick-knack that's not worth the dust it collects, then i place it in the box. when i notice the box is full, it goes into my car and to goodwill the next day.
  • hand it down. all of the above are geared towards donating to organizations. don't forget the beauty of handing down gently used clothes, toys, etc to friends who have children younger than yours. everything above can be applied to those situations (except for the tax deductions). try keeping a shopping bag in your child's closet to collect clothes that no longer fit. when it's full, give it to your "hand-me-down" receiver!

so...*tiny* tip tuesday was a bit more detailed today, but i hope this helps someone de-clutter, save some money and help a good cause! do you have any tips for de-cluttering & donating???


images found at goodwill.com


  1. I'm with you Holly. Great tips! I found your blog on SUYL. Very nice job.

    Happy Easter! ~Melissa

  2. My post is "Clean & Clutter-Free" if you want to take a look. :)