Today’s “modern” version of the Barter System, can be seen in online auctions and swaps. Although I have never bought anything from an online auction, I did come across one that was pretty interesting: for every item that was up for auction, anyone can see the how long that item would still be available, and put in a bid.
Each person bidding had to buy a certain number of chips in the beginning (that’s where I lost interest), and each bid placed, would use a certain number of chips; you could refill as often as you wanted, but could not place any bids once you ran out of chips. I thought it was pretty nifty, I just didn’t like the idea of buying chips, knowing that I could place multiple bids, and not even “win” the item. A gambler, I am not…
So what does this have to do with organizing your home?
As you declutter your closet, and your home, you’ll come across items that you’ll want to give away, the question may come to mind: Where can I donate my stuff? Granted, you may not be engaging in a barter system per se, but it will give you peace of mind, knowing that as you clean out your home, you can donate your items to organizations that will find a proper home for your stuff. I’ve compiled a short list of 10 organizations, that will answer the question of where you can donate your stuff, from clothing to video games! Let the donating begin!
So Let the Donating Begin!!!
I think that even a 5-year-old would recognize that Amazon aka “The Giant” is the largest Internet-based retailer in the world…period! What I didn’t know, is that Amazon offers a Trade-In option, where you can send your used textbooks, electronics, DVD’s, video games and other items to Amazon, and receive a gift card for Amazon.com.
Try your local library; there doesn’t seem to be any limit to the number of books you can donate, so don’t be shy! Another alternative is Books for Africa (booksforafrica.org). This impressive organization has collected, sorted, shipped and distributed over 36 million books to 49 different countries in Africa, since 1988, making them the largest supplier of donated books to the African continent. The only drawback is that unless you are able to physically drop your donated books off at their warehouse in Minnesota, book donations would have to be mailed to their facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Still, that’s a small price to pay, knowing that you’re helping children to have access to reading.
Although a prom is nowhere near as expensive as a wedding, it can still be quite costly. Instead of just holding onto your braid maid dress(s) that you know you will never wear again, why not put a smile on a young girl’s face, and donate it and help make her dreams come true! One such organization that helps disadvantaged teens find the perfect frock is donatemydress.org.
There are many places where you can donate your cell phone, but I came across one organization that I’m sure, many people would deem a worthy cause: Cell Phone for Soldiers. Used cell phones can be sent to Cell Phone for Soldiers; those cell phones are sold to a company that recycles them; Cell Phone for Soldiers then uses that money to purchase calling cards for soldiers stationed abroad. What’s really amazing about this organization, is that it was created by a 12 and 13-year-old!!! To get more information, visit their website: www.cellphoneforsoldiers.com
Staples will accept any electronic devices such as laptops, desktops, printers, phones, fax machines (hey, I’m sure some people still have these), etc. When I went to drop off (2) laptops, a printer, and a tablet, I wasn’t asked any questions! It seems to work similar to spare car parts that are sold to another “party”; they take it apart and sell those parts.
You don’t get any kind of receipt, but if you have a fancy accountant, perhaps they can find a way to make it a tax right-off. Both my laptops were malfunctioning, it’s possible that I could have sold it to some techie, but I didn’t want to go through the hassle. Just make sure to double check…no, triple check, that all personal information has been deleted.
OneSight (onesite.org) accepts prescription glasses, bifocals as well as nonprescription glasses, that can be found in marked bins at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Sears Optical and Target stores nationwide. These donations – along with a free eye exam – are given to people whom may not otherwise be able to afford them.
Yep…even paint can be donated! This was news to me! Many of you have heard of Habitat for Humanity: it’s a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create the kind of world where everyone has a decent place to live. It works in close to 1,400 communities across the United States, as well as 70 countries around the world.
A division of their organization, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, has nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and “gently used” assortment of home accessories and furniture, at a reduced cost; the proceeds are used towards the construction of new Habitat homes (habitat.org)
Sports Gift (sportsgift.org) collects used sporting equipment and distributes donated items, to give improvised children around the world, an opportunity to enjoy sports. Currently, Sports Gift distributes to 60 countries throughout the world.
Imagine knowing that your outdated PacMan can help to find a cure for life-threatening diseases! Donate Games (donategames.org) accepts game donations, posts them for sale at discounted prices, then uses the proceeds to help with various research towards life-threatening and debilitating diseases.
There are usually quite a number of churches, libraries, and other organizations that host an annual coat drive, just before the winter months. In addition, stores like Burlington Coat Factory usually have a seasonal event, that can last up to 2 months, where people can donate a winter coat, and receive a 10% discount towards their next purchase. Please make sure to inquire within, as store policies may vary from state to state.
So there you have it!
This is by no means an exhaustive list; I’m sure there were things on this list you already knew, but hopefully, you have learned about some “new” organizations as well. I think that too often, what stops us from getting rid of things, even when it’s obvious that the time has come for a major clean up, is that we focus too much on what we have to give up (I’ve done this).
Perhaps, instead, this list will help us to focus on what we can gain in the process: a much organized space that can not only save us valuable time, but also help us to feel much more at peace with our surroundings, But more importantly, having a great feeling, knowing that our “trash” can be someone else’s “treasure”. So grab some boxes and garbage bags, and let’s go donate!
I would love to hear from you, so feel free to leave your comments below.
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