It has actually been very refreshing to get rid of so much stuff. I would start a room with a paper grocery bag....then quickly realize I needed a laundry basket.....then a trash bag! Some spaces obviously had more to give than others, but I don't even miss the things we've gotten rid of.
Where has our stuff gone? Several different places. I did a bit of research online and found that there are a huge number of item specific donation drives out there for things that people really need. Did you know that you could donate old cell phones to victims of domestic abuse? Or eye glasses to be reused? I didn't! Those things would have been pitched. Here is a list of all the places we found to donate items...
- Cell Phones - Victims of domestic violence, deployed soldiers
- Videos, DVDs, or video games - children's hospital
- Magazines and books - hospitals
- Toys - Daycare centers, women's shelters, Ronald McDonald House
- Eyeglasses - Lion's Club recycling program
- Formal wear, prom dresses, shoes, and accessories - Donate My Dress
- Women's suits, work wear, purses, and jewelry - Dress for Success
- Gently used shoes - Soles for Souls
- Clothing - Goodwill, Salvation Army
- Books and Textbooks - Better World Books Literacy Program, Books for Africa
- Food - Look for a food bank near you!
- Winter coats - One Warm Coat
- Sports equipment - International Alliance for Youth Sports
- Open cleaning supplies - Animal shelters
- Sheets, blankets, towels - Homeless shelters, animal shelters, women's shelters
- Travel sized toiletries - Ronald McDonald House
These are all national links, but there may be homegrown organizations in your area. Do a little Googling to find out! It may sound like a lot of leg work to get things out to these different organizations, but do what you can. Goodwill and Salvation Army are always options as well, but if an item can be put to a specific use rather than sit on a shelf, I'd rather that.
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