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Volunteer Journal #101 – Let It Go

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Learning to Appreciate Things of Real Value

Yes, I did just scam Google search result by pillaging the title of Disney’s most popular song in 20 years.  But it’s applicable.

As reviewed in the last post here, I am at war with materialism and trying to give away at least  1/3th of my worldly possessions.

Why? Because I am convinced that physical possessions do not equal wealth. In fact, I think too much stuff weighs you down. But again more on that in the last post…

However, I realized I’ve been preaching the value of removing items, but haven’t been offering a breakdown on where to recycle or donate. The goal is not only to limit the amount of objects I own, and restrict what I’m bringing in, but  also to keep old belongings out of landfills.

So without further ado here are some ideas on where to donate:

Goodwill – Furniture and Clothing (US)

Oxfam – Furniture and Clothing (International)

Animal Shelters – Towels, blankets, assorted linen.  Always call ahead to see what the shelter accepts.

Electronics – Check with the place you bought said device.  For example Apple has a really cool recycle program. Also, sometimes schools, after school programs, and non-profits need electronic equipment. Call ahead.

Bicycles – Community Bike Programs are popping up all over the place.  A simple Google search should help you find a group like Bike Oven in LA. You’re looking for a group that repairs and donates or advocates for bicycle transportation.

Medical Mobility (Wheelchairs, Walkers, and the like) – May you always move without assistance, but if for some reason you happen to need a medical device like a wheelchair, crutches, etc. and find yourself blessed enough to not use it anymore donate it to groups like UCP Wheels for Humanity

Friends, and Loved Ones – Careful, Warning, Back @*&#! Up – Let’s take a moment to reflect on gifting your used goods to people who might not necessarily want them.

For my birthday I was sent a box of old stuff that my friend Kelley no longer wanted. Kelley had been inspired by my little Live More Own Less mission and this was her first attempt at cleaning out her belongings, and also a pretty solid joke.  Kel sent me: books, Aveda products (I will use), and a birthday crown for Princess, which she begrudgingly wore for a photo – Bahahahaha . The rest of the stuff will find a new home on my next trip to Goodwill.

Princess Mad

She Loves her Birthday Crown

Kelley was thoughtful and funny. Normally, however, I think…well – regifting can blow.  Instead of presenting your old stuff as a gift tell the person what you’re doing, “Hi, I’m trying to get rid of some books and thought you might want some.” That’s how all regifting should go. Trust me, your friends are perceptive, they will understand that copy of Magic Mike wasn’t bought especially for them (they will HOPE it wasn’t bought for them) as a birthday gift.

Kelley's Redistributes Her Stuff... To Me?

Kelley’s Redistributes Her Stuff… To Me?

Good luck on the continued clean up.

For more info, I did an article on recycling clothes a few years ago and I think every tip is still applicable.

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