With the new year in full swing so is my desire to organize and simplify. All month I’ve cleaned, collected, and sorted piles of things to donate. I finally packed it all in my car and drove to Goodwill, ready to feel the sweet relief of purging. But when I arrived, it seemed that every person in the city of Los Angeles had the same new year’s desire as me. Boxes and trash bags and all matter of donated clutter was piled so high it was overflowing from the massive warehouse. The chances of my things having a second life here seemed slim. I turned around, drove home and came up with a few different options.
Option 1 / Repurpose
Repurpose always sounds like sewing will be involved, and while I wish I had that skill set, I’m really not that crafty, or patient. So by repurpose I really just mean being creative. A suitcase with a broken zipper is still a perfect place to store Christmas decorations. And a chipped mug becomes a mini vase. An old purse stashes scarfs.
And, if unlike me you can sew, there are are countless ways to repurpose old clothes. A few favorites: men’s dress shirt into apron, t-shirts into produce bags, and children’s clothes into cute creatures.
Option 2 / Send to Family & Friends
I always do this with Lewie’s clothes that are still in good condition, or that I’m semi-sentimental about. Instead of donating I pack them up and send to family and friends with younger babies. Before I thought I’d be sad about giving away Lewie’s clothes, but when I see pictures of other little ones wearing his outfits, it makes me so glad to know that his clothes are getting another round of love and not just stored in my closet. I also do this with my clothes that I’m not ready to donate, but also don’t get much wear.
Option 3 / Sell to ThreadUp
This option only applies to women’s and kids’s clothing, but ThreadUp is such an easy way to clean-out your closet. Just order a free bag, fill it up and then drop it off at a USPS store. Shipping is already paid for. You can earn cash for your accepted items and anything that’s not accepted is resold or responsibly recycled for you.
Option 4 / Give to Strangers
This is a great solution for unsentimental and larger items like furniture and gear. All these items I had planned on donating I instead put on Facebook marketplace. Within days everything was gone and the people were truly grateful to have the items I didn’t need anymore.
Option 5 / Donate to Specific Organizations
Instead of just donating to one place, you can also different donate to specific organizations. While this takes more time, there is also a greater likelihood that your donated items will have a second life. For example donate baby and maternity gear to a mother’s center, books to your local library, and dress clothe to dressforsuccess. A quick google search will give you lots of info of what’s available in your area.
Do you have a favorite place to donate or give?