June 1, 2012

Donate Instead of Throwing Out

It's the end of May and the start of June.  The end of any month marks a typical time for moving into a new apartment or home, and May is especially popular since it coincides with the end of the school year and the start of summer.  Summer in general is a popular time to move; May through August are the most popular months for moving to a new residence.

If you're moving this weekend consider donating used items you no longer need or want to a local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other local thrift store.  If you prefer not to make a separate trip you can utilize Craigslist and make some money, or give the items away for free.  Whichever route you elect to take, you'll help to reduce the amount of items going to the landfill and benefit others in your area.


Many times we tire of the style, color, or age of clothes, furniture, or other goods before their useful life is expended.  If you are cleaning or getting ready for a move and find items you're not using anymore take advantage of the network of thrift stores that are present in nearly every town and city in America today.  Furniture items can be very large, and donating even one dresser or bookshelf can greatly reduce the amount of trash headed for the landfill.

Many colleges and universities host events to help students dispose of items they aren't taking with them when they leave to campus.  My alma mater, Notre Dame, runs a program called 'Old 2 Gold' for this purpose.  The 2011 event raised more than $50,000 for organizations in the South Bend area.  If you just graduated, or are heading off for summer break, see if your school has a similar event you can utilize.

Recommend action steps:

  1. If you're moving this weekend (or just have some items you'd like to get rid of) find a local thrift store and donate the items
    1. If you prefer not to make a trip, use Craigslist
    2. If you don't know how to use a computer, have a garage / yard sale
      1. My most recent method for giving away items has been to put a sign on my driveway next to the items I no longer want (photo below).  The items are usually gone within an hour so it's easy, quick, and convenient.
  2. Save the receipt if you donate - you may be able to deduct on your tax return
  3. Have a great weekend!

Sometimes the simplest way is the easiest way :)

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