Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Making Donations Simpler

While it is a wonderful idea to donate your unwanted item to a charity or donation center, try to keep it simple. Here are some guidelines for making donations actually happen after sorting/purging/decluttering:

  1. Don't make too many "donate" piles. If you make piles or bags intended for a dozen recipients, your ability to get that stuff out of your house to those intended recipients gets slowed down. You're more likely to see the bags and piles stick around for awhile until you can coordinate pick-up or drop-off.
  2. Don't overthink the donations. If you don't want it, don't use it, or don't need it, let someone have the chance to. Let the group receiving the bags see if it is sellable or whether they want it. Obviously you don't want to give junk or trash, but don't spend time speculating about the recipient's reactions.
  3. Don't place items to be donated in a container that you want to keep or that you can't have sit around for while being used to hold the donations. Good options are boxes, trash bags, or shopping bags; avoid laundry baskets.
  4. For whichever donation place you choose (i.e. Goodwill, Big Brother Big Sister), find out what they'll accept, how they get the donations, etc.
  5. Place items to be donated near the door, car or garage -- in an area that's out of the way but convenient for taking out of the house. The key to decluttering is getting the donate items out the door as soon as possible.
  6. Label the container so that you don't throw donatables by accident.