How’s that New Year’s resolution coming to clean out your closets? We know you have sorted your castoffs into the often-recommended piles of
DONATE • RECYCLE • SELL • TRASH
Now that you have four giant piles sitting in your living room, what’s next? Let’s ponder each pile.
Oodles of choices abound here. Worthy local and national causes welcome donations in good condition. Where I choose to donate depends on the beneficiary, the items I have at the time to donate, and whether the group can pick-up large items.
This event may be counter-productive for me. I am motivated to get stuff outta here, but I can’t resist a treasure hunt, especially when it benefits a good cause.
In researching other places to donate, I discovered the differences between the various organizations that accept donations. The highlights follow, along with links to the “what we take” for each group.
Goodwill – A nationwide non-profit, its mission is to train and place people with disabilities and other obstacles to employment. It accepts electronics and either refurbishes or responsibly recycles them. It also offers a fee-based pick-up service for removal of items from anywhere inside your property. Click here for the list of accepted items.
Salvation Army – This international organization’s mission is “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” Wow, talk about an all-encompassing mission statement! The Army accepts appliances, automobiles, clothing for men, women and children, furniture and household goods. Click here to schedule a pick-up, find a designated drop-off location, or estimate the value of your donated goods.
CARITAS – This Richmond organization organizes emergency shelter for homeless men, women and children through local church congregations. Additionally, through its Furniture Bank, it helps the homeless transition to housing. Donations can be dropped off at the Furniture Bank, or for a modest donation of $30, you can arrange for a truck to pick up your donation. Click here for the particulars. This is the only place I know of locally that accepts used mattresses and box springs.
Old electronic equipment, outdated computer systems and CFL bulbs should be recycled rather than thrown away. As previously mentioned, Goodwill takes electronics of all sorts, and Home Depot takes the CFL bulbs and recycles them safely. Before you take an old computer system for recycling, be sure to destroy the hard drive. Click here to find out more about destroying the hard drive (a hammer may be needed). Old cell phones can be recycled, but be sure to remove obvious sensitive information before doing so.
Again, you have loads of options here for selling your previously loved items. In Richmond, the Richmond Times-Dispatch offers free listing of “Cool Cheap Stuff” ads in the Saturday paper for items valued under $300. I sold an old and very heavy sofa out of my basement that way. Of course, there’s Craigslist online, and various consignment stores that seem to be good at moving consigned items in and out the door. Two of my favorites are
at the Ridge Shopping Center and
at Gayton Crossing.
You can have a yard sale when the weather turns warmer or make your life a little easier by putting your goodies in Jennifer Rector’s Estate Sale. The next one is scheduled for the weekend of March 1-3 in the River Downs neighborhood south of the James River. She does a 70-30 split where you keep 70% of the sales price of your item. She’s very organized, and her sale draws a crowd. All of my items sold last fall. For more information, contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a monstrous cleaning project on your hands, consider renting a dumpster for a period of time so you can clear out as much as quickly as possible. Google “roll-off dumpster rental” to find local dumpster rental companies. Rates vary depending on the size of the container and length of time you want to use it. Making runs to the city or county dump is dreadful and time-consuming, so it may be worth the rental fee if you think you’ll have more than a few
car loads of trash.
Gratefully, Ellen & Alison
Enough pondering. With Spring just around the corner, the time for action is now. Think how fresh your Gracious Home will feel without its clutter. Go ahead, turn those piles into another gal’s treasure!
February 7, 2013