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Take a moment to visualize your home and all the items you have collected over the years.
Do you have gorgeous items that are in great shape, but you don’t use them anymore?
Do you have appliances or electronics that work fine, but are a generation or two old?
Do you have belongings that used to bring you joy, but have lost some of their spark?
If you own items you no longer use, items you no longer need, or items that could benefit someone else, you have options.
There is someone out there who would happily give your gently used (and never used) items a new home.
Here are three ways you can support a good cause while getting rid of items that no longer serve you.
Give your gently used items a new life. Donate your goods to a charity, non-profit, place of worship, school, or shelter.
Think about who could use the items that no longer serve you. All donations should be in good condition, clean, and in working order.
Can your books go to the local library? Can your working electronic devices go to Goodwill? Can your extra dining room table go to Salvation Army? Can your tools go to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore? Can your blankets and linens go to an animal shelter? Can the baby clothes your children have outgrown go to a local shelter?
The answer is yes.
If you are too busy to deliver your items to an organization, ask if they offer a pickup service. You may be surprised by how many organizations will come directly to your door.
Auction your items to the highest bidder.
Find out if a school, church, or non-profit is hosting a charity auction. The funds they raise for the auction will go to a good cause, and you will have one less item cluttering your space. It’s a win-win situation.
Charity auctions may take place online or in person, which means your items may be auctioned locally or halfway around the world. This flexibility allows you to support the organization of your choice, no matter where it is located.
If you prefer to auction off your own items, consider using a program like eBay for Charity or another online auction program. After the auction, a percentage of the sale is automatically donated to the charity of your choice.
Consignment is the process of handing your items over to someone else and letting them sell the items for you. You earn a commission (i.e., a percentage of the profits).
Take the money you make from consignment sells and donate the money to a good cause.
Popular in person consignments stores include Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, and Buffalo Exchange.
If you prefer a more modern consignment approach, try an online consignment shop. ThredUp, PoshMark, The RealReal, Kidizen, and My Kid’s Threads are five well-known companies. There are many more out there.
Most online consignment shops require you to photograph your item, write a description, and post your item for sale. If you prefer a more laid back, hands off approach, consider using ThredUp, The RealReal, or My Kid’s Threads.
ThredUp sends you a clean out bag and a pre-addressed mailing label. All you have to do is package your belongings, mail the bag, and go about your day.
With ThredUp, you also have the option to receive a donation bag. In lieu of you receiving payment for your items, ThredUp makes a donation to the charity of your choice and you receive a tax receipt.
Similar to ThredUp, The RealReal sends you a prepaid shipping package. As an added bonus, they offer in-home pickup and have consignment offices in select locations.
My Kid’s Threads is a good option for busy parents. Simply request a bag, fill it up, and send it off.
Before consigning your items, either in person or online, read the store and company policies. Consignment shops usually accept items that will appeal to their customers. Make sure your items are within their guidelines.
If you are using a mail-in method, find out what the organization does with items that do not fit their guidelines or meet their standards. Some organizations will mail the items back to you; they may charge a return fee or require you to pay for shipping. Other organizations will donate any items they are unable to sell.
Donations, auctions, and consignments are three easy ways to order your life while contributing to a good cause.
Give each option a try, and help someone in need.
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