I am happy to report that in my venture as a professional organizer, I have learned that there are many resources for responsibly donating or disposing of your unwanted items. I have also discovered that there are folks who want to be certain that the items they are passing on will be used by someone who really needs them. Sometimes, this can be a barrier for letting go of stuff. But, this is not a lesson on how to let go, but a few resources for donating and disposing.
1. Computers. Do you have a computer gathering dust, wishing someone could get a bit more use out of it? Well, there is an organization that accepts computers (up to 5 years old) for refurbishment and donation. Someone in need can apply to receive that computer. Check out their website for further details: Computers With Causes. (Please note that this is for information purposes only and not an endorsement. Also, I recommend you delete the data yourself before donating.)
2. Batteries. Did you know that you can no longer just dump your batteries in the trash? They are hazardous if they end up in the landfill, and it’s getting easier to dispose of them. There are two websites to check for more information. Visit Earth 911 to enter your zip code and “batteries” and get a list of drop-off locations. They also have articles if you want to learn more. The second website is http://www.call2recycle.org/. They have how-to tips, learning resources and drop-off listings. Check out the “pounds of batteries” box in the upper right corner. Wow!
3. Clothing. Clothing is certainly not difficult to donate. You can stick clothes in a bag, and a truck will drop by your house and magically whisk it away. In case you are one of those people who feel attached to your clothing and want to be sure it will be put to good use, I have a solution for you. There is an organization that specializes in collecting gently used, interview-appropriate clothing and accessories for women and men. It’s called Wardrobe for Opportunity. Check their website to find a drop-off location near you.
As I have said before, organizing one small project at a time is the best way to change things over time. Plus, if you feel good about where your stuff is going, you’re more likely to follow through with your good intentions.
Now, if I can only figure out who would like my ugly plastic gnome statue!