Becoming an Everyday Advocate: Cleaning Out

This is part 3 of the Everyday Advocate series, devoted to exploring simple steps we can take in our regular lives that still make a difference in this world.  Read part 1:  Sugar, and part 2: Soap.

Are you a pack rat or a purger?  Do you thrive on holding onto every keepsake and momento of your life or do you get a rush from acknowledging that something has served its purpose and now belongs out of your house?

Personally, I am firmly in the purge category.  I love to clean things out and know that the things in my house are all functional.  Now, I’m not as good at not re-populating those places–cabinets re-fill, the closet gets new clothes.  Months later, I clean out again.  Someday, maybe, I won’t do this.  I hope.

Early on, I learned that when you purge, you donate.  Small donations, a few bags perhaps, are driven to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army store.  Larger donations, maybe there’s furniture in the mix, are accommodated by the Salvation Army truck, who can be scheduled for a pick up.

It’s a win-win.  Less stuff in your home, while supporting organizations that empower others.  Now, I don’t know if you use Salvation Army, Goodwill, or another like organization for your no-longer-useful-to-you goods, but if not, here’s a few reasons you should.

  • The income from the stores funds the other recovery programs offered by these organizations.  One Salvation Army in our area funds an alcohol recovery program entirely from their store.
  • These stores are staffed by people who are using the services of the organization, providing them with income and job training, and moving them towards self sufficiency.
  • It’s greener than trashing things.  Your donated things move into a new life and stay out of a landfill.  Buying from here does the same, of course.

If you haven’t done your Spring Cleaning yet, remember to donate when you do.  If you never Spring Clean, awesome, but I’d venture that there is stuff in your home that would do better donated.

It’s not just a way to get stuff out of your house, donating is a way to be an everyday advocate.

Do you have any sort of ‘cleaining out’ system?  Do you have a favorite spot for donations?

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