Learn the best places for donating your stuff and find out how to create an effective system to make it easy to do the giving.
Sometimes an important part of getting stuff done is getting stuff out! Erin wrote in, asking: “How do I get stuff out of the house to people who need it?”
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How to Best Give Away Your Stuff
Of course, the easy answer is by using a shovel, but that just gets stuff out onto your lawn, not necessarily to the people who need it. After all, if you’re throwing away old clothes and the people camping on your lawn actually need a gas generator and some spare reading material, it’s a real mismatch.
Where Should You Donate Your Stuff?
First, spend a half hour researching the different places where you can give your stuff. Many non-profits would love to have your stuff, and different stuff may go to different places. You want to find places to give clothes and appliances, like thrift stores, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. Extra books can go to libraries, schools, or to organizations like GotBooks.com.
Consider organizations that provide for children in need, local non-profits, and religious institutions as places to donate old computers, printers, and other office equipment that still works.
If you’re getting rid of a car and want to donate it to a good cause, there are several services that will pick up a donated car. Some will pay you for the car; others will donate the proceeds to a local non-profit. My personal favorite is the CarTalk vehicle donation program that benefits public ratio.
How to Give So Others Will Benefit
If you want your donations to go directly into the hands of people who will benefit, you want to consider the different giving models that are out there. It’s amazing how many institutions exist to help you get rid of your stuff.
You can give stuff directly to people who want it by visiting FreeCycle.org. At Freecycle, you can find a mailing list for your area. When you have something to get rid of, mail a notice to the list. If someone out there wants it, they’ll usually be willing to pick it up, often within hours of posting the listing.