Hey y’all! This past month we introduced a few new initiatives, Read with Me & Make with Me and today we are asking you to do even more : Donate with Me. Kate and I find it’s encouraging and motivating to us if we share our mini goals and ask you to participate. It’s like we’re all in this together. It’s as if each page I read acts as a push for you to read more and each project you complete is the inspiration for us to start another one. Ya dig it?
First, I want to share a few reasons why you should donate it all. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of possessions so buying and owning less is counter culture. It won’t come naturally, but it’s something we can all work towards in a way that makes us feel good. I’m not asking you to go on a spending freeze or to move into a tiny home. I’m simply asking that you assess what you own and get rid of what you don’t use and need and by doing this you will end up buying and owning less in the future. Here’s why:
Why You Should Donate It All
- Save money. Buying only the essentials will save you money. You’ll have the financial freedom to travel, pay off debt faster or to save for a larger, quality item that you really want and need.
- Save the planet. The less we consume, the less we damage the environment. It’s important to think of the true cost or the entire lifecycle of every single thing you buy. Simply doing this will cause you to be more conscious of your shopping instead of simply looking at the price tag.
- Stop cleaning. Less stuff means less organizing and cleaning. Who doesn’t want that?
- Buy better, not more. By owning less stuff, you’ll save more money allowing you to buy better items instead of more items.
- Occupational freedom. Spending less gives you freedom in your occupation as well. I earn less than the median salary for a female my age because I choose to spend a lot of time not working and instead of traveling and visiting with friends and family. I have the financial freedom to do this because I rarely spend money on clothes and objects.
- Appreciate what you do have. Owning less will automatically give you a greater sense of love and appreciation for the objects you do keep.
- Lighten your burden. The less you possess, the less burdened you are. You don’t need a large house to store everything and moving about in the world becomes easier and easier.
- Shift your priority. When you focus less on consumption, your priorities change. You make space for new hobbies, ideas, and visions for your life instead of constantly saving to spend or keeping up with fast fashion and consumption trends.
- You are not your stuff. The more you covet possessions the more you associate yourself with them and see them as your identity. This could be traumatic if you suddenly lost or couldn’t afford to keep up with your possessions as that would mean losing a sense of yourself.
How You Should Donate It All
- Always have a bag or box for the Goodwill started somewhere in your house. My roomie and I leave ours by the front door and drop it off every couple weeks, but you could also keep one in your car, laundry room, garage or at the bottom of your closet.
- Encourage your roommate and friends to participate. Keep them accountable by asking for photos of the donation box and bags. Involving friends turns it into a competition and you may realize you need something your friend is donating or vice versa.
- If you contemplate how much you appreciate an item, the answer is probably not much. Put the item in the donation box and leave it there for a couple days or a week, if you aren’t thinking about it or using it, get rid of it.
- For one month, choose an item a day to give away. This will start to shift your perspective.
- Notice which clothes always live in your drawers. The clothes you seem to never wear even when all your other laundry is dirty. Get rid of them.
- Organize similar items together and identify your favorites in each category. Ask your self how many of each thing to you actually need and use. Donate the rest.
- Release the guilt of giving away clothes and objects that were gifted to you. Just because you’re giving them away doesn’t mean you didn’t value the sentiment behind the gift.
- Learn about the sunk cost fallacy and release yourself from it. Don’t dwell on money spent, feel motivated about the money you’ll save once you define what you actually need to thrive.
- If there is anything that brings up negative feelings, get rid of it. Things hold energy and they have the potential to weigh you down. Things elicit feelings and spark memories you had when you got them. Clothes elicit how you feel when you wear them. Be realistic about how you feel when you wear or use items and get rid of them if necessary. Paying attention to these feelings also helps you to choose objects that better align with your style and ascetic in the future, which will further reduce your consumption.
- Acknowledge that your style changes. Just because you loved a shirt and wore it practically every day for a year doesn’t mean you need to hang onto it if you’re not diggin’ it this year.
What You Should Do With Your Donations
- Drop your donations off at a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or an independent thrift store.
- Donate your cleaning supplies, towels, blankets, sheets, etc to a local animal shelter.
- Donate bath and body items, including feminine hygiene products to homeless shelters.
- Sift through your craft and office supplies and donate them to a preschool or send them to a young person in your life that way they can be creative without it costing them anything.
- Sanitize and donate toys and books to a preschool, family homeless shelter or local family who may need new stimulation.
- Sell your items on Facebook marketplace, craigslist, eBay, ThredUp, Poshmark etc.
- Gift your quality, coveted, but unwanted items to family and friends that way you know they’re being enjoyed.