After staring at the same furniture, clothing, and walls for nine months, it’s easy to start to hate everything around you. Who chose that decor? And why do we still have this sofa? For many people, the pandemic has been an opportunity for home improvement and to declutter, donate and purge unwanted items found in spaces that should have been cleaned out a long time ago.
READ MORE: How To Make Your Charitable Donations Stretch Far And Wide In 2020
But getting rid of the old to make room for the new isn’t as easy as it sounds. Pickups from charities (or the garbage man) aren’t always available, donation sites can be picky, and it’s hard to sell old pieces — especially in the middle of a pandemic, when many people would simply be too scared to bring another person’s things into their home.
This week, we headed to HerMoney’s private Facebook Group to see how some of our favorite ladies on the internet were handling their donation distress.
There was one across-the-board solution that almost all of our women suggested, and you don’t even need to leave your house (or the internet) to get there: Buy Nothing groups on Facebook. What are these? Exactly what they sound like. These groups live on Facebook — there should be one specifically for your area, so search for “Buy Nothing *Your City” — and serve as a donation vehicle in your community. You can post the items you’re looking to get rid of and others in your community can come take it off your hands. The only catch is that it’s wholly donation based (hence the name), so if you’re looking to make some cash on your giveaways, this is not the way to go.
Beyond Buy Nothing groups, look to your community for places to donate. Susan I. says she heads to local charities that support foster kids, or domestic violence shelters to drop off donations. She takes blankets, sheets, and towels to the local animal shelter, as well. Looking local is a great way to donate. There is almost always an organization nearby — a school, a church, a shelter etc. — that needs something. And if they don’t need it, they probably know someone who does.
Fern W. also focuses on local for all her decluttering and donating needs— she got rid of a lot of her stuff by donating it to the refugee resettlement program at her local church. She also invited members of her community to “shop the house and closet” for free and headed to local consignment shops to sell more valuable items.
When staying local isn’t your best bet, head to Facebook Marketplace like Laura H. She sells there, as well as other more specialized Facebook groups where she’s a member. The Salvation Army is another hotspot for donations that many of our group members utilized in their decluttering process.
When you’re looking to make a little money, try having an estate stale like Marcy C. She found she could charge a little more for her items than a tag sale.
If you’re downsizing like Jill M. and don’t know what to do with some of your “stuff,” try giving it to people you know that would especially appreciate it. She feels great knowing that her friends and family were happy to receive little gifts from her.
When it comes to books, check with a local library to see what they need, or if they know of somewhere taking old books. Another great place to check is with local schools, and that goes for supplies past books, too, says Jen H.
If you’re having trouble parting with some of the artistic masterpieces your kids made at some point, Susan C. recommends sending the works to Artkive to have them digitized. That way, you don’t lose them, but also don’t have to worry about them taking up space.
Getting rid of clothes can be a unique kind of hassle, especially during a global pandemic. Jen H. recommends seeking out foster homes in your area and sending clothing there. They are always looking to beef up their kids’ closets.
And if all else fails — and if you’re like me and Rachel I. who have no problem just getting rid of stuff — send it to the curb. Either neighbors will pick up some good items, or the trash collectors will take it for you. For larger items, be sure to schedule a pickup with your local trash collectors.
No matter how you did it, congrats. You’re well on your way to being able to breathe in your house again!
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JOIN US: How are you giving back this year? Join us in the private HerMoney Facebook group and share your best philanthropic philosophies— and pick up a few new ones!