Pin Me

Don't Trash Useful Items

written by: Julia Bodeeb•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 6/24/2009

Save the earth and donate items instead of tossing them into the garbage. Help others by donating unwanted items. Share the joy of helping others who are in crisis and in need of home goods.

  • slide 1 of 1

    Landfills worldwide are full of perfectly good items that could have continued to be used by someone if only the original owner had not thrown them out into the garbage. Though most people now are accustomed to recycling cans and bottles, too many people regularly trash larger items they no longer need. They do not stop to think that someone else may have an urgent need for the item they now consider as trash.

    List Items on FreeCycle.org

    Freecycle.org is a great website to list items you no longer want; someone else will be delighted to find a free item and will even typically come to your house to pick it up. Freecycle is a social trend that helps the environment by keeping good items out of the dump. Freecycle is also good for family budgets. Any item that may be found for free allows the family to save a bit of money for the future.

    Freecycle teaches people the value of items they thought were worthless. That useless item one almost threw out may be like gold to someone whose budget is broke and who needs the item.

    Donate to Salvation Army or Goodwill

    Many people who have suffered a traumatic incident like a hurricane, flood, or fire that destroyed their home make the Salvation Army or Goodwill store their first stop to start to put together a new home. When one loses all contents of a home at once it is usually very overwhelming and expensive to start to replace crucial items.

    Thus Goodwill and Salvation Army stores help people in crisis begin anew. They sell items at reasonable prices. They also have frequent turnover of merchandise so customers who shop there regularly will find much of what they need to refurbish a house over time.

    So before you trash good items that someone could use think of others beside yourself. Find the time to do a good deed and donate the item to a thrift store. Be a hero for someone who is in crisis by donated items you are bored with to help them start a new life.

    Ask Social Services or Police Force if They Know Needy Families

    Ask for help to find families who may be in need of items you are disposing of. For example, if your kids have outgrown their early clothes and the toys they used when younger, do a big cleanout and find a family with young kids and limited finances. This family would be overjoyed to get the items for their family.

    Items you may have thrown out may be a miracle for a family who recently lost jobs or whose finances are in crisis. A family that cannot afford to shop for new clothes for the children or for holiday presents would be delighted to receive an unexpected donation of clothes and toys.

    Put Notes on Bulletin Boards

    Most grocery stores and some banks and convenience stores have bulletin boards for public use. So post notices about items you want to give away or sell cheaply. Take the time to try to get someone to take the item before you ever think about just throwing it away.

    Use Word of Mouth

    Tell friends and relatives that you are doing a big clean out of your home. Tell them you will have boxes of items available for the taking on certain days. As the word spreads you may find members of the younger generation such as college students and new graduates flocking to your home to find free items to decorate their new abodes.

    By giving away unwanted items you help others start their new lives without spending a lot of money on home expenses. It is always nice to know that items you used with love will be used and appreciated by someone else now.

    So work hard to keep the home free of unwanted clutter. Do an annual or seasonal clean out and donate items you no longer need. This will make it easier to get organized when you next decide to relocate. Also, you will help the environment by keeping good items out of the dump. So don’t trash your stuff donate it and save the planet.