In January, I dove head over long into my decluttering campaign, rummaging through the garage, closets, and dresser drawers for items I haven't used in at least the past year or two. I've told myself that those are the things I should seriously consider parting company with. My pile of rarely used items quickly began to take over the living room floor, and when I stood back to appraise my progress, a wave of anxiety hit me. It was a veritable tsunami of materialistic nostalgia.
This is great stuff, I said to myself. I can't give it away!
My original intention had been to cart everything off to a local thrift store, or maybe post it on the Freecycle Network, as those are terrific ways to redistribute things you no longer need But I decided that my old stuff is so special, it deserves the best possible new home. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but after some online research, here's my last will and testament concerning the distribution of my stuff to some very special new homes:
* My favorite-but-now-sadly- threadbare fleece jacket: I'll drop it off at the local Patagonia store, where it'll be recycled into new clothing as part of Patagonia's Common Threads Recycling program.
* The speed-bag that nearly knocked me out last time I tried to use it: SportsGift.org will pass it along to an aspiring Rocky Balboa, since they use donated sports equipment to create community-based sports programs for underprivileged kids around the world.
* A duplicate copy of Stuart Little, one of my all-time favorite books by E.B. White: I know it will find a good home and delight some young reader when I donate it to Project Night Night, a nonprofit organization that provides "Night Night" tote bags filled with books and other items to homeless children.
* Six partially used gift cards, each with such a small credit balance that I know I'll end up spending more on stuff I really don't need if I go shopping to redeem them: I'll donate the balances to some of my favorite charities through Gift Card Donor.
* Our overabundance of used blankets, towels and linens (Where did we get all this stuff?!): Local animal shelters often need donations of such items to use in animal cages. Visit Pets 911 to find animal shelters near you.
* The suits and ties I (thankfully) don't wear anymore, ever since I quit my last "real job" to become a writer: To Career Gear, a nonprofit organization that distributes business clothing to disadvantaged men who are trying to re-enter the workforce. (I'm happy to help, but just don't hold my taste in ties against me.)
* The used saxophone I bought during my Kenny G. phase, but never learned how to play: The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation will find a good home for it, since they refurbish used instruments and donate them to underfunded school musical programs.
* And finally, I think I'll take my big stack of old magazines -- including Boxing Digest, GQ, and Saxophone Monthly -- over to the local hospital and some area retirement homes to see if they need some reading material.
I'll sleep better tonight knowing that my special stuff has found some very special new homes. Now, who deserves my Chia Pet collection?
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