Man, the feeling of being able to get rid of something and have the thought that it is going to be used by someone else is a great feeling, isn't it? It always makes me smile when I see something I have donated go to good use, or at least, being told it will go to good use. Recently, The Mr. and I loaded up our car roof with two full-sized mattresses that we no longer need, or use, and trucked them over to the St. Vincent de Paul in Albany, Oregon. Funny story real quick, as we were driving it started raining on us and we had to stop halfway there and shove them into the back of the car. The Bean was smashed in the backseat-thank goodness he is skinny and flexible-and The Mr. and I were riding with the back of the mattress pushing us so far into the dash. Back to the donating. We arrived at St. Vincent De Paul and it cost us $20 ($10 per mattress) to donate them. The best part about this donation though, was the fact that they either clean them up to resell right in their own store, or send them to a company in Eugene, Oregon, that will refurbish them and put them up for sale. It's a win for everyone involved, and especially for us because we actually donated them. It gives us peace of mind to know that they aren't just sent to a landfill.
Along with donating to the local charity here, we also recently donated our second vehicle to the Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB-PBS). If you follow me on Instagram you saw my-otherwise sad-goodbye to our beloved Chevrolet Blazer the day it was picked up. Speed's Towing was really understanding and let us take a lot of time letting go. It's weird how we get so many emotions involved in something that doesn't even have feelings for us. I think it was more the memories of The Bean growing up-literally-in this car. Now we have the Compass that he is getting used to, but overall, the memories of him at the age of three sitting next to a Christmas tree that The Mr. chopped down, can't be beat! The great part about the donation is the fact that we get a tax write off once the vehicle sells at auction. It's one more step in becoming more minimal and it was sad to see her leave, but we have really been moving things along here with getting rid of things. It feels great.
We have really been on an upward journey here in in the SNS house in getting to where we want to be with our minimal lifestyle. The annoying thing is, as we have probably donated over $20,000 worth of stuff (seriously!) we still feel like we are swimming in stuff. I hope that there will be an end to our beginning, but right now, we are hopeful that the things we are parting with will help us be able to part with even more over time. Nothing that we have donated so far is missed. It's weird how we feel we need these things and in the end, we just don't. I think it's more of a mental thing that you have to break within yourself. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel here in our home, we just have to keep donating, and getting rid of things.
We do hope some of our tips during the Minimal Monday has helped you. The best tips we can give for the donating is to make sure and donate to reputable places. St. Vincent de Paul is one of the few donation centers that take used-in good shape-mattresses. Clothing and shoes bins placed throughout our city get a lot of our clothing, and our local food pantry gets some of our old winter clothing and gear. As far as donating to a place that will actually resell your items, it's tricky. Here where we live there is a place called Pay it Forward. We donate a lot of our items to them and we have seen our items on the shelves of the Pay it Forward, so we know they are a reputable company and won't just throw our items in the bin. There's many other places-no matter where you live-that will do just the same. It takes time to put trust into a place and the best thing to do is to ask them. Unfortunately, some donation centers say they are doing good, but will end up tossing a lot of good items into the landfill. Goodwill is one of these companies, so keep that in mind.
Best of luck to you and keep on creating a life of less.