Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Man's Trash by Lady of the House

City living isn't synonymous with oodles of storage, or space for that matter. Add to this fact a personal disdain for clutter and a husband raised by total pack rats, and you've got yourself a recipe for minimalism bordering on the brink of austere. We revel in trips to the Good Will, perform regular closet clean-outs, and pride ourselves on our ability to purge.

Next week we are moving for the third time in three years, so with all the packing and taking stock of things, I have donating on the brain. As we head into Spring, you may be gearing up for your own big purge. Here are a few places, ready and waiting to take your donations. You'll be ridding yourself of unwanted items, but you may wind up feeling charitable, environmentally friendly and perhaps changed.

About to hit that white sale? The Wisconsin Humane Society is in need of your old bath towels. (And that's exactly what you'll tell your husband when he asks why you spent $400 at Pottery Barn. "The homeless puppies were in need, honey!")

It can be a horrible head ache wrangling all the cords, cards, discs and electronic debris that we seem to accumulate. Far worse than the 3 computer monitors taking up space in your garage is the fact that most people just toss them in the trash. Electronic waste is no joke. Give thought to what you're throwing away, or better yet, recycle it. This local company offers electronic recycling. Or put an ad on Craigslist. Maybe your old laptop is the perfect thing for a student in need.

Did you know the Boys and Girls Clubs of America want your old sports equipment? They do! Get your children involved in the clean out, and make the donation together.

Free up some room in your closet and make a girl's day with the donation of your party dresses. The Cinderella Project sends underprivileged girls to prom with your help. So seriously. Are you going to wear it again?

A good catch-all is the Good Will or Salvation Army, and if you keep a designated donation box near by, it's easy to fill up and drop it off each month. You'll be an expert in no time.

Lady of the House


  1. what a great post, with so many thoughtful recommendations!! We all need to think more like you do

  2. Lady, how are you such a genius? I've been tidying up around here, and this is just what I needed. Good luck with the move!

  3. I always like to go through our closests several times a year to give clothes and shoes away to good will. Less is more! Good luck with your move too!

  4. great article and reminder that others will find treasures in your garbage!
    In fact, I found 3 old cast iron pans at the recycling station this week -- cleaned and reseasoned, they're like new. I love other people's trash! Theresa

  5. I love the Humane Society, and they have a thrift store here in Tucson that will take all kinds of donations.

  6. I've moved 6 times in so many years - and like you am always cleaning out and giving to charity. My partner on the other hand, is not a mover and therefore has accumulated a lot of stuff. Last weekend, I eliminated 50 t-shirts from his cupboard and he didn't even notice. I offered them to friends before taking the remaining to our local St Vinnies.

    Shari from

  7. what a great post! Just in time for my spring cleaning! :D