Toss It Tuesday

Many have been living with limited or no income over the last few months leaving the charities that support our communities in need. In the spirit of giving back, imagine the happiness someone would feel for those gently used items just taking up space in your home.

This week on the blog, I’m sharing tips to declutter and ways to find a good home for those items in your community.

Shea Christine Photography for our playroom makeover with Palm Beach Lately.

When you’re going through the editing process, the decision to keep or toss an item isn’t always as hard as it seems.

For 75 percent of things you’re considering, it’s likely you can make a quick decision. But then there is that 25 percent… It’s those items you for some reason you find yourself holding on to a bit too tightly.

For those items, ask yourself these five questions:

1. Why am I holding on to this? Always start here. Understanding what an item means to you, whether it was a gift or represents your childhood or whatever, helps you understand the function, if any, it serves in your life at this point.

2. When was the last time you used or wore the item? As a standard rule, if you haven’t used or worn an item in over a year, get rid of it.

3. Does the item no longer fit your personal style or home décor? Times change and so does your taste. What you liked a several years ago, however attached you are to the item, might not fit into your life anymore.

4. Is there some other way to capture the memory associated with the item? As silly as it sounds, would a photo of the item be as satisfying to you as holding onto the item?

5. Would someone else use it and absolutely love it? I guarantee the answer is YES. Imagine the happiness someone would feel at your local thrift store if they were able to use the item you donated. Giving back feels good, so give it a try.

Now that you’ve decided to toss it, make sure you have a plan in advance to get rid of it. 

Option One: Donation Pick-up – Support a good cause and have it picked up! The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation covers Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Option Two: Traditional Drop-off Donation – Of course, there are so many national charities like Goodwill and Salvation Army, everyone knows about those. Try to go local and find a place in your community where donated items will make a major impact. In the Palm Beach area, The Lord’s Place and Program Reach are two of my favorites.

Option Three: Junk Removal – Companies like 1-800-Got-Junk and College Hunks can be scheduled in advance and sure they’ll take away literal junk but they are also take donations. They get them to a local charity and will provide a tax receipt. If you’re spring cleaning your garage or doing another big project, this is the way to go. Worth every penny!

Option Four: Make Some Money – I’m all about getting some money back when possible. My favorites are The Real Real for luxury items. You can schedule a free in home pick up with a local rep or order a kit and mail items. Thred Up is a good option to mail in brands like J Crew and Banana Republic. Or take items to a local consignment shop. I’m currently loving City Girl Consignment in West Palm Beach. As a way to give back, another idea is to pledge to donate any money you make from items sold to a local charity.

Option Five: Think about specialty Items – Let’s say you’re finally clearing out that big book collection or you’ve got lots of worn out shoes. A quick Google search can turn up some really interesting options for non-profit organizations across the country. Or email US, and we’ll give you some ideas.

Tell US! What are your favorite resources for donating your gently used items and giving back to your community?