Posts Tagged ‘Goodwill’

Giving things away

My walking partner told me about someone she knows (or read about? or saw on TV? I forget) whose family decided that when they get something new they must give away two things. I have a lot of stuff that I don’t need. Many things I keep for silly sentimental reasons. It’s one thing to keep a baby sweater made by a dear friend for B when he was a baby, but another to keep a pair of pants I loved but that are really awful-looking now. (Actually, I have more than one pair of those.)

So I’m trying it out. I got some new jeans, and went through my drawers to find some to give away. I collected two grocery bags of clothing. It did occur to me that I should maybe save some of that stuff back to use as trade-outs for future acquisitions, but that seems ridiculous. It will get harder over time, though.

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I plan to write more about what’s in the wastebasket, but for now I have another detritus-themed post.

Willie left for college a year ago last September, and when he left we asked him to be all packed up for our November move to the new house. (Tip: Don’t move in the same year your child goes to college, for a multitude of reasons.) He only packed in a half-assed way, and mostly resorted to throwing junk in boxes without lids, and with things sticking out the top for maximum unstackability.

Several boxes ended up in the garage at the new house, and every time Willie has come home I’ve tried to get him to sort through them. Last week he finally gave them a cursory look through before telling me everything could go to Goodwill. I could ALMOST do that, but it was all dusty and some of it was total junk and I didn’t want to make them throw it away (e.g., old Happy Meal toys, bent spiral notebooks with two pages used, gloves with holes in the fingers, disreputable t-shirts).

This meant that I had to look at everything. The t-shirts will become shop rags for Rick. The good shirts will be washed and folded before they go to Goodwill. I found a huge box of buttons – who gave those to him? My sister? I’m keeping them in my sewing cabinet. A box of Magic the Gathering cards, which may or may not be valuable. A yellow legal pad. And then some things that I just don’t know what to do with – cool rocks, some fossils, a little carabiner flashlight – oh, right, I can put that in the Goodwill box. I hate to throw away the Koosh balls. When we traveled back east when Willie was young we used to play Koosh catch in airports while we waited around between flights. But do I need to keep them?

Then I came back in from the garage and looked at my father’s desk, which he left me when he died last year. I thought we had cleaned it all out the week after he died, but in fact quite a bit was left. Some of it is easy to ditch – the big brochure from the local hospital springs to mind – and some of it is hard. I can’t throw out the list in his handwriting of all the places he and Mom ever lived. I’ll hang onto it, I guess, and then when I die Willie can sort through the desk and decide. Maybe it will have crumbled into dust and he won’t have to.

B.B. King is on TV in the next room. Gotta go.

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