I talk a lot about purging your stuff, so you can live with less.
When people purge, they often want to donate their things to those less fortunate, because it makes them feel better. They also don’t want it in the landfill because they fancy themselves environmentalists. (Pro-tip: if you really care about the environment, you would not buy and consume so much because much of it does end up in the landfill. But I digress.)
It’s great to donate your things. I have several favorite charities, where I donate clients’ items, so others can use them.
But there are some things that should be thrown away and never donated. What are they? I list a few below.
First, though, here is a test to help you decide if it should be donated or tossed:
If you would not buy it used, then you should throw it away. Would you buy used underwear? No. Would you buy a used pillow that someone else has slept on for 10 years? No. Would you buy a broken coffee maker? No.
I know you say, “Someone could use this!” Or ,”I spent so much money on this, I can’t throw it away.”
My response is people with less money have the same standards as people with money. The only difference is they have less money. No one wants to sit on a couch that is covered in cat pee. No one.
Please don’t donate things that need to be tossed because it eases your guilt. You just place the burden on the charity to get rid of it, and they are not staffed to deal with this burden.
So here is my list of things that should be tossed and NOT donated because it’s most respectful to the charity and the people who use it.
- Used underwear
- Used bras
- Used socks
- Used pillows
- Used bathing suits (basically anything that has touched your privates should not be donated.)
- Any open packages, like food, tampons and medical supplies. If it’s sealed, go ahead and donate.
- Things that have been left in the attic or garage for 25 years and are covered in mice poop, like clothes and furniture.
- Broken appliances or pieces of technology, like a broken coffee maker or a broken iPad.
- Anything your child has sucked on, like pacifiers or stuffed animals.
- Anything with with holes or stains, like furniture, clothes or linens.
- Anything the cat or dog has used as their bathroom.
- Anything that is broken or missing pieces.
- Used coloring books or pads of paper.
- Photo frames with your photos inside. (Remove the photos before you donate.)
- Dirty dishes. Wash first.
- Sleeper sofas. No one wants them.