When Corinne invited me to participate in the Random Acts of Kindness Blog Party I knew I had to say yes. Teaching our son kindness, empathy and thoughtfulness is a key priority for my husband and I. We work hard to be philanthropic and hope that he grows up understanding the importance of being kind and giving back.
At the same time, I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that accumulates in our home. Little gifts from generous grandparents, school work, arts and crafts projects etc are all wonderful, but can be really overwhelming when it’s all coming at you at once.
As a result I thought I’d combine random acts of kindness with decluttering!
We are very lucky. We have more than we need and are in a position to be able to give back. How can we be kind, give back and declutter at the same time? Here are some helpful tips to combine random acts of kindness and decluttering:
Never Throw Anything Useful Away
While this may seem counter-intuitive, it’s not. Throwing useful things into the garbage is a terrible waste. Not only is it awful for the environment, but the only person you’re helping by throwing things in the garbage is yourself.
Obviously I’m not talking about leftover boxes and plastic bags (although those should be recycled), I’m referring to things like old books, clothing, furniture and toys that your kids no longer play with. All of these items can find good homes somewhere else.
We also like to get our son involved in choosing what to donate. When it’s time to go through everything we do it together. I’ll sit with him (he lasts about 2 minutes lol) and we talk about what to give away and what to keep.
But What do I do with Everything?
This will require a bit of research on your part but it’s worthwhile. Does your house of worship accept donations? What about your child’s daycare? Is there an organization you are particularly passionate about but are not sure how to support?
For example, in our house we read a lot and always have. As a result, my son has so many books that he’s now grown out of. In doing a bit of research I discovered that there’s a free kids bookstore that takes donations. You donate the books and the bookstore lets kids in need shop around and decide what books they’d like to keep all at no cost to the children. I love this idea!
As I do when we decide what to donate, I like to involve my son in the decisions with respect to where the donations should go. Some of the items, if they are age appropriate, go to his school after school program. For items that may not work – baby items etc we’ll donate them to different agencies. I also try to bring him with me when we make the donations to see how the process works.
If you have business clothes consider donating them to either a woman’s shelter or your local Dress for Success chapter. These organizations are super important in helping women in difficult situations find support and assistance. They are always in need of donations both monetary and in kind.
Facebook isn’t only great for keeping up with friends but there are loads of buy sell and free groups out there. Join a few of those groups and you’ll see that there are lots of people happy to take your donated goods. Like the saying goes – “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
I find that even in Facebook mom groups there are people who are either in need of certain things or who are collecting items for a family in need. If the collections are being done in your area consider donating to them.
I hope this post has inspired you not only to declutter and organize your space but to give back as well.
More Random Acts of Kindness
If you want over 200 more ideas, check out this Random Acts of Kindness series.