After reading THIS article today, I was reminded of how disgusting some people really are. Having spent many hours going though boxes that others donate (ok, maybe I was working there to get first dibs but still!) I was shocked at how many people literally donate their trash and garbage, and when I say garbage, I mean garbage. I think we all know I have low standardswhen it comes to what counts as actual trash.
I have found:
hamster cages with everything still inside of it (urine, poo) everything except the dead hamster (I hope, but it's not like I dug through the cage trash to find one.)
Box of mud covered outside "toys" including a ripped up basket ball net stiff with dirt and sun-dried age, and a deflated basket ball so faded I thought it was a giant baseball at first glance. It was crispy!
Multiple bags where it looked like someone dumped the contents of the "bottom of the raisin and milk encrusted toy box" into a bag, tied a knot and sent it over. GROSS! I've even seen Halloween buckets with melted or sucked-on candy still inside!
And you don't have to be a volunteer to see this first hand. Take a trip around to the dumpster behind Goodwill, Salvation Army, Helping Hands etc.. and take a look at the shredded couches, urine stained mattresses and array of appliances that just LOOK like safety hazards that were donated rather than hauled off to the dump. It's sad!
Now I know that the people reading MY blog would never stoop so low, but I do have a few tips that make your donated items better received..
Here is my mountainous pile after a good, long, spring cleaning episode. Shortly after, I got sick and then it sat there for way too long, but I'm getting it out of here TODAY!
One very helpful thing you can do is box things in groups of similar items. I have one box of decor, one of kitchen items, one of toys etc... I put all the smaller items in ziplocks, like flashing bouncy balls, hot wheels and accessories, barbie clothes, kitchen toys. If you don't do this, the smaller loose items will just become a hassle and end up in the trash. We don't want that because it isn't very green to throw them out when someone could have enjoyed those small but usable treasures, and the dollar that ziplock bag of goodies brings would have never ended up in the register of your favorite donation organization!
Another helpful hint is to sort clothing by size (clean and folded too please!) and then label the bags accordingly. Women's Jeans, Men's Plus size, Teen Girl, Toddler boy, Infant ..you get the gist.
This helps a lot, and just imagine which bag you would choose to open, a properly washed and labeled bag, or the overflowing box of smelly shirts with a few half melted candles poking through the mound? When in doubt if an item is worthy, ask yourself "Is this something I would give to a family member? If the answer is no, toss it or recycle it.
I can't wait to get my stuff out of here. My house will feel about 100lbs lighter. Literally!