Giving away GOOD stuff to good folks

 

I had a goofy experience with Craigslist.

I had an armoire for sale and had some folks come to take a peek. I spent the entire day before cleaning my house for the viewing. 

Did they take it? No.

And then the email requests for viewing grew. BUT most wanted to just take a peek first round, then come back at a later date.

Um… do you know how much work it is to clean your house at just the right time? And set up appointments to be home for all these viewings?!? I therefore ignored the requests and resolved to just FIND someone that wanted it. End the grief of selling.

Which leads to my next point.

If you’re wondering where all my new creation reveals have gone lately, I made myself a deal. 

First I had to get rid of stuff to make room for new cool stuff. You see, collectors accumulate…

 GONE.

Yesterday, I gave away this awesome ‘as new’ entire desk set to a local organization that really needed it. They picked it up in one fell swoop in a big ‘ol truck nearly instantly! My kinda purging. 🙂  Craiglisting this lot would have created a fiasco. Breaking up the lot… umpteen visits.. forget that!

They also took a brand new bristile board dart board I still had in the box. Apparently theirs was badly water damaged and they play darts daily and were at abit of a loss as they rely on donations. I LOVE stories like that!

Know what absolutely stunned me the most? Apparently they aren’t use to getting ‘good’ stuff as donations. Much of what they get goes straight into the dumpster. I hope I set a new trend. Give some good stuff away, not just your junk. The goodwill gesture WILL come back to you. You just wait.

You see, these fellas helped paint my exterior house trim. For free. I was thrilled to finally have found a helpful way to give back.

 GOING.

And they’re willing to take this armoire currently located in my son’s room next, as soon as I get it ready! YESyesyes!!

 First I have to undo that tray I just made out of one of the doors. Whoops… I knew I didn’t paint it for a good reason. 🙂

 GONE.

This armoire went to some neighbors that desired something larger to house a TV in. I’m soooo glad I didn’t sell it and gave it to them instead. 

And here’s the goodwill part. They ended up giving something back that I couldn’t do myself…

 NEARLY ALL GONE.

They helped lug that mammoth TV into the back of my truck to bring it to recycling, brought down a beat up twin bed which I took to the dump just yesterday, (tried to give it away, no one would take it!) AND….

And they helped me move my farm table into it’s final resting home, my new craft/photography room! Check it out.. I was playing with ‘centerpieces’ for SNS this weekend!

Yeah yeah… that floor jumble will be on floor to ceiling shelves in no time. Baby steps here… 🙂

The point of this post?

Consider giving good stuff away rather than Craiglisting it. Not only is the move instant gratification on your part, you’re helping others that may need it, PLUS only good will come your way due to it somewhere along the line.

Trust me. Every time I do a goodwill gesture, I get back 10 fold.

Update: I already received one good deed just a moment ago. The garbage man picked up ALL my garbage I left at the curb. I ran out of overload tickets and decided to try anyway. It’s all gone! Bless that man’s heart…

What do you do with the stuff you no longer want?

Prefer to throw away or give away?

Have good experiences with Craigslist?

Linkin’ up! Moving this stuff was WAY long overdue!

 Other stuff:

See you tonite at SNS! And bring your centerpieces along. 🙂

DINGDINGDINGDING! 

As for the Copy Me challenge? Lucky duck Miss Mustard Seed is busy at Blissdom so we will announce the party date once she arrives home.

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66 thoughts on “Giving away GOOD stuff to good folks

  1. THANK YOU!

    I have thought of trying the goodwill to ebay/craigs list route for extra cash but it seems like toomuch work for me 😉 I don’t even have garage sales anymore I just bag it & drop it off on my way by. b’bye!

  2. what a great post! thank you for sharing this. you are inspiring, always. i can totally understand that feeling of always cleaning up the house for “viewers.” our house is on the market, and oh my goodness, what a pain it is to constantly clean and pick up and straighten up. especially as a DIY’er with a million projects around! if i could give away my house, i would! wouldn’t that make everything so much easier? but then, well, then i’d be homeless. and that wouldn’t be a great thing. have a great friday! xo leanne

  3. I think it’s a wonderful thing to donate instead of trying to sell. We do all the time. In fact, about once every two months, I make our 2 and 4 year old boys go through their toys and pick out things to donate. We tell them that it’s going to kids that are not as fortunate as them. It’s a great thing to be giving! It’s wonderful to hear of people that do the same! 🙂 Happy Friday to you.

  4. I totally agree with Kim – I’d rather just give it away than try and bother to sell it. I like to tell myself that all of the bad junk goes straight in the garbage (and most of it does) but sometimes, sentimentality gets the best of me, and I tell myself it’s more valuable/in better shape/someone else can use it. When in fact, one gal’s trash is another gal’s trash. Good luck with the office! I am totally excited to see it finished. AND I have a project in mind to participate in the Copy Cat challenge, just home I can finish in time 🙂

  5. I post my give-aways with an amazing online organization http://www.freecycle.org/ . There are local chapters in many cities and towns and if there is not one you can start one.

    Not only can you fee good giving things away you can also ask for things you need. I recently asked for an received a very nice bicycle for a 9 year old friend who had never learned to ride. I also got a dollhouse for her. I received a few shingles to fix the ones that blew away in a storm. This week I lucked into 70 sheets of printer transparencies which saved my tight art budget more than $60.00!

    I gave away many things when I downsized from a house to a boat. I also give away leftover craft materials, paint, even the usable lumber left from my old deck railing.

    Using freecycle has become a normal part of my life and it is the green thing to do that brings joy to myself and others.

  6. I love this post of yours.

    I work next door to a thrift store. They get crap all the time. Things that I would have thrown away a long time ago. I always wonder why people think that some things are alright to donate! A lot never makes it inside because it is so bad. They had a couch left there in the night one time. Both arms had been eaten off (like dogs had chewed them) and there were no cushions. WHY did someone go to the trouble to even haul it up to the store?!?!?

    I love hearing about how the good always comes back around!

  7. I usually give to the Salvation Army store when I have to purge or clean out a few things. 🙂 We have given things away too and you are so right,,,it makes you feel good:) Can’t wait to see your office, it looks so cheery and I love that big window in front of your desk area. our kitchen redo is going slow,,,but we are making baby steps there too. We just need 2 wks of straight, uninterrupted work time on it!! This too shall pass. Happy Friday to you too.
    From Alberta
    Dawna

  8. You are my kinda girl…I have been doing this for years!!! One time I even had a FREE YARD SALE! People stopped and said “Everything is Free?” I said yes it is…would you believe most people went ahead and gave me money anyway! No good deed goes un-noticed! 🙂 Happy Giving…

  9. What a GREAT post! I love giving good things to people who really need it! I don’t mind giving to Goodwill, because I love an awesome thrift store find (and I love that they give jobs to people who need them!), but I MUCH prefer donating free across the board!
    I am hosting a MOMSWAP to do just that, because kids grow too fast to have to pay for lots of kids clothes. It costs a bag of clothes to get in, then you can fill up your bag with whatever clothes you find inside for free 🙂 Mom’s giving to Mom’s!
    I hope this starts a trend too!

  10. I give most of my stuff to the Homeless shelter, and there’s some good stuff! I never give them anything that I think they’ll just have to throw away.
    I did just sell a fridge on Craigslist and put it really, really cheap. I felt great when the guy called 3 minutes after I posted it and felt like he hit the lottery. 🙂
    Most of the time I prefer giving it to the charity.

  11. I havn’t done the Craig’s list thing. I gave tons to the children and then to friends when we downsized. Good for you to give to people that really need it and can use it. Your office/craft room is going to be wonderful. Can’t wait to see it all. Hugs, Marty

  12. I always doing a spring and fall collection of things I think someone else might want and give it to our church for their rummage sales. Things go very quickly during those weekends! 🙂

  13. Hi from southern Alberta! I recently found your blog and have been working my way through all the older posts. Great reading and I love all your creative projects.
    We use Kijiji a lot with great success (for both selling and giveaway) and donate to both SA, Value Village and a local church. I did notice that the Salvation Army has a sign posted now requesting good quality items. Guess they’re trying to cut down on all the garbage.

    Have a great day!

  14. Great post! Hmmmm… I do sell some on CL, but I’ve found that there are a lot of flakes out there. They call and never show up. I just spent an hour cleaning up the garage for a no show. Ugh! Nice that you were able to find a home for the armoire and it returned the favor. Love that! I like to give to Goodwill or Catholic charities where I know the proceeds are benefiting other folks.

    I’ll be back to see your new space. :)Michelle

  15. There’s also freecycle! It’s a great place to give away stuff that you would otherwise put in the trash. That way you’re not donating trash, but you’re keeping it out of landfills too. You never know what odds and ends people are looking for for projects, art, maintence, etc…

  16. Every spring our church holds a rummage sale whose proceeds go to help either the children’s dept, the teens, or the senior’s ministries. I was appalled at the amount of plain old trash people “donated”. I’m sorry but moldy magazines from the 50’s are not collection worthy. PERIOD! Last January we moved 4000 miles into a much smaller house. Over the course of the year we have discovered the Rescue Mission has a store which accepts donations… I love giving things to them and the shelter for battered women. Seeing the smiles on the faces of those who are accustomed to so little and have come to expect even less blesses me in ways I can hardly express!!

  17. So far, I have had much better Craig’s List experiences than you have. I mostly get rid of good stuff in the Free section, and it always seems to go to someone deserving … the wooden swingset to the guy with two kids in the car, the TV cabinet to the family without one … I could go on and on. Smaller stuff gets loaded up and donated to our local Hospice Auxiliary thrift shop. My best way to get motivated to purge is to watch an episode or two of Hoarders … that’ll get one’s butt into gear. Let the purging begin!

  18. Every yard sale I’ve had has been more trouble than it’s worth and I just can’t bring myself to do the Craig’s List thing. Too much hassle for too little return.

    I give and barter a lot.

    Last fall I went through all of my homeschooling stuff which I’d normally sell at one of the used book sales that homeschoolers have in the spring around here. However, it was fall and I didn’t want to wait until spring. I also didn’t want to have to try to sell all that individual stuff online. So…I listed it all for my homeschool support group and let people email me what they wanted. I packed up each person’s order, set one afternoon when people could come pick it up, and gave it all away. So freeing!

    My only desire is that I’d be somewhere in Canada with a big hauling truck the next time YOU start giving stuff away!

  19. What a nice post…….as usual!

    I always give stuff away! Or Goodwill it!

    In fact I have given my neighbor a few things…..she has and old antique sink sitting her her back yard, in the dirt….I keep telling her I love it…..maybe some day….. 🙂

    I sold an SUV on Craigs List! Does that count! It went fine!

  20. I believe in what you give out comes back to you 10 fold so I give away what I can but I also use Kijiji and Craigslist when I am purging. I think Kijiji has been better for me. I am very specific in details and price items very competitive and I have never had someone what to come by and just look, they always come with intent to buy. As a safety precaution I always have the item in the garage or as close to the door as possible so I don’t have to invite strangers into the house. I have sold Sofas, TV’s, tables, hot tub, jewellery, you name it! In return I have made some pretty amazing purchases too! 2 Ikea slipcovered sofa’s like new for $150 each, Adirondack chairs, spare bedroom furniture, barstools.

  21. How great for you that you can clean and declutter while helping somebody else get what they need in the process. I think that’s a great goodwill gesture!

    I have a whole garage full of those types of things that I need to send to new homes myself. I donate all kinds of things to all kinds of places, but for some reason, I never thought to donate my furniture. I’m just so used to telling myself I’m going to fix it up or repaint it, so I hang on to it – but then I never do fix it up, so the pile grows and grows. I guess I need to rethink that now.

    You’re right though, good out = good in. It always works that way.

  22. I like to buy stuff of craigslist but I don’t really care to sell things. I find I rush home from work to meet someone and they don’t even show. I usually find friends or students to take what I don’t want off my hands. I remember being a broke student and definitely could have used anything free.

  23. We’re an Army family, but the Air Force has this awesome little deal called the AirMan’s Attic. It’s a FREE thrift store, opened to all branches of the military. I’ve found some really amazing things there – new soccer shoes for the kids, home decor, new cookware – all of these are donations from military families. We hit the AirMan’s attic almost weekly and we always bring a load to them every time we go. It’s a great concept and I’m hoping that the Army will instill this idea as well. -diane
    http://www.sweeteuropeandreams.com

  24. Donna, what a great post and I think that when you do something nice it always comes back around. That was very thoughtful of you to do. Happy weekend.

    pattie

  25. I have used Craigslist to buy some things, lawn mover, entertainment cabinet (yeah, the guy said a LOT of ppl can to look and didn’t buy).

    But, as for getting rid of larger things… most go to the local Helping Hand Resale Shop (helping special needs adults.) They came and took all my large things. All.

    (And, I had had many organizations come over who said they take everything and they took nothing…and that was after I had set an appt and took off of work. Creeps.)

    So, for me, my local Helping Hand Resale Shop (helping special needs adults) rocks! 🙂

  26. We take smalls and good childrens clothes to the school thrift shop. We would love to give them the good big stuff but I can’t get it down there. Most of the time I put good stuff to the curb and we have a game on how long till someone comes and picks it up. It always goes to someone and not the trash man.

  27. What a wonderful post. I smiled all the way down.
    Doing good things comes back tenfolds it is so true.
    I always give away especially my sons clothes to the salvation army here. He grows out of them faster than he spoil them, so I give away and it will be someone that need the clothes.
    Always when we trow away big junks like cabinets,sofas, frigdes whatever we deliver it to the junk salvation yard. There they keep the good stuff and we sort an put away the bad stuff in correct containers. So we do help and we do enviromental work at the same time.
    Love that tv cabinet. I would so have taqken it without any housecleaning in adwance.
    Hugs!
    Line-Cathrin

  28. Donna, this is great! I have had great experiences with CL. Everyone who said they were coming did and they bought what I was selling.

    However, I am DONE WITH SELLING THE STUFF! DONE! For the same reasons you stated. It’s SO MUCH WORK. Pulling it up and out and waiting and scheduling, etc. I have also decided NO MORE YARD SALES. I feel so much better giving it away to GW.

    Now I am going to ask folks, organizations if they would need X and pass it along! Thanks so much for this!

    xo
    ~Kolein

  29. I love finding bargains on Craigslist. But when it comes to posting things myself…I always figure out a price I’m willing to sell for and put “FIRM” on the price. And I never “hold” items for people, because half the time they don’t even show up. If I’m getting rid of a big item and don’t want to mess with selling it, or can’t take it to goodwill…then I’ll put a FREE sign on it and put it on the curb. It’s always gone the next day. 🙂

  30. I purchased a queen bed off Craiglist once…I was going to paint it and set it up in our spare bedroom. It NEVER happened….and I got tired of seeing it propped up against the wall…so I gave it away on freecycle. It felt so good to do that. There is never a doubt that kindness comes back to you many times over.

  31. I’m going to make my husband read this. He gets kind of irritated because I give things away all the time that I could be listing on Craigslist or Ebay…and I tell him the same thing…good will always comes back to you. We just had this discussion last night, in fact! Happy you found homes for all of those things and made someone’s day, especially with the dart board. Who’d a thunk it? Love your farm table!

  32. Way to go Donna, I just love that spirit of giving. And when we give without expecting anything in return it’s even better.
    This is a lovely post, a subject we need to be thinking more about. It’s this giving attitude that helps glue our communities and our world together.
    Anne xx

  33. I usually put it on my local freecycle.org. That or I donate it to the local Samaritan Inn. They put it in their thrift store to help the homeless.

  34. awww, Donna, you do have the sweetest spirit, girl.
    Goodness does have a way of coming back to you.
    hugs, bj

    O, see ya later for SNS..:)

  35. I love the idea! Just recently I gave away a couple of book cases and a LOT of my books. I volunteer at the Redding VA so I brought in some blankets and gave them away to the veterans. It was all small stuff but it felt good. And in return I have had the best week ever 🙂

  36. Please tell me you didn’t get rid of your little cream coffee table!? I love that sweet thing and have always looked for something similar!! Stop this insanity woman! I do agree on giving things away vs. selling. The things I’ve given away on our local “free market” site in Minneapolis has always left me feeling really good about myself. I’ve met some very nice and appreciative people. But the coffee table? really?
    Beth (a frozen flower in the snow)

  37. Donna, glad to see someone else who thinks this way. I always prefer to take things back to the thrift store rather than sell it. The way I see things is I got such a bargain and a thrill, now it is time for someone else to get one.

  38. Sometimes selling things on Craigslist is more work than it is worth. I like to give away to charity, I give away only the good stuff. The junky, I take a photo, leave it on the free section of Craigslist with my address {I live on a corner so I leave coordinates} and leave the item on the curb with a big sign “FREE”. Then I don’t have to deal with anyone!
    If it isn’t gone, then trash!

  39. I’m with you…I try to give away good stuff that doesn’t go with my house any more to people who like it and it DOES go with their stuff. Last spring I gave away my huge and much loved willow rocker and a chair to a friend who had just bought a willow settee. She didn’t know I had any of the stuff and I used to love it but it does not go with this house. When she said she wished so much that she could afford to buy it’s matching chair…I said…I’ve got a a chair and a rocker you can have. It looks so good on her porch.

    I love it when I can give someone something that looks better at their house than mine. When I saw it sitting there….it made me want it back…but I had to remember it didn’t look that good at my house.

    I also gave away a chandelier that I’d bought that needed a makeover to go in my house. I got it at a huge bargain. But it looked perfect as is for a friend’s house…so I gave it to her. I thought no sense in changing it to make it work for me when it is perfect as is for her. So I gave it to her. Now I love going over there and seeing it in her home.

    Craigslist is weird here. Most everything is priced way high. Lots of junk on there that should be given away and yet they are asking a lot of money for it. I envy all the good deals I see other’s get. I even go check out other cities stuff just to see what is available and yep….there is good stuff to be had cheap…elsewhere.

  40. Thanks for sharing with others to give away good stuff. We just opened a clothing pantry for the poor and I am amazed at the clothing we get. Most goes straight to the trash. It reminds me of some missionary friends of ours who would get boxes sent to them on the mission field and the boxes were full of holey worn and dirty clothing, not even worth the money for postage. If you wouldn’t wear it because of damage please don’t donate it. Poor people already have enough worn out clothing.

    Thankfully we have gotten some very nice things too and the people are so appreciative.

    bee blessed
    mary

  41. As a prop stylist I have to get rid of stuff almost daily, acquiring car loads of great stuff as part of my job is great, until I need to find a place to store it. Already have three storage spaces filled to the brim. What I started doing…after trying eBay, etsy, tag sales, antique malls, flea markets…is donating boxes and car loads of tabletop props to my local homeless shelters, safe homes for abused women and a needy niece or nephew. So much better than those items sitting in a dark dank closet.

  42. I am wishing I was your neighbor or garbage man about now! I too give to who needs it, they come pick it up when it is convenient for me and I don’t have to figure out how to get it to Goodwill or whatever. Dying to see what you are doing!

  43. Giving away the good stuff is an excellent idea. I have never done Craigslist…but Goodwill and Women’s shelters I have done. I always give the good stuff. Junk…I pitch!! So good for you!!
    Doesn’t it feel so wonderful to have all that stuff moved and gone!????!! Yay!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  44. A very inspiring post as usual! I need to unload everything from my parents’ independent living apartment in Florida. They are moving to another section in their place where they don’t need a kitchen and will get twenty four hour care. So your post reinforces my decision to give everything away that they don’t need in their final two room suite. And now I will feel much better about it because you did it first. In the end, it is just stuff. But to someone who needs extra furniture and pots and pans it might mean a lot. Thanks, Ann

  45. dealing with CL people can be a huge, huge pain (believe me, we’ve done it before.) People email, then never respond. People set up meetings, then never show up.

    Please don’t clean for CL people, either…really. you don’t even know these people! and, their houses are probably messy anyway, lol.

  46. We have a “Cool Cheap Stuff” section in out local paper. You have to sell it for less than $500. I listed a walnut bench for $100 and sold it in 3 or so days, then sent the money to Real Hope For Haiti, a ministry working very hard to help babies and adults in Haiti, suffering from malnutrition. Would love to do it again!

  47. Thanks so much for the reminder. I have a number of things I need to pass on to other homes, and this was just the nudge I needed in deciding whether to sell or gift ’em. 😉

  48. Wonderful advice and presented in a lovely form. I am pruging this week and will not think twice before “forwarding” something that is in great condition if I have no use for it OR haven’t used it in a long, long, while.
    I love your blog, I hope you don’t mind I added you to my blog list.
    Have a Happy, Unclutterd week.
    Kelley

  49. dear Giver,

    I am reading a few of your older posts, since I am a newbie here. (completely smitten with your blog so far by the way)

    It is my way to give things to the Goodwill, or the Jubilee Center in the town near us. Like you say, MUCH less hassle, and the thought is very rewarding. I have family and friends who continually have garage sales, sell on e-bay, advertise in the paper and such. But not me. Not even once!

    love,
    Giving it away
    in
    NE

  50. I always give my stuff away on craigslist. Friends always say, ” You could have sold that!” they don’t understand, but I always feel better about giving things away.

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