Sharing your wealth: January is a great time to declutter by giving to charity

December 30, 2018

That old adage “It’s better to give than receive” is in full gear at this time of year. As we are given multiple opportunities to share our wealth, why not share our goods where it will do the most good for others and ourselves?

The idea is that we can clear out clutter while helping others. Some don’t know where to start, so here are a few suggestions.

As you sort through clothing and other belongings, there is a formula that might help make it easier for to part with specific items.

Ask yourself these questions:

• “When was the last time I used or wore this?” If it has been a year or more, get rid of it.

• “How much does it cost me to keep it?” The answer can vary, from taking up valuable space in your bureau to having to pay for a storage unit, then the question becomes “Can I afford it?”

• And finally: “Could someone else get more value out of it than I do?” For example, there are folks out there who need a warm coat like one of the five you haven’t worn in several years.

One system that recently came to light is making use of all those boxes our online buying created over the holiday.

Instead of sending all those empty boxes to the refuse bin make use of them by filling them with household items that need a new home. Then choose a charity that would benefit from your gently used goods. Another idea some adhere to is, when they receive a gift they donate two of their belongings. So if you receive one candle for a Christmas gift you in turn could donate two books. Bring one thing in and take two things out.

As workshops and tool sheds are straightened and purged of things that are no longer useful in your home, think of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. They take building materials and furniture — and the best part is, they come and get it.

It’s simple: You gain space when you get rid of left-over building materials and unused furnishings, and someone else benefits.

If your cast-offs are too far gone for others to use, think in terms of recycling. Goodwill has a website that lists all the items they are willing to accept for resale or recycle, as do many other charitable organizations.

This is a season of big family dinners, holiday parties and a multitude of gatherings that cause a body to have excess food on hand.

One thing we know about prepared food is that it is not going to keep forever, so why not give it those near and dear.

Stock up on baggies and disposable food containers so you can share your good cooking with friends and family as they leave the party. Finally, as you finish with this newspaper, save it for the Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter to be used to line the animal cages.

Remember: One man’s trash is another’s treasure, so make a New Year’s resolution to declutter your abode, share the cast-offs and enrich our community.

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