Not everything we're getting rid of is going to a thrift store. Some things are passed on to friends and family, some to people we know in our community who need them, some to shelters, pregnancy crisis centers and other charities. A few large items have been sold online (with the caveat that we must immediately give away or put the money we receive from it towards our debt!) But many of the things we are decluttering are going to the thrift store.
In the city near our home, there are a number of thrift stores.
There is one that is situated in the fancy, shiny, commercial part of town. It's a giant department store style thrift store that sells things for just a tiny bit less than they would be new. It's not uncommon for dollar store items to be priced at 99 cents or a pair of jeans to be seventeen bucks!
This store is really easy to donate to. They're located across from the mall, around the corner from our church. They are open long hours every day of the week and they have one of those bells that rings when you pull up to the donation centre so that a store person can come out and help you unload all of your junk.
Up until recently, we didn't give it much thought. We just took stuff to the convenient donation centre at the side of the great big fancy thrift store. Our motivation was to get the things out of our home, not to see them redistributed to those who need them.
In contrast, all over the city there are small not-for-profit thrift stores that are intentionally located in the parts of town where they are needed most. These places have a reputation for selling baby clothes for a quarter and giving deals to single moms with armloads of back to school clothes. Many of them use the proceeds from the thrift store to fund valuable community services such as food banks and shelters. They aren't as convenient to donate to, they have fewer hours of operation and no extra staff members to help you unload. But for us, once we thought about it, the decision was easy.
The word redistribution has been on my mind a lot lately. Some of us have way too much while many have too little. We are carefully choosing to take our unneeded items to a store that was designed to redistribute these things to those who need it, and it's desire is to serve and bless the community.
So that's today's task. To be more intentional about where our stuff goes. And to give things away with reckless abandon knowing that it will end up in the hands of somebody who needs it far more than I do.
By the way, this post was originally slated for yesterday. But then Luke's work crew, who was planning to be out of town on a job all week finished their work early and Luke came home unannounced 2 days early, surprising me with a few flowers and fancy truffles from a lovely little chocolate shop on route.
So I ate chocolate and snuggled my man instead.
We are doing one small thing (almost) every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!