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How to make helpful donations

I just read an article about how Goodwill has to spend close to a million dollars every year to dispose of trash that people donate. My first thought was, who would donate trash? My second thought was: oh, me. I would donate trash. 

Sometimes I donate every possible thing I need to get rid of, instead of just the good things. For instance, I'll donate a pair of pants that I've had since I was pregnant (with my now eight year old) that have paint stains and holes. I always shrug and think, Goodwill can use this, right?!

But of course they can't! Goodwill (and thrift stores in general) can only sell things that are in decent condition. If I donate items that are broken or dirty or worn out, Goodwill will just have to trash them. 

I think this is really about my aversion to throwing things away. I have to remind myself that if I am stressed about throwing things away, the best way to solve that problem is by being more particular about what I buy in the first place. If I'm buying quality things, I won't have to get rid of so many things. (More thoughts on that here.)

In the meantime, before I donate something, I'm going to ask myself, is this is good enough condition for someone to buy? 

Join me! And let me know what you think. 
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By the way, reply to this email anytime! I'd love to hear about your questions/thoughts/ideas/cute things you buy at the thrift store. 
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