We all know this saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” But when it comes to donating your used home goods, be it a chair, flower pot, old cutlery or unwanted bedding or clothing, we tend to forget that we can donate all these items to charity. I hear time and time again from people who only see it as ‘trash’. They forget the abundance we have, and how grateful others would be for these gently used item. There are so many less fortunate people, like abused mothers who have to flee their home with just the clothes on their backs, immigrants who come to this country with nothing or even people like you and I that pop into a thrift stores to find something unique and whimsical!
During the staging period of a listed home, I insist that the homeowners comply with one thing – to make the effort to donate or give away items that are reusable.
It is definitely up to the homeowner to decide whether or not they want to resell items or donate them. It breaks my heart when I see perfectly usable items, sitting curb-side and it’ll soon be landfill.
So many things can be donated. Don’t forget when you’re renovating. Sinks, toilets, light fixtures, old wood in the garage can be gently removed, given away or sold to see if there is anyone who will take your construction materials before you have to pay to take it away. People have their own renovations, cottages then need (not pristine) sinks and toilets, and reclaimed wood for. Even people who have cottages and want something unique or rustic will take that second hand sink happily!
The other lesson here is to please be selective when purchasing items, big or small. Purchase items that are second hand, recycled or up-cycled. If you already have something you no longer need, someone out there will most likely love it all over again. Please support your local reuse it centres, thrift stores, secondhand stores and flea markets. These are all environmentalists at heart and we should all be donating and shopping there to help save the planet. Some useful websites: http://www.kijiji.ca, https://www.freecycle.org, http://toronto.craigslist.ca, http://www.salvationarmy.ca, https://www.valuevillage.com, http://habitatgta.ca/restore.html
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