A Friendly Donater

I’m exhausted.  Quite literally.  I’m downsizing, and once again have realized I have too much ‘stuff’.  So I did something crazy — I went through every single thing I have, figured out if I REALLY wanted it, and whatever I didn’t I kept right there and had a sale.

But for this sale, I decided I wanted to donate it all to a charity for depression (iFred).  So I moved everything I wanted, really wanted, to keep.  And then opened my doors to a sale.  Let me tell you, this is one of the smartest things I have ever done.

Here are the reasons why:

  1. I raised $500 for depression awareness – it means a thousand brochures will go out and folks will get educated in a positive way about depression and how / where to get treatment.
  2. I shined a positive light on depression – less than 25% of those currently with depression are getting treated due to stigma and lack of funding.  I was able to talk to many people along the way about their own experiences with depression and how important it is we encourage those with it to seek help, and I opened some new eyes to it.
  3. Kids and families that would not otherwise have nice stuff, were able to get really nice stuff.
  4. Everybody took something if they wanted something.  THEY gave me the price, not the other way around.  They made whatever donation they felt comfortable with – and yes, this means a nice tv might have sold to $2 to one family, and a lamp may have sold $20 to another.
  5. They got something AND gave something, and I got something and gave something.  Too many wins to list.
  6. I met tons of great people in my neighborhood.
  7. My stuff was moved for FREE!  Everybody that got stuff moved it themselves.
  8. I was able to give a little girl my doll house.
  9. I have a really, really positive, good feeling and memories that will stay with me forever – like the guy riding his bike from the sale balancing two speakers on his handlebars with a BIG grin on his face for getting the deal of a century.

The economy in Michigan is horrible, as it is in many places.  I put some of the stuff on Craig’s List but was unable to sell most of it.  My other thought was to donate it to the Salvation Army — and to do that would have been great as well but I needed to have it all perfectly boxed, on the first floor, and very specifically list everything I was donating.  Quite frankly it was a lot of work.

But there is something very special about the process of having a sale, the interactions with the people, knowing that your stuff is really truly appreciated.  Research shows that acts of kindness is good for your mental health, and while I think donating it would have felt great, the interaction with the people is what made my day really truly special.

If you are blessed to have things in your life that you don’t need, consider doing a sale by yourself or with your neighbors.  Don’t stress about getting it ready or pricing everything and certainly don’t spend any money advertising.  Put your sale on Craig’s List.  Put a few signs up in your neighborhood on bright paper the day of the sale that say SALE TODAY, the date, and your address, and have it in your front yard. Relax, put some brochures on the table, enjoy meeting some new people, and feel good about helping others.  It truly makes for a perfect day.



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    Last reviewed: 2 Jun 2010

APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2010). Moving – Unwanted Stuff + Garage Sale + Donation to Charity = Pure Bliss. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 27, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd/2010/06/moving-unwanted-stuff-garage-sale-donation-to-charity-pure-bliss/



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