Most of us are overwhelmed with more stuff than we can find places for in our homes. I hate to throw things out that I believe might be useful to someone. Many objects in my home have stories that remind me of events, beloved friends or family, and letting go of those objects feels like letting go of the events or the family members. By writing down the stories of these mementos, you may find you can more easily let go of the object itself
But how to connect what I have with the person or organization that can make better use of it? If this is where you are, start here, check out the websites, and if it seems to be a good match, sign up for a pick up or call to talk with someone. This is not a comprehensive list, merely a place to start. Happy cleaning!
1. Freecycle: http://www.freecycle.org/
By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure.
2. Habitat for Humanity: ReStore: http://www.habitat.org/restores
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community and hope locally and around the world.
3. Big Brother, Big Sister: http:/www.bbbsfoundation.org/acceptable-donation-items/
Acceptable donations types are too long to list here. Please check their list of unacceptable items as well. Pick ups are free, but are scheduled at the organization’s convenience.
4. Epilepsy Foundation of New England: http://donatenewengland.org/
Pickups scheduled on-line for MA,RI, NH, and ME. Acceptable items too long to list, check website.
5. Vietnam Veterans of America: www.clothingdonations.org
Go to website for entire list of desired donations. Available in MA, CT and twenty-eight other states.
6. Salvation Army: http://satruck.org/ Schedule a pickup with Salvation Army. Call to check on best option for your situation.
While you’re making space in your home or preparing to move into smaller living quarters, think about what you’re doing with the stories you’re carrying around in your head. What will happen to those memories if you don’t write them down? You have knowledge and experiences that others may want to know about years from now, or even today! Email me for more information, Marjorie@marjorieturner.com or www.marjorieturner.com To find a personal historian in your area, visit www.personalhistorians.org
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,” and “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! New England Regional Chair for the Association of Personal Historians, she is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com