Guest post by Alison
As much as I love getting free to cheap products, there comes a point when I’ve just simply got too much stuff. When I open my cabinets and closets, and toothpaste falls on my head or a shampoo bottle hits my foot, it’s probably a good sign that I might be going overboard.
Sure, I can give my mom the tenth bottle of laundry detergent I’ve given her in a month or give a friend the seventh bar of soap I’ve passed onto her in a week, but at some point, they start to question my sanity. So the question is, what do I do with some of this stuff?
Donate to a local organization.
More than ever, local charities are hurting and in desperate need of a myriad of items, many of which we’ve been able to stockpile. Check out their websites or give them a call to see what items they’re most in need of. Homeless shelters, rescue missions, women and children’s shelters and pet rescues are all great places to check.
While it takes a little more time, I like to thoroughly sort out which organizations need which items. I could throw everything in a box and bring it to the nearest charity or shelter, but I prefer to sort through the items. The homeless shelter probably doesn’t have a high demand for Pediasure, but the local Shade Tree definitely does. The rescue mission isn’t in dire need of cat food, but the cat rescue can definitely benefit.
Set aside items to pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Last year was the first year I participated in Operation Christmas Child, and I bought items right before Christmas. This meant not only did I pay full price for most items, I wasn’t able to pack as many boxes as I would have liked.
This year, I’ve learned to plan ahead and stock up during Target clearance and other coupon deals. It’s not even the middle of the year and I’ve got an entire box full of toys, school supplies and hygiene items set aside just for this purpose.
Reach out to those in your church, neighborhood or community.
You might be surprised of the needs that go unmet even in our own communities. You can either donate these items to individuals and families or even arrange a swap.
I may not need any more baby wipes, but there might be someone who does that has some extra Excedrin that I need. I would always rather items go to someone who can use them than have them sitting in my closet collecting dust.
Keep a supply of hygiene kits in your car to pass out.
This may not be the right route for everyone, but it’s one that I personally love. Get together hygiene kits with the basics and keep a case of bottled water in your car. Pass them out when you see individuals in need.
It’s amazing how much of a blessing such a small gesture can be. The things we often take for granted are some of the basic necessities in life that not everyone has access to.
Those are just a few ideas of what I do to clear some space in my house, as well as help fulfill the needs of others. I’d love to hear your ideas, too!
Alison Rutledge is a work-at-home wife, student and mother to two crazy cats. She loves the Lord, serving others, volunteering, reading, staying active and, of course, shopping for the best deals she can find.