Yesterday, I posted a list with links for organizations that accept your decluttered items as donations. This is a great way to move unwanted stuff out of your living space and declutter your house! Here are some reasons why you should donate your decluttered items instead of throwing them away.
Donating unwanted items keeps them out of the landfill. According to the Recycling Facts Guide, few new landfills have been created since 1993. At the same time, the total rate of waste generation has increased. While recycling has increased significantly, so has the volume of garbage being thrown in a landfill.
Donated items can go to people who need them. We all feel good when we can be philanthropic. If you are on a strict budget, one way to donate to those less fortunate is to give your good-quality, usable items to non-profit organizations who will help pass them on to people in need. (It's interesting to note that The Huffington Post (August 2010) reported that poor Americans give a greater proportion of their income to charity than the wealthy.)
Donated items can be a used as a tax deduction. Refer to the website, Charity Navigator, for some basic instructions on how to get your tax deduction.
One word of caution - donated items must be in good condition. If you talk to any clerk at your local thrift store, you'll learn that people often dump items that are essentially garbage in the donation boxes. Stained and ripped clothing, broken toys and damaged books should all be recycled, if possible, not donated. If you wouldn't wear it or can't use it because of it's condition, then it's not likely someone else can either.
I'm ending this post with a reminder that today is the last day to enter the give away! The drawing will be tomorrow, January 8, 2011. Good luck!