How recycling can be good for your health

How much stuff do you need? Why not let it do some good for someone else?

How much stuff do you need? Why not let it do some good for someone else?

Every time I move I get rid of things, and after 10 moves in 15 years, I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff!

I joke about wanting to be prepared to move to “the home” with only my knitting and a couple of books. But what to do with things I enjoy but for which I no longer have room? What’s the best good I can do with things I really like but no longer need?

Besides giving a few items to family, I’ve decided to take a number of bags of good but used clothing and household items to Goodwill Industries.

The Goodwill donation center and store is just two miles away, but I didn’t just want to drop off bags and boxes because of convenience. At (about-us) I learned, “Every 33 seconds of every business day, someone gets a good job, with help from Goodwill.”

I started thinking, I could give “the thing” to someone I know – who might enjoy it but already has plenty – or give it to Goodwill.

Goodwill is more than a resale store. From its website, “Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.”

I didn’t know and what I’ve learned makes donating that much sweeter.

Goodwill puts people to work in their stores. Store revenues help put people to work in business and industry. In 2011, Goodwill helped 216,000 people find meaningful employment.

When I moved back to Indiana in 2011 I was shocked to read on the bill of lading that I had 7,720 pounds of stuff. ALL THIS, after making donations, holding a time-consuming garage sale and selling the big furniture with the house. With this year’s spring cleaning I’m digging deep into closets, the basement and cabinets to continue to downsize. It lifts my spirit to donate to Goodwill.

I’ve heard nature abhors a void. Making space by giving away things I love but really don’t use allows room for other gifts to come into my life. What kind of gifts? Peace of mind, the knowledge I’ve done some real good for someone else.

If you’ve lived in the same place for many years, chances are you’ve accumulated more stuff than you know what to do with. Start by going through one closet at a time and only keep the things you need. Pass the rest of it on to Goodwill, or Habitat for Humanity’s RESale shop or the Salvation Army or the women’s shelter or the church garage sale or … you get the idea. I guarantee giving away your no-longer-used items will make you feel better.

On the other hand, and this might be hard to read, hanging on to stuff you don’t use can cause dis-ease. It breeds bugs, accumulates dust and the clutter can stifle. Ask yourself why you feel the need to hang on to these things. Dig into why you’re attached to your stuff. Do yourself a favor and let it go. Let it help others.



One response to “How recycling can be good for your health

  1. I know the feeling. I have “things” that my kids will have absolutely no interest in, among them books galore. hundreds if not thousands of photo, boxes of information from my genealogy hobby, etc. Now that I’m an octogenerian I’m resolved to get rid of some of the stuff. We’ll see how long my resolve lasts.

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