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Charity shop choices - 23rd January 2019
You've decluttered - hurrah!
Now, it's more than likely you have some items you would like to donate to a charity shop. The question is, does it matter to which shop you take your donations? I think it does!
The obvious aim of decluttering is that you feel better. Hence, when you are thinking how you might part from your clutter it is important that you make the best possible decisions for your own good.
In theory you could drop off your dontations at your nearest charity shop and save time. That's not a terrible thing to do, but maybe you could do better?
Is there a particular charity that means a lot to you?
Do you support Cancer Research for instance, in memory of lost loved ones? Are you an animal lover who supports the PDSA and RSPCA, perhaps? You might have relatives with certain medical conditions and want to help fund research into a cure.
Equally this is as much about your own personal story as it is about your nearest and dearest. What has happened to you in the past where you have had help that meant a lot at the time? Can you reflect this in your donation? One client gave unwanted toiletries to a women's refuge. Sometimes it's possible to donate directly to the end user as she did. Guaranteed to make you feel good about parting with your unwanted items.
Decluttering is not always easy, especially when it comes to the final stage. The handing over of your possessions. I know from experience with many clients that if they give their items to a charity shop that is meaningful to them, the experience is a lot better. It feels more personal and that's a good thing.
Do they want what you have got?
Just because you have had a clear out and are feeling generous, does not mean your chosen charity shop will actually want your donations. Rather than risk being disappointed, check out the shop in advance. Does it have stock of the kind that you wish to donate? Some charity shops specialise. For instance some towns have dedicated bookshops run by Oxfam and others.
Try to take a detached view of the quality and condition of your items.
I had an interesting conversation recently in my local Air Ambulance shop. The woman at the till said her customers expected high quality items and as such she would not put certain donations onto the shelves. She held up a book as an example. It looked fine to me. However, its pages were very yellowed with age and apparently customers would not like to see such a thing!
This was quite a surprise to me I must say. However, I suspect that if I had gone round the town looking at books in charity shops there would have been quite a variation in quality of stock.
Would you buy it?
Ultimately some things are just not good enough for a charity shop and that is a hard thing to accept. Sometimes there is no other option but taking something to the tip. Charity shops are staffed primarily by volunteers. It really isn't fair to waste their time. In a shop with limited space they must choose things they know will sell. Be honest with yourself.
If you need help sorting out your stuff, please do get in touch. Call me on 07850 580802.
Keywords: charity shops