Donations Guide

How to sort, organize, and donate in preparation for your move PLUS a guide to Atlanta area donation centers

Donating can easily balloon into a part-time job if you are looking for an option beyond the obvious options like Goodwill. If you are not careful, giving something away can quickly lead to an entire research project on CEO salaries and how well charities manage their affairs. So let’s start at the top with the most trusted online resources that monitor charities – which ironically are also charities. Here is what Consumers Reports had to say. 

“The best course of action before giving is to check out the charity with one or more of the major charity watchdogs, including the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and CharityWatch.”

Start with the Category

I was initially coming at this from the Home Sale and Downsizing perspective. I wanted to take territory and get the space ready. So my first thought was to start with the house and the areas that needed decluttering. However, that did not prove to be the best way to tackle this project. Starting with cluttered areas produced piles of items in several different categories (sell, give away, throw away, save for later, pass on to family, etc.). All that did was create newly organized stacks of stuff but no real progress.

Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up series on Netflix starts instead with the items or categories which seemed to work much better (i.e. Clothes or Books). That process quickly creates a huge mess but there is a simple end game: Save your favorites and donate the rest. AND, since you will be working with one item at a time, only one donation recipient will be needed! This method was definitely slower in the beginning and takes a larger block of time but, once the sorting is done you are off to the races.

Decisions are the hardest part of any decluttering process. And there are two phases: What and Where. Once those decisions are made, the actual work part is simple. It may be physical, but packing and loading are not complicated.

Common Categories and Charity Ideas