During Giving November, we aren’t just focused on giving away money. The month is also about giving away our time, our skills, and our stuff.
Whether it’s gently used or toys, clothes, books, or even furniture, here are five unexpected benefits of donating things to charity.
1. You Will Feel Lighter
Before we were all glued to Marie Kondo’s Netflix Special, “Tidying Up,” Gretchen Rubin was writing about the benefits of having an empty shelf. When you give away your things, you feel lighter and less weighed down.
2. You Gain a Sense of Control
Similar to the weight that is metaphorically lifted when you give away your things, decluttering provides a sense of control. Even doing just one small thing on your checklist will empower you to take control of other important things in your life.
3. You Are Helping Other People
It goes without saying but when you give items away that were otherwise sitting in your garage or collecting dust, you are providing something meaningful to those who have less than you. When I’ve done work with asylees and refugees who were just arriving in the United States, it was items like towels, lamps, cookware, that they needed most.
4. Your Are Improving the Environment
In addition to giving away items, I also like to purchase used items. Why? It’s much better for the environment. Not only are you reducing waste by lowering the production and demand for new items, but you are also making items useful again that were otherwise sitting idle. This increase in productivity is beneficial to the earth.
5. You are Creating Jobs
One of my favorite places to give things away is on Craigslist. Oftentimes I will give things away for free that I know can be sold for $10-$20.
For me, depending on the week, I don’t have the time to navigate extra emails and coordinate pick up times. Instead, it’s easier to let someone else do that. An added benefit is that if the item needs pictures or a little bit of cleaning, the person getting the item for free can do that labor.
Some people make entire side incomes by picking up Craigslist Free Stuff and turning around and selling it. Even if you aren’t giving directly to someone who can sell, donating to a charity like Goodwill helps people stay employed since charities need people to sort, donate, and sell items.
There are so many benefits of giving away your stuff. What is another unexpected benefit of giving away your things?