Goodwill: Week Two


What all is it?

An old fabric hamper with several old purses of mine that I haven’t used in years and a lamp that has been in our attic since we moved into this house. Two boxes of books. A box with an annoying battery sucking Sesame Street train. A box filled with games and puzzles that we never use. A box of antique china that we used to collect but has not been out of the attic in 12 years. And unbreakable mirror from Community Playthings. A black bag with old curtains. And probably some assorted other crap that I can’t even remember one day later.

And still, I don’t see a dent. Rachel says that you need to purge until you see a difference. I think I have a long way to go.

31 Responses to “Goodwill: Week Two”

  1. carrie Says:

    You will - just keep it up. Plus you won’t lie in bed at night fretting over the fact that those things are up in your attic like I do!

  2. Ragtop Day Says:

    I love this. I am so on board. I do have questions though - are you making any differentiation with what you are dropping off at Goodwill? Are you bringing “everything” there? Or are you throwing away a bunch, and/or selling some of the “better” stuff? I have piles of clothes, boxes of toys (plus both and more that are still scattered about the house) and I’ve been frozen for months because I don’t know the “best” way to get rid of it. Maybe it doesn’t matter - the end justifies all - get rid of it the quickest way possible?

    Chris says: I just want all of it out of the house. Everything that is not garbage is going to Goodwill. Unless I have someone to pass things to. For example my daughter’s clothes that are in good condition go to my niece for her daughter. Same with my 3 yr old son’s clothes. I don’t have the time to try and sell things.

  3. Lisa- domestic accident Says:

    What’s wrong with Yahtzee? I just like yelling out “yahtzee!” for fun.

  4. Heidi Says:

    Purging in steps sounds like a good plan too. I give away annoying toys too. ;)

  5. jody Says:

    When we moved, the purging was painful. The sentimental attachments really had to be ignored, or I would have been dragging everything down here to a place where I did not have any storage to chunk it all. Most painful were the bulk of Mia’s baby clothes…I kept one small storage container with a few items to pass on to her kids. I also have a similiar sized box with some clothes from each of my boys.

    I did the kids rooms when they were not present. So many toys that they hardly played with….all were thrown in boxes and taken to the thrift shop. They never missed them at all.

    I am very pleased with the result, as is Bill the minimalist.

  6. Ladybug Crossing Says:

    You are doing great! You are an inspiration!!
    My tree is almost down and packed away. I’ve got a sick kid at home, so that took some of the wind out of my sails today.
    Tomorrow will be better.
    Keep up the good work!

  7. Carmen Says:

    OH… I look and see all that you purge and think… “That is a lot of money going out the door.” You sure you don’t want to take a load to your local flee market and get some money out of it? (open an antique booth or have a garage sale?)

    If not what about free-cycling it. Why let Goodwill get money out of it? Instead let someone who would like to have the items come and pick it up. –Help someone else not to go into a store and buy! Maybe they are looking for some games for their children, etc?

    After all Goodwill is a store also!

    Blessings on your year! I look forward to reading more…

    Chris says: Goodwill uses the money they make to put towards charitable things. I have used freecycle before, but the people on it annoy me. I would not make enough money at a garage sale to justify my time and this really isn’t about money. It is about purging and simplifying my life. having said that if I know someone personally who can use something that I am getting rid of I will offer it to them. I have a huge pile of homeschooling things that I am giving away to people who want them.

  8. Alissa Says:

    i’ll take yahtzee! love that game! we’re game nerds…. we have a HUGE closet full… and go you!

  9. Tara Says:

    Keep writing. I have 5 boxes of toys and so far one Target bag full of old videos and CDs ready to leave the house. Thanks for the kick in the heiney. :)

  10. Anna Says:

    Every little bit counts! It might not seem like much now…but I bet it adds up quickly. Just like saving money…$10 bucks here and there might not seem like a big deal…but over the course of just a few days, you can save $100 dollars!

  11. crockpot lady Says:

    I love Community Playthings. That unbreakable mirror is going to make someone very, very happy. Good for you–and great for your kids.

  12. hokgardner Says:

    Thank you for writing about all of this. Your posts have really been making me think about how I can further simplify my life and declutter my house. I’m working in stages, one drawer, one room, at a time.

  13. Nicki Says:

    Seriously your house is so beautiful, where were you hiding all this stuff? I have tons to purge but I can see it every day, there is no where for it to hide. You must have a huge attic and great closets/garage?

    I am totally inspired by this. Doesn’t it feel great to purge?

  14. Rae Says:

    Ahhh, it’s so satisfying just to look at your pile.

  15. nashvegas Says:

    I don’t know if you’re doing this, but I keep a list of everything I take to goodwill. The program I use to do my taxes has a type of deduction finder that will put a value on everything you donate, and calculate your tax deduction. I’ve found that I “make” more on tax deductions than I would by having a yard sale or flea market sale. I know you’re not doing this for the money, but if you do it this way, it’s almost like it’s being handed to you. And I would rather shove needles under my fingernails than go through the hassle of having a yard sale!

  16. The Simple Family Says:

    Here is what Goodwill does…doesn’t sound like they’re just making a bunch of $$ and laying on it naked.

    “We are North America‚Äôs leading nonprofit provider of education, training, and career services for people with disadvantages, such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience, as well as those with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Last year, local Goodwills collectively provided employment and training services to more than 930,775 individuals.”

    I agree, Freecycle is annoying. Our group just changed and now the list is just a bunch of offers for clothes and dogs. >

  17. Sharon Says:

    Hi Chris, I was wondering, do you take all of the children shopping when you go? I only have two boys, 6 and 3 and the thought of taking them to stores with me is always a deterrent to shopping. I used to do much more shopping before the kids.

  18. Susana Says:

    You may have a long way to go, but you’re already on week two. Way to keep at it.

    I’m with you on just giving it to goodwill and letting them do their charitable thing. Garage sales are soul sucking, here’s a story you’ll appreciate: This summer one of my sisters in law organized a garage sale for my mother in law. It was hearbreaking; her stuff, much from her wedding was being picked at by greedy, cheap strangers. I think they made just under $200, but the ads, the five hours they stood around in the chilly car port, the coffee & muffins etc did not seem to justify the end result.

    Good luck!

  19. christine Says:

    Purge til you’re dry heaving, baby!

  20. Another Chris Says:

    This is the second pic I’ve noticed where the junk is packed into an Amazon box. I love thinking that your family is replacing the crap with books! (course, if you’re like me, more than just books come in those wonderful arrow packages)

    Keep up the great work! You’re inspiring the rest of us pack rats. As always, thanks for sharing.

    Chris says: I saved the boxes from Christmas and had some Amazon boxes in my attic from when we moved into this house.

  21. Heth Says:

    I love that you are doing this. You inspired me to go through a couple of my kitchen drawers this afternoon. I have a pile of my own by the front door, waiting to go to Goodwill.

  22. Elizabeth Says:

    GO YOU!!! I fight, oh I fight letting go of thee most inane crap. I am getting there - and reading here helps. I have known for a long while that I will NEVER really want to sell on Ebay again - so I need to let go of all that stuff. The sooner the better…(Oh, and I hate freecycle - I have had the most moronic discussions with people wanting my stuff, but only if I deliver!)

  23. Melody Says:

    Ooh I wish you were close to me! I’ve been wanting to buy an unbreakable mirror for my daycare. MaybeI’ll find one at a Goodwill near me though.

  24. sherry Says:

    This is really inspiring. I have boxes around the house where I start to “save” things that need to be donated, yet they rarely make it to the Salvation Army. Your posts motivate me to actually get all these boxes together and get the OUT OF MY HOUSE!



  25. dana Says:

    hey, you are making progress. “one thing at a time” - that is all you can do! You have a great start. :)

  26. Andrea Says:


    KEEP THE CHINA for your daughter!!! She will grow up to marry some guy she met while finding herself at university and she will be greatful to have such a lovely antique china set… at the latest when she is reclining in her rocking chair remeniscing about the days/years gone by…

    Chris says: It really wasn’t nice china, nor was it a complete set.

  27. t in hd Says:

    I have no problem collecting it up. I have a problem getting rid of it. Some charity shops will only take this or that, others will take something else but not that. If I could just fill the van up with everything and haul it away, I’d be thrilled. Trouble is, we collect it all up and then have to stash it somewhere until we can find a new home for it. This is tedious and time-consuming. It drives me mad. I don’t fancy driving all over the place with this stuff. However, it’s too good to throw away (it isn’t rubbish) and not worth the trouble of trying to sell (some of it will still come home after a flea market anyway). “Garage sales/yard sales” aren’t an option here, either. There’s nothing I like better than a good clear out, but why does it have to be so damned difficult? :-(

  28. Penelope Anne Says:

    The purge comes in stages…you will have good days, where you will fill boxes, and then you may go months without finding much.
    Don’t worry yourself sick though.
    Every little thing is making a difference.

  29. Tara Says:

    Glad you didn’t save the china. I have tons of knick nacks that my mom gave me that were her moms. Why do I want to dust her junk??? Maybe I should just pick out the stuff I really like and pass the rest on.

    And I agree with the “clean out the kids’ rooms when they’re not there”. My friend has an autistic child and one with bi polar. If she tosses too much they freak out. Me? I don’t even wait for them to be gone. When they’re engrossed in a show I get busy. :)

  30. Vanessa Says:

    I think you will miss that Yatzee game.

    Chris says: I assure you that I will not.

  31. Anne Glamore Says:

    I am howling at everyone telling you to keep the Yahtzee and the china. I published a post recently about getting rid of crap and included a picture of myhuge trash pile. Several people wanted to know why I couldn’t send that stuff to the Goodwill. (I’d neglected to mention that I also had a huge Goodwill pile, and here you can schedule one of the local charities to come pick up from your house!)

    I’m way into this blog and plan to follow it. Please post lots of pictures where you get rid of stuff because it’s funny to have people second-guess your trash. My MIL, a hoarder, can’t believe the things I throw out, or don’t purchase.

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