Where To Make Good When The Goods Take Over Your Place
Image: Garrett Cornelison
It’s gift city over here in our apartment.ย First we had M’s Bday, now it’s Hanukkah and then DH’s Bday this weekend.
Though all the celebrating is quite festive, it’s leading to a mass accumulation of goods. And it’s driving me crazy.
Apartment living is tight. Combine that with my aversion to clutter, and I get really tense when stuff starts lying allover the place. Once my shoulders start sitting up by my ears — it’s time to clear out some stuff.
The first area I tackled was the toy shelves. We’ve got games that have never been opened alongside pieces from when M + GL were toddlers. After going through it all (which satisfies both my urge to be productive and organize), there were 2 boxes ready to donate– which turns out is not as simple as it sounds.
My first call, Toys For Tots, only takes brand new toys. When I asked why this is so — I was told it’s a rule. The foundation in DC started it for sanitary reasons. The man also said that sometimes they do receive used toys, and when this happens they eventually donate to the Salvation Army.
Hmmm, so I could drop off my used toys at Toys For Tots and have them do my donation to the Salvation Army? That didn’t feel quite right.
This led to my next call — Goodwill. The branch closest to us doesn’t accept toys. But just before I was about to hang up the woman divulged that the 23rd street location does.
I’d found my donation location! I also heard about a place in Brooklyn that takes toys as well…so I had options.
The next matter of business was coats and winter accessories — we’ve got so many that no longer fit, or don’t work for whatever reason. Again – some in near new condition.
I had already familiarized myself with New York Care’s Coat Drive last year. They make it so easy with drop off locations scattered allover the city. Ours is the Police Precinct about 2 blocks away. GL accompanied me on the short walk with winter coats piled on top of her tiny body. I love getting the kids involved. It’s not exactly fun stuff, but it’s important that they realize and acknowledge the good fortune we have which enables us to give freely.
The coat drive only accepts coats though. That still leaves me with a barrel of hats, scarves and mittens. A little research led me to The Bowery Mission, which takes donations 24 / 7 + it’s super close! Convenience — though not mandatory — sure makes the whole process a lot more appealing. I’ll bring our donation to the school pick-up this afternoon so the kids can come with me to drop off the bag. They’ve never been in a homeless shelter. There was a kid on M’s soccer team who lived in one, but I don’t think M fully understands what that looks like. Maybe this visit will help clarify the picture a bit.
Lastly, we’ve got our clothes to give away. I try to pass down GLs to little girls we know, and M’s are never in any condition to pass on (his pants relentlessly rip in the knees and elbows!) I’ve got a bag to sell which I’ll do here, and here. And the rest –along with DHs’ things– will go with the toys to Goodwill. Normally, we do a little try-on show to see what’s still worth keeping– basically DH takes everything out and throws it on the bed. It makes a huge mess, but once it’s done, it’s done. We’ve got the goods to give away.