With Give Something Away Day taking place today, we thought it prudent to talk about why giving things away is good and how to do it.
Oh, you may laugh, but when it comes down to it, giving things away can prove a challenge. Especially if you’re going to give away something that’s in good reuse condition.
Really, it’s easy to give away ratty and tattered things, but that’s not the best kind of giving away. We can do better than that, just watch.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of seeing how giving away things can be good for you, follow along. We’ll walk you through the why and the process. It’s not rocket science.
Why giving things away can be good for you and how to do it
Have you considered the psychology of giving things away? Providence Health Plan shares that giving is good for one’s health and mental well-being. Studies show that depression is reduced by a lifestyle of giving and serving others. How cool is that? Giving things to others cultivates good personal health! It’s a win-win for all parties involved.
In the article, Stephen Post, director of the Center for Medical Humanities is quoted, “The startling findings from our many studies demonstrate that if you engage in helping activities as a teen, you will still be reaping health benefits 60 or 70 years later. Generous behavior is closely associated with reduced risk of illness and mortality and lower rates of depression.”
So you see, giving is a beautiful thing. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving. We hope this inspires you to get on the giving bandwagon. If so, you’re in for a fantastic ride.
Why giving things away is (or can be) difficult
But giving things away can be difficult. Especially if we’re talking about things that we own. Emotions, while not the only factor, often explain why we have a hard time giving belongings away.
Over at Pyschology Today, Mica B. Estrada, Ph.D. writes, “Both immediate and expected emotions influence decision-making about what to keep or release (Rick & Loewenstein, 2008). To get a sense of what I’m describing, all you have to do is pick up a potentially useful or sentimental item and try to place it in the trash, recycling or give away box. What do you feel? I can attest to feeling quite a lot of emotions that surprised me.”
She went over many of the emotions that presented a roadblock in giving items away: guilt, happiness, sadness, fear, and love.
Guilt, for example, could arise from the mere fact that the item cost you much money. So you may feel foolish parting with it even if you barely use that item.
Dogged determination is a must in deciding what can be given away
In reaching a point where you can give things away, it takes dogged determination. You need to roll up your sleeves and go through your home, room by room. Take a look at each item and ask yourself three questions: Do I need this? Do I use it? Is it important to me?
If it’s something you haven’t used in over a year, chances are clear that you can give it away.
Keep three boxes with you as you purge. Use one for trash, one for giving away items, and another for storage.
Purging your home is the best way to go about giving things away. This is how giving things can be good for you. You’re decluttering your life and providing someone else with something they could put to good use.
Where to give things away
Now that you’ve decided what can be given away, it’s time to think about the where. Where do you give away your things?
There are many places you can take your things to benefit others.
You can reach out to your friends. Or you can look into local ministries or thrift stores. Try posting in community web pages, announcing that you have a few things you’d like to give to others. Post pictures and details and watch the texts come in with inquiries.
Reap the blessings of giving things away
There’s something liberating about letting go and letting others benefit from something you owned. Don’t be so clingy to where you can’t bring yourself to part with that old but well-working kitchen gadget that hasn’t seen the light of day in years.
As you purge, consider upping your organization game by restoring order to your office or even your closet space.