Is charity really the best option?

I’ve been on this Minimalism journey for about a year and a half now and I’ve gotten rid of a ton of stuff, however I still have more to go. Below are some photos of all the things I’ve gotten rid of. This is only a portion of it and includes the bigger items, items I could sell and items which I didn’t want to donate to a charity shop.

Sometimes I’m reluctant to donate certain things to charity stores because I’m not 100% sure that they would want or could sell all the items I wanted to donate (e.g. 4 sample pots of teal coloured wall paint, makeup which had been opened, etc). I feel like one aspect of the Minimalist trend that is often ignored or glazed over is the donation of the massive amounts of items decluttered.

A lot of people feel they are doing a good thing by donating the items and not just throwing it out into landfill. And while I agree with that, I also believe a significant proportion of people don’t critically analyse what it is they’re donating – they’re just eager to get it out of their homes and for it to be someone else’s problem.

By donating things without really assessing their condition or the likelihood that someone else would want it, it then places the burden on the charity to dispose of the items that they can’t sell or use. I didn’t want to be one of those people who feels good about themselves because they’ve just donated their stuff when in actual fact its just an easier way of getting rid of things, without the guilt of putting it in the garbage.

For this reason, all the items below are things I advertised on Gumtree (online marketplace in Australia). 90% of these things I gave away for free. One of the main reasons I decided to use Gumtree rather than donating it to St Vincents or the Smith Family, is because I wanted to give these things to people who would actually want them, who would use them and who would appreciate them. I didn’t want to just dump it in a charity bin and hope that the charity would be able to get rid of it somehow.

I am currently still advertising more items on Gumtree for free because I’m determined to find these items a good home, without it being a burden on anyone else.

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