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October 4th 2012
archived under: Give 500, Home & Garden

I have so much stuff…and a lot of it, I’m not using.

I bet you’re in the same boat.

But there are plenty of people who WOULD use that stuff.

Maybe they need it, and can’t really afford it. Maybe they’ve been looking for just the thing you’re getting rid of. Maybe the item that’s gathering dust in your garage could enrich someone else’s life every single day.

Even if it’s just a book your kids never read. Or an outfit you haven’t chosen in months. Or your second-favorite spatula. It could be the shoes that you love but never reach for. Candles you like but haven’t reached for since you bought them. CDs of music that doesn’t appeal to you anymore, or DVDs of movies you’re a little tired of. A perfectly good table that doesn’t fit in your space, or lotion you got for free with coupons, but that you will never actually use.

I’m sure there are things in your house that could have much better “lives” in the care of other people. I know there are things like that in my home.

So I’m passing them on. 500 of them.

And I challenge you to do the same. 500 is a big number. 500 matters. 500 will touch a lot of people.

give500

There are no rules in this challenge about how you give.

  • You can donate to your local charity shops.
  • You can seek out “perfect matches” on Freecycle or Craigslist.
  • You can have “everything free” garage sales on Saturday mornings.

But if it’s sitting in your garage, or in a closet, it doesn’t count as “given.” It has to be out of your possession.

How you count is up to you too. If I give away a bag of small accessories, that’s probably going to be one item. But I might count a box of books individually. A 10-piece toy set will be one item, but 10 separate toys would be 10. I would count a bag of baby socks as one item, but outfits would be counted separately.

500 is a big number, but you don’t want to feel like you reached it in a way that makes it “less.”

500 might change something for us too.

Maybe it’ll clear out a room in your house for a new baby on the way. Maybe it’ll let you finally spend less time organizing stuff you never use, and more time with your family. Maybe this is a good way to let go of some things you’ve been holding on to because of guilt. Maybe this will make you reevaluate new purchases before bringing more into your home.

Those “it was a gift” items you don’t use but feel like you have to keep? Pass them on. The “but I spent xx dollars on it” things you thought you would use, but don’t? Free them.

Maybe it’ll just make your heart feel a little fuller.

Join the #Give500 Challenge. Here’s How:

  1. Set a time frame for yourself. My goal is to Give 500 by Christmas. Yours doesn’t have to be the same.
  2. Make your commitment. Tell friends. Write a blog post about it. Comment here to say, “I’m in!” Make it real.
  3. Start sorting. Designate an area for your items to give away. When you come across something that belongs there, immediately move it. Or, if you want to be more methodical, scour each room (opening all cabinets, drawers, etc.) armed with a box for collecting those items.
  4. Start a list as you give things away. You don’t need to be too specific if you don’t want to be, but you’ll want to know when you reach your goal of 500.
  5. Encourage others to join the challenge. It’s more fun if we have each other for encouragement and cheerleading. And more participants mean more and more items that are being liberated from disuse, and appreciated by others.
  6. Post about your progress on twitter and instagram with the hashtag #Give500.

If you have a blog:

  1. Write your #Give500 commitment post (kind of like this one).
  2. Copy and paste the HTML in the box below in your blog post. This will add the #Give500 badge and link back to this post (so that your readers can learn about the challenge and join in too) automatically. Easy as pie.
  3. Note: This will be the ONLY “linky” for this challenge, which is why the badge should point to this specific post.
  4. You can link up for EACH update you write on your blog about #Give500, if you’d like! I hope you do because I’d love to keep up with how everyone is doing.

If you don’t have a blog:

Feel free to leave comments with your updates, lists of things you’ve given, et cetera. Or post on the Joyful Abode facebook page. I’d love to see!

What are you waiting for? Are you “in”? Get ready to #Give500!







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