What To Give To A Thrift Store

If you're cleaning house with plans to donate excess to a thrift store, here is a checklist that may help you get organized.

If you're standing in the middle of your home during a thorough cleaning, trying to wonder what to keep and what to give away, here are a few ideas. Everyone's needs and tastes are different, of course, but the following suggestions may help you gather and give to a thrift store the things that are cluttering your house.

1. In the kitchen. Look for unused, unmatched cutlery and utensils that have accumulated in drawers or cupboards. Overflowing stacks of dishes, cooking pans minus lids or handles, casseroles that are dusty with disuse, and stacks of dish towels that will never see the light of day may safely go into your thrift store box.

2. In the bathrooms. Old mismatched fixtures, worn towels, accent pieces you no longer want, and miscellaneous items stored in utility cupboards may be ripe for the picking.

3. In the bedrooms. Check for stored bed coverings that are no longer used, along with clothing taken from closets and drawers that is too small, too large, out of date, or out of favor. If you haven't worn it in more than a year, it's probably time to give it up. Chances are you've bought other new clothes since then that you wear instead.

4. In the living room. Stacks of past magazines, unread books, unused appliances such as extra telephones, hand-held video games, and tape recorders, unplayed music and videos, and other recreation items disdained by the family can be put into the "to go" box.

5. In the family room. Timeworn afghans or doilies, throw rugs, outdated wall sconces or pictures, and other accent pieces may be ready for recycling. Board games, packs of cards, and other items that are seldom taken out of their packages or hiding places can be set aside for the thrift store journey.

6. In the garage. Unused tools, supplies (like nails and screws), materials (like fuses, cords, and wire), abandoned pet feeding bowls, outgrown skateboards and bicycles, and out of date furniture stored here or in the attic may be ready for the transition to a new home via the thrift store route.

7. In the attic and shed. Discarded furniture pieces, old clothing with no sentimental value, stored paintings or decorator items, rolled up rugs, bird cages, lamps, and other forgotten relics can be hauled out and added to your growing supply of donated items.

In addition, ask family members if they can think of other items that should be included. You never know what treasures lurk in the desk drawers or closet crannies that may prove valuable to thrift store customers. At the end of it all lies your reward, a tax receipt, which will prove its worth by April 15.

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