We like to believe that when donating our possessions, they’re being given a second life. That grandma’s old plates or our own treasured possessions are going to someone in need somewhere out there. After volunteering there shortly after the Marie Kondo declutter phase I’ve learned those ideals couldn’t be farther from the truth! I thought I was donating and volunteering at a company that helped others and to a certain extent they do but not to the degree we think and definitely not your used items. Here’s what happens to your used items after you say your final goodbye at Goodwill.
1. Most are trashed
Yes, a lot of your items are thrown away in a compactor if they’re not good enough to be sold. This mostly goes for household items like chairs, kitchenware, and children’s toys that are very worn, smell, or don’t work. Sometimes they’re priced sometimes not it really depends who’s going through your bag.
2. Your clothes quality matters more than you think.
Remember that Goodwill is a business, a nonprofit yes, but a business. If your clothing smells, torn, stained, or too old they’re not going to put it back out. If the item is too bad to put on the floor and doesn’t smell, they sell it to another company. This company will repair etc before selling them back out.
3. Most of the items you donate go towards resellers.
In early mornings you’ll see people standing outside waiting to come in. These are the resellers. They’ll stay in the store for hours, grab the good clothes before they hit the rack, and resell it. This might matter to some, to others it matters greatly.
4. There are certain items they don’t take
Some items they doesn’t take like wires, car seats, baby walkers, etc. Make sure you contact your local goodwill if you have questions on what they will or won’t take.
5. Did I mention they trash a lot?
This is just something that surprised me. They had a whole section of just landfill items. They have a lot more metal pieces that they did recycle but as they say, you can’t save them all.
So when it comes to donating to Goodwill make sure they’re in sellable condition and most of all are clean! Although it wasn’t exactly what I expected from my volunteer time it did open my eyes up to some of the craziness people will donate. Like ma’am what are we going to do with your old fabric scraps?! Happy donating everyone 😌