Give your stuff away

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As I was out gardening on a beautiful, sunny day last week, I had one of those moments where I needed something and wasted too much time looking for it. I was pulling out a bunch of vines and other green “stuff” (I don’t know technical names) from my flower beds, and I needed a shovel for digging up some of the biggest dandelions I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t find the shovel in the garage. Had I left it in another flower bed? I walked around the house and looked. Nothing. It had to be in the garage. I looked again. There it was, huddled by the three snow shovels. What? Why do we have three snow shovels, especially considering the winter we just had?

I had the sudden urge to overhaul the garage as I looked around and saw endless toys, bikes, scooters, yard paraphernalia, a broken chair, tools, kites and on and on. I think we could survive just fine with half of all that stuff. But throwing stuff (good stuff) away makes no sense, and then I remembered the annual event coming up in May, officially known as Give Your Stuff Away Day. It’s a huge recycling event, and something I’d love to see in every community.

It’s so simple. On May 12, just set items you don’t want out on your curb or in your alley, and they’re free for the taking. You’re gifting items to someone who can use them and you’re uncluttering, and you’re treading lightly on the earth. It’s a triple win. Plus, the next day is Mother’s Day (a holiday I’m not crazy about, but that’s a whole other column). What do I want? A clean garage. Thanks in advance to my family who’ll help make that happen!

Some ideas: Put a sign out that says “Free.” Electronics, tools, toys and clothes are all acceptable – even plants and potted trees. Nothing that’s been recalled, and no chemicals or paint (these go to the Household Hazardous Waste Center). Check out www.giveyourstuffaway.com for more ideas.

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