Today, after yesterday’s trash day, Ryan is rummaging through everything that remains inside the boxes stacked throughout his second living room, deciding what he should sell and what he should donate.
Once he has decided which items to donate, we’ve found several local organizations—Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Freecycle—who are willing to take Ryan’s goods and find them a new home—somewhere that his unused things, which aren’t adding value to Ryan’s life, can add value to someone else’s life.
Ergo, a better way to think of donating our stuff is to think of it as contribution: we get satisfaction from adding value to others’ lives—a type of satisfaction that can’t be obtained by selfishly clinging to our material possessions.
“Donate” is Day 12 of Our 21-Day Journey into Minimalism. Move on to Day 13. Read Ryan’s journal entries from this entire journey in Everything That Remains. You can also subscribe to The Minimalists via email.