What’s a Donate Box?

If you’re new to this decluttering business, you’ll notice people talking about a donate box or a donation station. You may have wondered what the heck they mean. Now you’ll know.

The Donate Box

What?

It’s a box or a bag or a bin. It can be made of anything you like. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or particularly big. If you have a lot of old boxes you’ve been saving but not using, here’s a cunning way to get rid of them and have something sturdy to hold your donations. Mine is an extra laundry basket that’s too big for our miniscule laundry room.

Where?

It has a fixed place – mine is right by the door to the garage so I can easily load up my car when the box is full. Every time you come across something you want to donate, you put it in your donate box. It doesn’t float around the house, you take your donations to it as you find them. If you’re sorting in a far away space and have a lot of donations, keep a box with you as you sort. When it’s full, take the box to the donate box, empty it and return to your original space.

Why?

This gets rid of all those piles of things you’re going to donate one day that have an unfortunate habit of merging into everything else over time.

It gets the stuff out of the house. When the donate box is full, it’s time to take everything to ARC or Goodwill or wherever you like to drop off.

Donating gets to be a regular manageable task instead of a daunting, let’s see if they can send a truck and park it in my driveway for hours while I load it up sort of thing.

It keeps the flow of energy moving. I’m no feng shui expert but I know that piles of donations not going anywhere feels like stale stuckness. You simply feel better getting the stuff moving – you said you were going to donate it and now you are. Good job!

When?

It depends how much stuff you have. The most immediately easy way is to donate whenever the box is full. The long-term simplest way is to put it on your schedule. Every Tuesday, drop off at Goodwill. The hardest way is to wait until it’s overflowing and you’re sure you can find a few more things, so you just hold onto until then. My vote? Get donation drop off on your schedule, be it weekly monthly or quarterly.

How?

You’ve got clutter all over the place, how will one little box help out? Start small. Send it away Saturday is for you! Each Saturday, we find one thing that we don’t need anymore. Just one and then you’re done. When you’ve found a cookie cutter you never use, or a Christmas turtleneck you loath, pick them up and take them to your donate box. There, you’re done. Great job!

When anyone else asks what they should do with some item they don’t want or need, tell them to put it in the donate box. Point it out, tell them that’s where it’s always going to be. They’ll catch on fast and may start putting things in there without asking you. Hooray!

Caution!

It’s tempting for you or others in your space to go shopping in the donate box. Discourage this with frequent, regular drop offs. Trust your instincts, if it’s clutter, it’s clutter.


Need a helping hand dealing with your clutter? If you’re in the Boulder County/Longmont area, here’s how to work with me. If you’re further afield, here’s how to hire a professional organizer.

Take the decluttering quiz

Joyful Surroundings LLC – (720) 526-2114 – lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.

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