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Out with the Old in with the New

This is the time of year when many of us use the additional time off from regular obligations to catch up things that didn’t get done during the year such as purging our closets and bureaus.  With new items coming in as holiday gifts, closet and drawer space often becomes rather scarce in December.  Especially since our winter clothes are bulkier and take up more space than clothes for other seasons.

However, there are three very simple ways to fix this problem: 

  1. Stay way behind on laundry so that all of our clothes are never together in one place at the same time. 
  2. Use the overstuffed suitcase practice of putting our full body weight behind closing the offending door/drawer until the hinges snap.
  3. Spend a few minutes getting rid of the items we no longer need.  Let’s face it; if we haven’t worn a garment in two years, we’re not likely to wear it again.  A classic-cut tuxedo may be the exception to this; however, if the monkey suit is multiple sizes different than your husband is; that penguin ain’t gonna fly and needs to go.

There are a lot of people in our own community who aren’t fortunate enough to have what we consider to be a problem or inconvenience such as this.  They don’t have warm clothes or enough blankets to keep the chill of winter at bay.

Some of these folks have had to flee abusive households in the middle of the night with their frightened children and only the clothes on their backs.  Our mundane household chore can help these families while we help ourselves.

Here are some of the benefits we receive when we help others this way:

  1. We have less of a chance of ending up on an episode of “Hoarders”
  2. Our kids will have less stuff to fight over when we die
  3. We might wind up with a nice tax deduction
  4. We’ll feel good because we helped someone else
  5. And if a few of our husband’s grungy old t-shirts or bar glasses from college happen to get lost in the process; we can assuage our guilt by remembering that “it was for a good cause.”

We have several options for donating locally that will help our very own neighbors.  Below are some organizations that serve Framingham residents:

A Place to Turn on Hartford Street in Natick—Unexpired food items, shaving products, personal care items, feminine hygiene products and diapers http://www.aplacetoturn-natick.org/?page_id=124

Pathways Shelter on Edgell Road—Household items such as pots, pans dishes and bedding, towels, toiletry items and diapers  http://www.smoc.org/pathways.php  (For other than toiletries, check to see what they need at the moment.)

Pearl Street Cupboard—Children’s books, children’s clothing and refundable bottles and cans http://www.uwotc.org/food/framingham

If you’re hesitant to give to a local charity because you are afraid that you will see someone walking down the street next week wearing your old clothes and looking better in them than you ever did (one of my greatest fears), you can also donate clothing and small household items to charitable organizations who will pick things up from your home.  Here are a few that will pick the items up at your home:

The Vietnam Veterans of America   http://www.scheduleapickup.com/

Big Brother, Big Sister http://www.bbbsdonate.org/gd.donations/default.aspx

If you also happen to come across a stray wad of cash in your cleaning--remember the rule; good fortune must be shared.  All of the organizations above, as do many others in our community, accept donations by check or credit card.

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year which results in having even more stuff to give away to those who really need it in 2014.

Please share these links with your friends and family and ask them to share as well.  For 2014, let’s make each of ourselves a gift that keeps on giving.  The karma will be great.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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