I Didn’t Need It Anyway: A Challenge To Donate


I struggle to fit the awkwardly shaped dishes inside each other, one square with little handles inside a smooth round bowl. As I attempt to stack the dishes to return them to the shelf, it slips, shooting across the counter and crashing to the floor, shattering into 100 pieces. The kids come running to the kitchen.

“What happened?” questions the three year old.

“Uh oh!” shouts the baby, his favorite catch phrase.

“Mom broke another dish.” declares the 5 year old.

“GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!” I yell as they cluster, bare footed, and enter to gawk at my mistake, begging to implant shards of glass in their feet.

What Did We Do? 

I’m not mad at them, I’m frustrated at myself.

I take a deep breath, sigh and begin to clean up the mess.

“Well, I didn’t need it anyway.”

That’s the thing, I didn’t need it anyway. It didn’t fit because there were too many dishes in their in the first place. Dishes I use maybe once a year. Dishes I was given or collected, but simply added to the stack rather than to replace another one. Too much stuff, everywhere, there is too much stuff.

Recently a friend came over to my house and while I was showing her something in my basement, she looked at me and said, “Girl, you need to purge.” She was right. I do.

But for whatever reason, I struggle. It’s not like I am a post World War survivor, remembering hard times and keeping the washed Styrofoam boards that come under ground beef from the super market. But still, All. The. Things.

To Sell or To Donate? 

I have on several occasions cleared out my closet and donated it to Goodwill. But since having kids the time, energy and desire to do that is just never there. I start to clear things out to donate and then feel guilty for not being more frugal and first trying to sell it online or at consignment shops.

The constant updates on Facebook sale groups makes me feel obligated to try that route first. It seems like so many people are successful doing it. It makes me think, “Let me just take a picture of that.” But when no one has claimed it in 5 minutes with a backlog of “line” comments, I feel as though I failed.  But rather than give it away, I think we should save it and have a garage sale (I have never held a garage sale).

I asked recently what other friends do with the outgrown kid’s clothes because for me, it’s overwhelming. One person suggested just giving it away, which again, seems obvious. But then I feel guilt for not having already given it away.

The battle rages on.

Making a Commitment

So for clarity and peace of mind I have committed to clearing the stuff out. I am setting a challenge for myself of 100 bags. It might be one room at a time, one drawer at a time, and one step at a time, but for all of our sake, it must go. And go away with no mental anguish or guilt. We have been blessed and given much, we need very little. I want to give it to others in need.

 So I have compiled a list of places that take donations, of all kinds, but mostly what you might find if you’re knee deep in toddlers and wedding gifts you never use (the wedding gifts, not the toddlers). If minimalist is the least likely verb to describe you and you are feeling overwhelmed by endless mountains of things too, I invite you to join my challenge. Whether it’s 100 grocery bags or garbage bags, let’s lighten the load.

Places To Donate

Life Network/Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center. Baby items like pacifiers, nail clippers, burp cloths, diapers, wipes, diaper bags, strollers, snugglies, crib sheets, washcloths, children’s books, maternity clothes

Restore Innocence. Feminine hygiene products, towels, wash clothes, sheets, bedding, pillows

Partner’s in Housing. Womens clothing, linens, towels, blankets, pots and pans, dishes glassware, cutlery, small furniture, paper products, unopened toiletries, seasonal decorations

SKSF/Adult Services. Vinyl or leather chairs/sofas, craft items, exercise balls, puzzles/board games, musical instruments, sporting equipment

SKSF/Zach’s Place .(Youth 5-21).Middle school educational games, sensory toys, vinyl or leather chairs/couch, markers, colored pencils, pens, paint, kids fishing poles, bike helmets, sports equipment

Women’s Resource Agency. Womens business dress, suits, skirts, slacks, etc. Hand bags, shoes, cocktail dresses, special occasion dresses.

Vietnam Veteran’s of America. (And they will pick it up!) All clothing, household-dishes, silverware, small kitchen appliances, rugs, jewelry, cosmetics, art and frames, toys, electronics-monitors, cameras, game stations, books, exercise equipment, weight benches, sporting equipment, tools.

Discover Goodwill. Takes most all donations including large furniture and vehicles

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Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Together they have four beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014), Zach (2015) and Zinny (2018). Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life centered, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year.


  1. Another great place to donate is “Who gives a scrap” for the left overs from craft projects or the pile of yarn that was never used.
    They are located in Old Colorado City.

  2. I used to call my husband horder!
    I thought he was the one keeping a lot of stuff that we didn’t need.
    After having kids i start to looking for things to make our life easier and much more focus on family and kids.
    About 6 months ago I start reading about minimalism and I found my answer to many questions and solutions.
    I did let go of so many things.
    Every single closet, every single boxes, rooms, decorations, everything and anything.
    I feel so relieved and have so much free times for my kids( I don’t have to organize, clean or look for things that much anymore)
    I also think I have a better memory of what I have and not.
    Don’t call husband horder anymore, I was like him but didn’t see myself.
    It is always easier to blame others
    I don’t think about that much what to do at home, I think more about where to go😉
    Time to time, I check different rooms, closets but I don’t have to spent that much time on it, because I don’t have that much anymore.
    You will love your nest different way Rachel,
    Have fun with letting go!

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