There is a little thrift shop near my apartment building that is only open on weekdays, between the hours of 10 am and 3:30 pm. When I was younger and we’d come to Philly on vacations, my mom would often stop in there while my sister and I were at day camp, rarely finding much but enjoying the looking all the same.
When I first inherited my apartment, I filled bag after bag with things to get rid of. I was the one responsible for disposing of all my grandmother’s clothes, shoes, coats and handbags (I actually kept most the handbags, she had really good taste in fine leather goods) as well as some of my grandfather’s clothes that were also still tucked into the corner of a closet. In addition to clothing there were random items like a personal coffee roaster (which was odd since my grandparents were devoted Chock Full ‘O Nuts drinkers and never roasted a bean in their lives), bunches of fake flowers and a set of graduated metal canisters from the 1970’s.
I had all this stuff to get rid of but could never take it over to this conveniently located thriftstore because they were NEVER open during the hours that I was home.
I’ve been in a purging mood again lately. The spaces I created when I cleared out my grandparents stuff have long since filled up and about a week ago I felt the itch to have less. I started with the drawer of sweaters and quickly moved to the laundry basket of sweatshirts. Half way through, sweating slightly from exertion and excitement, I ran to the kitchen for a stack of brown paper grocery bags. I filled six before I was done. A couple of nights later I found myself sitting in front of my living room bookshelf, removing cookbooks from the bottom shelf that I knew I was never going to cook from. Three more bags filled.
I spent today buried deep in homework, forcing myself to complete the assignments that were due for my journalism class. Around noon I surfaced, needing a break and a little fresh air. Looking around my apartment, the bags of clothes and books cluttering the entry way caught my eye. And I was struck by inspiration. For the first time ever, I could actually take things over to this little thriftstore nearby. I loaded up my squeaky folding shopping cart and headed out. Within minutes the six bags of clothes were gone and I felt lighter. Tomorrow, I take the books!
I like to go through my things every now and then and get rid of them too. Before I do the thrift shops, I usually post what I have over at FreeCycle (a Yahoo group in Delaware County). You post it, someone wants it, they come it. Works all the way around…
Nice blog, btw.
I need to play the “getting rid” game myself sometime soon.
Good stuff getting rid of excess stuff. My own personal standard for keep/get rid of is pretty tough. I look at an item and think “If I needed to move tomorrow, would I want to pack this, carry it out to my car, move it into my new place, unpack it and find a new place for it?” If the answer is no, then out it goes.
This is a much tougher standard than “have I worn/used it in the last year?”. The most remarkable thing is how much stuff I own that actually passes this test!
Is this thrift store some sort of charity, or do you get paid in some way for your items? Just curious… I have some decent stuff that I should part with…
Kate, I’ve done Freecycle in the past as well, but sometimes the level of pre-arrangment that is necessary to make it work is more than I can handle.
Ellen, just do it, it feels so good when you’re done.
Thad, the thriftstore near me is a donations only place, called ORT. It’s basically a Jewish charity, which I like since I’m half Jewish. Here’s the link for some of their history: http://www.aort.org/americanorthistory.aspx
The Salvation Army at 22nd and Market also takes donations and is open on Saturdays. They are nice because you can pull into the alley behind the building and just drop stuff. They’ll help you unload if you need it and always have clipboards with receipts if you want to declare your donation.
If one has a car, or has a friend with a car who also needs to be rid of stuff, there is also a very good charitable donation thrift store type place on Broad and Girard.