Photo & Story – Joseph Boyle
About 5 years ago, we built what we refer to as our garden house. We kept putting stuff inside to store out of the weather, but we never took anything out to be disposed of.
After 5 years, we could hardly walk around inside our garden house. It reminded me of the famous old time radio show, which featured Fibber McGee and Molly’s closet.
We backed my truck up to the garden house front door and started making some hard choices. It is difficult for most of us to get rid of stuff. We work hard for our money and once we have spent it on something, we hate to let it go. Then there is the, “I better hang on to this. I might need it someday syndrome.”
After making some tough choices, we started making three piles of material possessions. #1 Keep. #2 Donate. #3 Dump.
I will give you an example. I found a brand new automatic electric paint roller gun still sealed up inside the original box. It seemed like a good item to purchase at the time, but now 30 years had passed and I had not ever opened the box. I predicted that there would be no change in the use profile during the next 30 years. Based on that, I moved to what I like to call, “The highest and best use theory.” I donated it to Goodwill Industries. They can make better use of it than I will. They have an Internet store too.
So I took my truckload of goodies down to Goodwill located at 6002 Mount Tacoma Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499. Phone: 253-983-0040.
Goodwill makes it easy to donate. They have a drive through like at Starbucks.
You drive over a black cord, which rings a bell like in the olden days when we drove into a service station for gasoline, tire check, oil check and windshield clean and a set of free glassware with a fill up all for 17 cents a gallon. Actually, that is another story.
Once the Goodwill bell goes off, a clerk comes out to assist you with downloading your stuff.
They gave me a receipt for my taxes and a coupon for 30 percent off the purchase of any item in the store.
Clutching my coupon, I paid a visit inside the Goodwill Store.
Wow, the store is neat and clean. The used merchandise is organized and all looks reusable. It is not just a pile of junk like I was used to seeing in the past. The clerks are friendly and helpful.
Some customers search for treasures; expensive items that are priced at the Goodwill economically pleasing level.
I gave my coupon to a shopper. She seemed pleased. My wife was pleased too. She did not want me saving 30 percent on an item and then storing it in our newly cleaned out garden house for the next 30 years.
What my wife fails to understand is that if I got a really good deal on something at Goodwill and then stored it in our garden house, it would make a very nice donation to Goodwill some years down the road. Tax deductible too.