Finding "a good home" for Items in Our House,

trying to Give Away More and Throw Away Less


my goal:  My purpose in writing this page is described in its title — I want to find a good home for items in our house because I'm trying to give away more and throw away less.


my requests, Part 1:  After you read the paragraph below, I'll appreciate your help in finding people who can help us achieve a win-win result.


the situation:

Mom lived in our house for 56 years, with Dad for the first 50.  Now that Mom is gone, I (during my journey on a road less traveled) am responsible for emptying the house and garage, so I can move away in May — to the midwest, probably to re-visit Madison (my home city from 1989 to 2013) and then live in Columbus — and so we can sell the house.  Mom and Dad collected a lot of things, of many types that I'm separating into many categories, described below and with photos.  I'm now making triage decisions, and (in addition to the few things that family will keep) two options are to throw away items, or find "a good home" for them with people who can use them and want them.   I'm highly motivated to move items from "throw away" into "find a good home" — I've felt this way for a long time, as you can see in a story about the only job I ever “walked away from”so I will feel good about "giving away more and throwing away less" (and you also will feel good if you help this happen) AND more items will be going to "people who can use them and want them" so they will feel good, and we'll have a win-win

How am I hoping to find good homes?   In the usual way, and unusual ways:  the usual way is by donating some items (but not others) to thrift stores;   but I also want to be helped by people who are people-aware, who are aware of the interests and activities of other people, so they know people who might be able to use items in a particular category (in that area of life) and thus might want the items.*  In each area of life, I'm hoping that a people-aware person — maybe it's you? — will contact me {Craig Rusbult <>} or will communicate with potential users so they can contact me.    /    Of course, you can be inter-personally aware by thinking “they might want these items,” and also intra-personally aware so you're thinking “I want them.”


my requests, Part 2:  Can you (or another people-aware person you know) please help me find people who might want some of the items?  If yes, your helpfulness will be appreciated.


Before moving on to generalized win-win possibilities (for items in various categories), here are two personal goals.

finding a good home for Zoe:  I want to find a good home for my fluffy-and-happy dog, Zoe.  Her name means... and she is... {continued in a “personal appendix” at the end of this page}

storage for things I'll keep:  And I'm wondering if anyone has some storage space for some of my things, for awhile.   {details}



VARYING VALUE:  In each category, I think many items probably would be useful for someone, and other items are "borderline cases" that might be useful.

PHOTOS:  I've begun taking photos of many items, and I'll continue doing this and putting the photos into this page where each of its sections is linked-to in the corresponding part of this page.


I.O.U. – You may want to check back later, because the rest of this page will continue being developed – so what's below will continue becoming better than it is now, and more complete.


large bed with flowered head-board (photos) -- if you're interested in this, tell me ASAP because soon (Feb 5?) the flower-patterned box springs might be thrown into our temporarily-rented dumpster.  {the top mattress will be thrown away, but the box springs could be kept & used, although the flower-patterned box springs won't be seen when the bed is made with sheets & blankets.}

furniture pillows -- most are fairly clean, comfortable, and pretty, but thrift stores will not take them (due to their policies, or state laws?) and sell them;  so do you know a way of giving these (not selling them) to people who might want them?


large door screen -- very large (59" x 79") heavy-duty screen that was used for a large sliding patio door.  {btw, fyi, this was in rafters of garage, covered with boxes, so more things could be stored in the garage!}    {taken from curb, Feb 3}   {also, old rusty large metal shelving (roughly 5' high, 5' wide, with 4 shelves) taken from curb, along with several other items}

patio swing -- unless somebody takes it, probably this will be thrown into our rented dumpster very soon, maybe Feb 3.  {but it won't have to be thrown away, because it was taken away from the curb on Feb 2}   It's connected with many fond memories of warm summer evenings with Dad (until 2013) and Mom, plus Kobe (their dog for 12 years, he looked like Toto from Kansas/Oz), and occasionally other people, talking and relaxing, but... the memories will remain after the swing is gone, and (more important) after Dad and Mom are gone.

gardening supplies -- (not a lot) some fertilizer, old grass seeds, pots (clay, plastic), potting soil,...  (given away Feb 1)

pottery -- roughly 10 pots, sizes medium-small to medium. (given away Feb 1)

sewing supplies -- 7 medium-large boxes of cloth, ribbons, small sewing equipment,... including some quilt-making supplies.   {given away Jan 30 – these were given to a member of a “sewing group”, thanks to coordinating-help from a people-aware person, a friend}

decorations for Christmas -- 7 boxes (medium to large) mainly for Christmas,* but some more general. (given away Feb 1)   /    I think many people would want Christmas Decorations if these were put out “for the taking” in November, like the Sunday before Thanksgiving;  maybe others also (along with me) could contribute things they won't be using, to make a “community exchange” of beautiful celebratory decorations.


blankets & sleeping bags -- many blankets & sheets,  4 bags;   these are fairly clean (or would be when washed) and I'm wondering if they could be used by groups that help people who are homeless, or are moving into new homes and they need furnishings.


electronic keyboard -- Yamaha PSS-790 (second video is 22:55, but first 5:45 is most useful);  this would be most useful for doing music education (e.g. in a school, or an organization serving youth or elders) by using its color-coded keys (photo) to improvise by using sequential harmony as explained in my page about musical improvisation.     /     the PSS-790 (from around 1990)* was one of the most sophisticated early e-keyboards;  its keys are mini-size, not full-size.    {user manual & review (with specs) and videos: top 10 features (1:06) - history of PSS series (6:50, ending with 790 at 5:59) - sounds (1:39) - sounds with music (  A  -  B  -  C  -  D  -  E  ) - drum kit}   {I've seen its release date listed as 1988, 1990, 1992.}

softballs (15) -- these would be useful for time-efficient batting practice -- use several balls (3 or 4?), not just one so everyone won't be "waiting for the one ball" (to be pitched, hit, fielded, thrown back) before it can be pitched again;   maybe have a limited number of players (e.g. pitcher, catcher, batter, on-deck batter, plus 3 fielders?  so everyone gets more activity)  (for time-efficiency with safety, while one ball is being fielded a non-active fielder watches to be sure the “active fielder” doesn't get hit by the next ball that's being pitched-and-hit during the “time-overlap period” before the first ball is fielded and thrown back to the pitcher).


DVD Players (or DVD+VCR) -- still functional and semi-new, but not hidef Blu-Ray;  some info (about model numbers, features, etc) will be available later.

computer monitors (both are LCD, 1920x1080 HD,  one is 27" TFT [but it will be given to an "Aging with Vision Loss" program, along with a magnifier machine),  the other is 24" TV-with-DVD that can be used as a monitor)   /   also — but maybe these are just “old technology e-waste” that I'll drive to the “hazardous waste disposalsite in Anaheim? — two old-fashioned CRT televisions.

computer cables, etc -- many boxes of miscellaneous, some "old tech" and some modern (these are mainly mine, not from parents).


FURNITURE -- 2 comfy chairs with leg rests (photos) - large bed with flowered head-board (photos) - large full-wall book case, 96" wide (in three 32" sections connected together) and 76" high (photos) - redwood table & bench (photos) - 7 chairs (rocking, table, desk, lawn) (photos) - 4 office chairs (comfy, padded all over, 3 that rock & roll & swivel) -- and other furniture will be described here later.


clothing -- lots of it, for men & women, from Dad & Mom.

file cabinets -- we have two, both are same:  lightweight steel (23 lbs),  27"x14"x18" (high, wide, deep),  3 drawers (small 3" on top, two under it with “parallel metal ridges” so they can be used for hanging files, which makes these two drawers very useful for visually organizing the filing of standard 8.5x11 papers)   {one already has found a home}

pigs! -- Mom loved pigs, and she collected a wide variety:  ceramic (very small & medium-small),  stuffed (a few medium-large, many small), and many other kinds.    (timing:  by March 1, family members will look at the pigs and decide what we want to keep, then others can take what they want).


dishes and cooking utensils -- many, of wide variety, some in matched sets;  maybe these will be donated to thrift store, but I would like to see them given to people who can use them, instead of being sold.   {probably these have "found a home" with a charity group}

wicker baskets -- many, plus chairs

small appliances -- counter-top microwave,  wide toaster (4 pieces),  5 coffee makers (small glass, bigger metal) for slow brewing, not fast k-cup.

large appliances -- full-size refrigerator, full-size freezerwasher and dryer;  all 4 are working properly.


miscellaneous -- tower fan,  large dog crate (photo) for home or traveling,  a lot of food-canning equipment (jars,...),  and more that (iou) will be described here later.

The World Book Encyclopedia -- full set from 1971 (21 books) plus 1972 Year Book, all in excellent shape with no markings.


medical supplies -- 1 wheelchair (plus its foot-rests),  4 walkers (2 with four legs, 2 with four wheels),  3 wooden crutches,  metal cane (with 4 short legs)   /   2 shower seats (one never-used brand new and another used a few times),  sturdy lightweight porta-potty (used a lot, but with washable seat, and new “pails” are available)  --  all of these could be useful for seniors, or people with disabilities.     {also, 4 small (3.5" x 3.5" x 7.5") empty "sharps containers" for needles & syringes, leftover from my 2 years of giving Mom's dog insulin shots twice/day for his diabetes.}


small “house trailer” -- probably I'll want to sell this, not give it away.   {photo}

GE Radio-Phono




To supplement my requests (Part 2), here is a little more information.

people-helping groups -- some community organizations (including churches)* want to help people in a variety of ways, often by feeding them, and occasionally by giving them non-food items they can use.   {* for example, Fullerton Free & Vineyard Anaheim & West Anaheim Methodist, and others} {also, Patriots and Paws}

thrift stores -- is there any data, for various stores, on the fraction of donations that are kept-and-used instead of being thrown into a trash dumpster?   (of course, this fraction will increase by following guidelines about the kinds of things they typically want us to donate or not donate)

for furniture -- I'll first ask people-helping groups & individuals, then thrift stores;  or, as a last resort, some pieces can just be put on the curb for anyone who wants them, and if not they'll go into "bulky items" pickup by City of Anaheim.




FINDING A GOOD HOME FOR ZOE:   I want to find a good home for my fluffy-and-happy dog, Zoe.  Her name means "life" in Greek (it's one of the best words in the Bible) and she is full of life, enjoys life.  I'm thinking an ideal new home might be three kids (age 9-15 with lots of friends who visit their home, or they can take Zoe to visit) plus father & mother, and maybe a dog buddy.  Or something like that.  Zoe and I love each other, and I treat her well, but she likes the adventures of meeting-and-greeting people,* and she is under-stimulated by just me, compared with when I took her to Mom's living facility almost every day for several months, and during each visit Zoe could be with Mom and with many other residents who really liked her, but now it's usually just me, and she likes people-adventures.     {she is enthusiastic when meeting new people, and greeting me in the morning or when I return from a trip, but a few minutes later she relaxes, is calm and peaceful, until she occasionally wants to play}   {another beloved dog, Kobe, looked like Toto in Kansas & Oz, and when he died in 2018 Mom really wanted another dog so we found Zoe, but... I don't want to take her to the midwest with me;  instead I want to find her a good home where she can have plenty of joyfully stimulating experiences.}   {more about getting Zoe and giving her away}


STORAGE SPACE WANTED (by me):   When I drive away in May, I want to “travel light” with just what I can pack into a Corolla, but there will be some things -- a few boxes I'll want mailed to me after I find a new home, and longer-term storage for other things, mainly papers (with ideas I've been developing thru the years, and ideas are valuable for a writer like me) but also a trombone and a few other things -- that I'll want to keep but not take with me now, so I will want to store them, at least for awhile, maybe until (and this might be wise) I buy a house and will have more room for storage.  Of course I can rent commercial storage, but does anyone have storage space available for these, for awhile?  (if you're thinking "maybe" I'll tell you roughly "how much" because I'm not expecting anyone to “write a blank check” for storing an unlimited amount of things)


WALKING AWAY FROM WASTE:   During 1972-73, I did dozens of temporary jobs (for “temp agencies” in Anaheim, Seattle, Milwaukee) and although some jobs had horrible conditions (because many employers don't seem to care much about the health-safety of workers),* only one time did I ever “walk away from a job.”  It was working for a company that procrastinated by not moving out of a building until the final day, then in a panic-rush they threw away a huge amount of things — including many valuable high-quality items that would have been wanted by many people or companies — instead of doing something less wasteful, like asking a donations-accepting organization (thrift store, church ministry, community group,...) to haul everything away so they could use the items, or sell them, or give them away.  Many local companies & organizations would have wanted most of the items being discarded.  Instead the panicking company asked us to simplistically shovel everything (literally for many smaller items) into huge trash dumpsters.  I thought the whole process was extremely wasteful (was thus foolish, was irresponsible in the overall big picture of life) and I didn't want to be involved with helping them be foolishly wastefully irresponsible, so I walked away.

* After several experiences with unhealthy conditions, I began turning down all factory work, accepting only jobs in a warehouse (typically hard work, but cleaner) or office, or outside.