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.


During early-2020 when I was writing this page, it often was revised when the situation changed, as items continued being given away.  Now in late-2020 it begins with the SITUATION and RESULTS and PROCESS.


the SITUATION:   {this paragraph was written in early-2020}

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 to Madison (my home city from 1989 to 2013) 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 in words 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-win.


the RESULTS:   {written in late-2020}

Before I moved from Anaheim to Madison in September 2020, most of the useful items (excluding those with little worth) were given away to “good homes” so much of the original page – describing the many available items, and linking to photo-pages that showed items – is now gone.

    Good Homes:  Most items were given away through worthy charities that help many people have better lives, being donated to...
    Patriots and Paws who help returning veterans with useful items and loving dogs;   btw, Penny Lambright (its founder & current CEO-and-Worker) taught a clutter-solving workshop attended by my friends (Diane & Nancy) who said one of the key take-away principles for them (and now for me) is that in a well-organized home “everything has its place,” so organizing in this way is a personal goal in my new home (that's now an old home, beginning in May 2022 when I moved from Madison to Columbus OH);
Salvation Army across the street from La Palma Dog Park where I took Zoe for fun adventures & socializing;
    West Anaheim Methodist Church with Thomas (and Esther) getting MANY items to people who could use them;
    Giving Center for a large load of valuable antiques to help people;
    also, many individuals from churches (West Anaheim Methodist, Vineyard Anaheim, Fullerton Free) who wanted many things:  sewing supplies & machine & fabric, Christmas decorations, bicycle & keyboard, sleeping bags, a large bookcase (skillfully made by Dad) & grandfather clock, wooden rocking chairs, and more;  and strangers who drove away with the many things I put on the street curb and said “come and get them” on craigslist;
    and my best give-away was my fluffy-and-happy dog, because I love joyful Zoe and she was adopted into a very good home with many loving people & another dog.    {some info is below, and you can see more of the story plus cute photos and videos of her - plus my juggling


Overall, I think my process of giving-away was a success.  But a major regret is that I gave most of Mom's clothes to Patriots & Paws, instead of Salvation Army.  If I had a Time Machine with Life Editing (using Control-Z for Undo-and-Redo), I would change this decision.  Why?  Because Mom had a lot of clothing, with wide variety that ranged from simple-and-functional to classy-with-style.  Salvation Army has a variety of stores in Orange County CA (with a large population) and some of their stores would have been useful to find good homes for her simple clothing, while other stores would have been better for her many pieces of beautiful classy clothing.  Because of their size & diversity, Salvation Army would have been better at consistently finding good homes for more of these items.  For most items, Patriots & Paws also (similar to SA) skillfully found good homes, but for Mom's clothing I should have made a better decision about where to donate it.


the PROCESS:   {written in early-2020}

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 <craigru178-att-yahoooo-daut-caum>} 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,” and both are fine.

So... can you (or another people-aware person you know) please help me [during early-2020] find people who might want some of the items?  If yes, your helpfulness will be greatly appreciated, and together we can produce win-win results.



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 some employers don't seem to care much about the health-safety of their workers),* only one time did I ever “walk away from a job.”  It was working for a company in Milwaukee (during a road trip in Summer 1972) 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, organizations, companies – instead of doing something less wasteful, like asking a donations-accepting organization (a thrift-store charity, church ministry, community group,...) to haul everything away so they could use the items, or sell them, or give them away.  Many local organizations & companies would have wanted most of the items being discarded.  Instead the panicking company asked us to simplistically shovel everything (literally shoveling, for many smaller items) into large 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 outdoors.


Before moving on to general win-win possibilities (for items in various categories), here is how I described – before finding an actual new home – a personal goal.


FINDING A GOOD HOME FOR ZOE:   I want to find a good home for my fluffy-and-happy dog.  Her name – spelled Zoe, pronounced Zoey – means “life” in Greek (it's one of the best words in the Bible) and she is full of life, enjoys life.  I'm imagining that an ideal new home might be three kids (age 7-14 with lots of friends who visit their home, or they can take Zoe to visit) plus father & mother, and a dog buddy.  Or something like that.  Why?  Zoe and I love each other, and I treat her well, but she likes the adventures of being with people (both familiar & new) and she is under-stimulated by being with just me, compared with the time when our home included two people (Mom & me) and then 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, and to get more of these she needs a new home.     {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 social experiences with people and a dog buddy.   an update! – In mid-May 2020, Zoe now has an extremely good home, as described in pages about giving her away after finding her.



[[ Here are a few “leftover ideas” from earlier: ]]

CATEGORIES   {this "gray box" was made in late-2020, by quoting from paragraphs that were written in early-2020}

VARYING VALUE:  In each category, I think some items will be useful for someone, and others might be useful.

PHOTOS are in this page [that was linked-to during the period of giving away that now is over in late-2020, with the content of the photo-page often being changed when there were changes in the items currently being given away] for items in each category.


I.O.U. – You may want to check back later because the rest of this page will continue changing, will continue to be revised as more & more items are given away, and more become available for giving away.


[[ Here are two of the many items that were given away: ]]

softballs (15) -- These would be useful for time-efficient batting practice;  use several balls (3 or 4?) instead of 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 2 infielders & 2 outfielders?  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).

patio swing -- It's connected with many fond memories of warm summer evenings with Dad (until late-2013) and Mom (until mid-2019), plus Kobe (their dog for 12 years until 2018, he looked like Toto from Kansas/Oz, and during his final two years he danced with joy twice each day) and occasionally other people, talking and relaxing and enjoying our back yard, but... the memories will remain after the swing is gone, after Dad & Mom & Kobe are gone.


[[ During the process in early-2020, I said... ]]

For many of the items, I can imagine 3 kinds of people:  A) some will say “no thank you, whenever I want any of these items I just buy them,”   B) others will say “thank you” and take items, but won't appreciate it much because they can afford to buy similar items,   C) people who can use items, but wouldn't buy them because they have limited money (although they fortunately do have homes) and they want to use it for essentials (food, rent,...) so they would appreciate getting these items.   My goal is getting these items to type-C people.