I moved to NYC with a couple suitcases and a few thousand dollars, and almost 3 years later I find myself with more clothes, shoes, and decor that I could handle. Like almost every person I know in this city, I don’t really have much room to just be storing stuff. Also, like almost every person I know who has moved here, my fitness has improved and my style has been bumped up a few levels. So here I am, with bags on bags of extra clothes and shoes in my very small bedroom.
What to do?
2017 has been a hell of a year with all of the disasters, both natural and presidential. I’m always looking for ways to help, even just a little bit, so I decided it would be a good idea to donate my extra belongings. I gathered 10 pairs of shoes, 2 bags of clothes, and a rug that I thought would work in my room but absolutely did not.
I felt excited about donating this stuff, but it was a lot to haul to wherever I was going, and I do not have a car. I also didn’t think that I had enough to have it picked up. So, I messaged my friend and activism role model, Emily, for some advice.
Where to donate?
I asked her where I should donate this stuff, and she suggested Housing Works, which I had not previously heard of. I trust her, and so I looked into it! It turns out that Housing Works is a thrift store that self-identifies as “an NYC based non-profit fighting the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness.”
Totally something I want to contribute to. Another grand slam from Emily 🙂
So there I was with tons of stuff in my hallway that I wanted to donate, but no way to get it there without paying for a Lyft and hauling it myself.
How to do it?
I told all of this to my friend Stephanie, who is one of my smartest and most efficient friends. She was all like “why don’t you just get a TaskRabbit?”
For those who don’t know, TaskRabbit is an app that allows you to enter a task you need done and seamlessly hire someone to come handle the task. I have always wanted to try it but it has always seemed so expensive. She suggested I use her referral code, which gives you $20 off your first task.
I decided to take a look, and I noticed that you could hire someone to drop off donations for $24 per hour. I couldn’t see how this task would take more than one hour, which meant that with my $20 off, the subtotal would be $4.00.
It seemed too good to be true, and in my experience, when something seems too good to be true, you should always do that thing before someone realizes it’s too good to be true.
Let’s do it!
So I booked someone! It was literally as simple as me pressing the button to hire the person I wanted at my desired rate. Once I chose my person and entered the info about where I wanted to donate, it lets you know that they will reply within 30 minutes. My person was Jessica, and she replied so quickly! She asked what the earliest time she could stop by was, and I told her that because Housing works opened at 11, she should come by at 10:30 am if that worked for her.
I fell asleep, woke up and it was time! Don’t blink, because the next part all happened so fast. Jessica was a seasoned pro. She came up to my apartment on the 5th floor and made some small talk, which I personally loved. Although for all my introverted and non-morning people, I’m sure she would have kept it to a minimum if I didn’t bring up the latest SNL.
She asked some simple questions about housing works and how I wanted to receive confirmation. She had done this before and had a “no biggie” attitude. She took the bags and rug and it was out of my hands. She messaged a picture of my donation receipt that I converted into a PDF and the job was literally done.
That. was. it.
So in the end, all I had to do was put everything in bags, get a friend’s referral code (here’s mine), and hire someone like Jessica to come take it to a place that needs it!
I really, really recommend doing this. Not only because it was so easy, but donating things you already have is a simple way to give back and do your part. It’s never enough, but it’s totally something, and it left me feeling good about the way I handled it.
If you want to do this as well, you should! Just use my referral code to make sure you get your $20 off and choose someone for a low price. $4 & a tip later, your room could be purged!
And that is my current best life hack.
Also published on Medium.