By Trish Romano, Certified Self Storage Manager
Almost everyone who uses self storage has come to a point at some time in their storage experience when they feel overwhelmed with how full their storage unit has become. Whether you have items from downsizing, from a loved one passing away, from a child moving out on their own or you just didn’t want to get rid of things at that time; you likely have things you no longer want or need. That’s when you can donate those items to a local charity!
Donating unwanted items can improve our overall satisfaction in life. A German study provides ample evidence that people who give more to others – both time and resources – experience greater satisfaction in life than people who do not. In fact, communities of people with high levels of giving tend to demonstrate greater satisfaction within the community than groups of people who do not give generously. Essentially, you’re going to be happier in your community (and in your life) if it’s made up of people who give to one another.
Here are some great examples of how you can benefit from being charitable:
You’ll feel happier.
Simple as that. While life satisfaction is one thing, general happiness is another. In another study by professors at the University of Missouri – Columbia and the University of California – Riverside, people who gave to others tend to score much higher on feelings of joy and contentment than individuals who did not give to others.
You’ll improve key measurements of your health.
People who make charitable contributions score better overall on key measurements of health, such as resilience during physical activity and blood pressure levels, than people who do not. An article in Consumer Reports indicates that older adults who give have improved cognitive function, increased walking speed, increased ability to climb stairs and decreased rates of television watching than people who do not give. All of these indicators are linked to better health in elderly individuals. What more reason do you need?
Your stress level will reduce.
The improved happiness and health of people who make charitable contributions is likely linked to reduced rates of stress as well. Researchers at John Hopkins University and the University of Tennessee found that charitable givers experience lower rates of stress and lower blood pressure compared to those who do not give.
You can induce civic engagement.
If you’ve found a cause you like to support, whether with monetary or item donations, it’s usually just a matter of time before you start contributing your time to that cause as well. A hearty rate of voluntarism improves the overall health and longevity of local organizations, so give your money and your time to a cause you believe in. And if you remember all the health benefits we already talked about, how can you say no?
I have personal experience with witnessing the health benefits of donating and volunteering. One of my tenants at our Newton location volunteers for a local church. She is in her 80s and is in great physical, emotional and spiritual health. And, I always feel better when I can offer my help to her and her cause. Then we both benefit, and so does her church! You really can’t beat that.
So, the next time you visit your storage unit and look at all your stuff, ask yourself what you can donate to a good cause that you can live without. You will be surprised to realize how much stuff you have in there that you either forgot you had, never knew you had, or just don’t want anymore! There are many less fortunate people in every community that could use your generosity, probably more than you know.
At Moove In Self Storage, we support many charitable organizations at all of our locations. If you do not have a charity in mind that you want to help, simply ask one of our property managers and he or she will let you know who we partner with that will gladly take your donations. We pride ourselves and take great joy in supporting our local communities and charitable organizations. And, now that we know how beneficial donating and volunteering is to our overall health, we are even happier! (And you can be, too!)