• An Important Lesson

    “Throwers” relish clearing out and will empty a house quickly; “keepers” want to preserve special things as well as memories, and will linger over the process. People who balance these attributes have come to the realization that the most valuable thing in a house is the life that has been lived there. Read more about how “keepers” and “throwers” work together to downsize and declutter.
  • Press for our Book

    “…a downsizing bible” Oregon Home
    "...some items have special sentimental meaning... Huffington Post
    "clearing out the clutter...a wonderful gift to your family..."USA Today
    "sharing tips for getting the job done..."PBS’s Next Avenue
    "Downsizing: What to do with all that stuff?" Forbes
    “…discussions [help] avert misunderstandings…” The New York Times
    “…creative ways…of maintaining peace while dividing the family heirlooms” BloombergBusinessweek
    “practical suggestions for sorting through a lifetime of items…” The Washington Times
    “…about memories, feelings and people…” Chicago Tribune
    “tips on preserving relations and memories while sorting clutter...” The Salt Lake Tribune
    "lessons from two who have 'been there, done that'..."Your Organizing Business
    “…a useful resource...” Senior Living Institute
    “…help is on the way…” Illinois Public Media
    …the only book mentioned in the Comprehensive Checklist for Downsizing a Home Organize and Downsize

  • On Our Bookshelf

    Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home by Linda Hetzer and Janet Hulstrand
    Buried in Treasures by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee
    Caring for Your Family Treasures by Jane S. Long and Richard W. Long
    Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
    Organizing Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin
    Sell, Keep, or Toss? How to Downsize a Home... by Harry L. Rinker
    Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? by Marlene S. Strum

  • Our Favorite Blogs

Getting Rid of … Medical Equipment

As we were writing our book Moving On, our purpose started to come into focus: to help others navigate the emotional hurdles of dividing up family treasures; to provide practical information on how to approach the task of cleaning out a house; and to suggest to readers actual places to donate, sell, or otherwise dispose of unwanted items.

We have the same goals for the blog.

So in an occasional feature we’re calling “Getting Rid of…” we will pass along information about disposing of particular items or an entire category of stuff.

I chose to inaugurate this feature with information about donating medical equipment because, in helping my father empty the house where I grew up, I came face to face with the problem of donating my mother’s wheelchair, walker, and other perfectly usable medical equipment. All the rejections came with a disclaimer about liability.

Working through this struggle to donate items that seemingly no one was willing to accept, I came to the realization that I was going to write a book about the process of emptying a house.

At the time, I needed practical tips as well as heartwarming – and encouraging – stories, and I was sure other people going through what has become, for many, a rite of passage would welcome this as well.

So, in memory of my mother and her quest to always reuse and recycle, here is a list of places that accept medical equipment and medications.

Donating equipment

Operation Giving Back

This website from the American College of Surgeons provides a list of organizations, listed alphabetically by state, that accept medical equipment. As the website says, make sure to contact an organization before shipping any materials to be sure your donation can be utilized.

Disposing of medications

The Drug Enforcement Agency designates one day as Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The next one is on October 29, 2011. Check for updates at where you can enter your zip code to find collection sites near you.



3 Responses

  1. I think it should be made compulsory to recycle and donate old used medical equipment. It may no longer be useful to you but could be a life saver for others.

  2. […] This isn’t always easy but here are some suggestions. […]

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