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Monday Tip #24 Give, and you Shall Receive


Garage sale shippers have little trouble finding bargains but lots of trouble finding a use for them later.

Sam Ewing

Want inspiration and to do a good deed at the same time? Try these variations on a theme and kill two birds with one stone.

The basic premise is to go to a charity shop, or their website, buy something, and use it creatively. Establish your budget before you go in (and stick to it). Then, when you are finished, donate it back to the charity. That model doesn’t always work in all of the following variations but you’ll get the general idea, I’m sure. This is not a shopping expedition for something that you want or need; you are working at being creative here.

Don’t worry at all if you end up buying a load of rubbish that doesn’t benefit you in any way. You’ll have given to the charity twice, so at least you can feel good about your lack of inspiration in a small way.

Here are some ideas of what you can do:

  • Give the person serving all of your budget and ask them to give you anything they choose. Make no suggestions at all.
  • Buy as many things as you can for your budget which all start with the same letter.
  • Go to the books, CDs, or DVDs and grab the first five items on the shelf. No censoring is allowed – you have to buy them all.
  • Buy the tallest, smallest, greenest, noisiest, ugliest, most attractive thing, or whatever criteria you care to opt for.
  • Buy something you can take apart and reassemble (remember, you need to donate it back again in saleable condition!).
  • Buy something you can use to destruction. (This contravenes the “donate it back” rule, but rules are there to be broken).

The first time I tried this method I spent £5 on a CD called Deep Forest. I had no idea who it was by, whether it was the name of the band or the album (both as it turned out), the style of music, or, indeed, anything at all about it. I just took pot luck and actually I really like the music.

If you like this method, try getting more than you did last time. Turn the whole thing into a competition. You’ve just made charity shopping a regular event so you’ll be helping out a cause you believe in (twice in most cases). Plus, you might get inspired – sounds like a good result all round. Why not try a different method of selecting object(s) each time you go in? Or how about taking the object back to a different shop and creating a trail of donations and inspiration? The journey itself might inspire.

For more information:

Build Your Own Idea Factory

This creativity tip comes from Build Your Own Idea Factory: 68 ways to boost your creativity and get inspired by David Norrington


Please comment below if you found this useful – and post examples!

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Monday Tip #24 Give, and you Shall Receive

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