Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Able Closet

First day of school went great! Maggie was wiped out when she came home and was asleep a little after 7:00PM and didn't wake up until 6 this morning. We both have to adjust to getting back into the crazy morning routine, but we will. 

As we were waiting for the bus this morning I was looking around the basement at all the crap we have in there. Unless you've seen it, it's hard to believe. There is no room for a car in there and there hasn't been for years. In face I have to fight to keep a space wide enough for the wheelchair to get through. 

Steve's workshop takes up about half the space. He has all the big power tools and the supplies, but it's worse than that. He is something of a mad scientist and we have bits of this and boxes of that all over the place. Nothing goes to waste. He saves everything in case he can build something with it later. He can build anything, but he never uses the stuff he's saved. When he's not looking I recycle old yogurt containers. (oh-oh, now I'm busted). There is also a boatload of goodwill stuff down there, at least 10 boxes and that's going out today! Whoo hoo!

In addition to all his stuff, there is all of Maggie's overflow equipment and supplies or unneeded equipment and supplies.  I can't really donate it to goodwill because it is so specialized. For years my friends and I considered opening up some sort of clearinghouse for all this stuff because it's unbelievably expensive and so much of it is sitting unused in basements around town. Of course we never got around to it. But, thanks to a reader named "webkinzlover," I learned that someone is finally doing that in the Bay Area. 

It's called "Able Closet" (http://www.ablecloset.com). Families can donate unused or unneeded equipment to 
Able Closet for a tax deduction. Able Closet then inspects it, cleans it up and lends it out to a family in need. It is a fantastic idea and I will be gathering up some of Maggie's stuff to donate. I contacted them and they are taking donations for all over the Bay Area and storing it in a warehouse. Check out their website - you won't believe the equipment on there. Need a ramp for a step, no problem, Need a lift? a stander? You will find it there. 

I contacted Julie Bursey  DPT, one of the co-founders of Able Closet and she is interested in getting the word out about the organization both for donations and for families in need of borrowing something. They are also building a bank of names and references for those who work with our kids. So all of you parents of disabled kids or therapists reading this, spread the word and check out the website. 

It is a fantastic idea and I will be gathering up some of Maggie's stuff to donate.  As soon as I can dig my way down to it. 


  1. Wow. That is a fantastic idea. I'm wondering whether I should post about it on my blog? Is it just for those in the Bay area or are there shipping options?

  2. Elizabeth - I'm not sure, I would put it on the blog and let people find out. Personally I have a ton of little stuff I would donate. It might be cost prohibitive to do a wheelchair or something from a distance, but there are lots of little things that would be worth while. Besides, maybe they have some sort of arrangement.

  3. 10 bags - you the Woman! Love donating to Goodwill! Shop there, too. My Hubby has the same tendencies but he is slowly improving. Sorry - no magic therapy techniques to recover an aging pack-rat - just wear him down is all I can advise.

    We have a few organizations here that attempt a loan/donate closet. I'm afraid they operate on a hit-n-miss basis - depends on who you talk to. Wish Goodwill would take this on nationally.

    In the meantime I will give this post a tweet.

    And I get it on the blog carnival - posting before the actual carnival. Sorry I caught on late. Barbara

  4. You are welcome, I actually read about it on Heidi and Junior's blog Adaptions4kids


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