It’s Time to Clean Out, Declutter and Donate

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Summer is a great time to clean out, de-clutter and donate. Back to school time is here or right around the corner, but there is still time to put the kids to work organizing their rooms, desks, toy boxes and electronics. In many cases, this is not a one day project!

Go through school supplies and make a list of what is still usable and what needs to be purchased. Not everything for back to school needs to be brand new!

All family members can participate. It will feel great to pare down before school begins and to bless someone else. Make an inventory of what you have, before heading out to buy new items.

If you have trouble purging unworn items in your closet, you might try this tip: Take all the hangars in your closet and hang your clothes the opposite way with the hook of the hangar facing the front of the closet instead of the normal way with the hook facing the back of the closet.

Each time you wear a garment, re-hang it the “correct way”. After a set period of time, any items on hangars still facing the “wrong way” are items you are not wearing. Perhaps these can be donated.

A few years ago, we sold a home in one day to a cash buyer who wanted us moved out in two weeks (at Christmas.) Don’t I wish I would have done some purging prior to that crazy time in our lives?

Goodwill is the organization that we support with our donations. They provide employment to those with barriers and special needs.

You can find your closest Goodwill by putting in your zip code at

There are many other wonderful charitable organizations that would love to have your unneeded items. Log on to  to find additional options in your area. They can match you to children’s charities, health related causes like cancer, charities that support veterans, animals, the environment, education, homelessness and many more.

Here are some great tips for donating items to Goodwill or other charities from the Clutter Diet Blog:

  • Go through all the pockets and check inside purses, bags, suitcases etc. to make sure no personal items or valuables are still inside.

  • If your kids’ names are on items, mark them out with a Sharpie

  • Test electrical equipment and battery-operated items to make sure they work.

  • Include all pieces and parts to games, toys and household appliances (you can use plastic zip closure bags to keep pieces together).

  • Don’t leave items unattended outside a collection center where they may be stolen or damaged by weather.

  • Remember to get a receipt from the nonprofit too!

Here are some things that almost any Goodwill will accept ( please verify for your area):

  • Accessories (purses, ties, belts, scarves, etc.)

  • Art and decorative items (artificial plants, paintings, etc.)

  • Books, CDs, DVDs, tapes, records

  • Camping equipment

  • Clothing of any kind

  • Collectible items

  • Computers and electronics (please check, not all agencies can take these)

  • Household items (dishes, knick-knacks, housewares, etc.)

  • Jewelry and antiques

  • Linens

  • Shoes

  • Small furniture

  • Sporting goods and bikes (some agencies do not accept large exercise equipment, however)

  • Tools

  • Toys and children’s items (provided they are safe and not under recall)

  • Working electrical items (radios, televisions, clocks, lamps, etc.)

  • Working small appliances (toasters, blenders, etc.)

Here are some things that many Goodwill agencies and other nonprofits will NOT accept:

  • Any items that have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (You can check for a list of recalled items)

  • Automobile parts (tires, wheels, batteries, seats, vehicle body and engine parts)

  • Broken electronics or appliances

  • Building materials (carpet, shutters, doors, windows, lumber, plumbing fixtures, toilets, concrete, brick, stones, etc.)

  • Food, cosmetics, toiletries, or other perishable items

  • Furniture in poor condition (soiled/ripped/broken/missing pieces/rusted/moldy)

  • Gas powered equipment- gas grills, lawnmowers, etc. (some will accept with the fuel drained out or tanks omitted)

  • Large appliances (refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners, washers/dryers, etc.)

  • Live plants or animals

  • Mattresses and box springs

  • Newspapers, magazines, household trash

  • Paint, chemicals or hazardous/flammable material of any kind

  • Playground equipment

  • Professional/industrial equipment

  • Unsafe children’s items, possibly including toys, car seats, strollers, and other baby equipment

  • Weapons (guns, knives, swords, ammunition, etc.)

Donating feels good!


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