Clutter-Free – A Handy Guide for Donating Hodgepodge

Jan 5, 2023DESIGN

If you’re overwhelmed by clutter in your home, it’s time to take control. By following this handy guide, you can let go of stuff, donate to charitable and recycling organizations, and maintain a clutter-free home for good.

Studies show fifty-percent of Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of clutter they have in their homes. Eighty-percent of them said they don’t know how to go clutter-free. A majority insist they need a larger home or storage unit to store their clutter.

Spoiler alert — storing things you don’t use or need is not a wise solution.

Overconsumption is a problem in this country. We buy more and more. Then we buy things to organize the things we didn’t need in the first place. Home organization products are a $20 billion industry. Organizing things you don’t need is not the answer. Going clutter-free is the only answer.

HOW TO GO CLUTTER-FREE

Before you begin your clutter-free project, prepare yourself for internal conflict. Your mind might wage a battle. “But, I paid way too much to let this go.” “I’ll lose the weight.” “But, my mother-in-law gave it to me.” Ignore the monkey-mind and forge ahead.

Step 1. Scan every wall, corner, nook and cranny within your home. Pay close attention to where your eyes hesitate. The hesitation is showing you where you need less.

Step 2. Assess the placement of your belongings. Ask each piece, “Do I love you? Do I use you? If I discovered you right now, would I buy you?”

Step 3. Donate, sell or ditch anything that makes you feel negative.

“Be a curator of your life. Cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.”

—Leo Babauta

WHERE TO DONATE AFTER GOING CLUTTER-FREE

Donating your items is a great way to go clutter-free and make a positive impact on your community. Unsure which organizations accept specific items? There’s a list for that.

Clothes, Furniture and Household ItemsVietnam Veterans of America is my go-to charity for donating clothes, furniture and household items. They also accept vehicles and monetary donations.

TVs — Best Buy has an electronic recycling program. Manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and LG have recycling drop-off locations. Additionally, local schools, nursing homes and homeless shelters accept working TVs.

Computers — Best Buy recycles most computer equipment for free.

Sports Equipment — Bunkers in Baghdad sends golf equipment to troops. Pitch In for Baseball & Softball accepts gently used baseball and softball equipment to create sports programs for underprivileged kids. Peace Passers accepts soccer equipment.

Bikes — The International Bicycle Fund has a dedicated web page to connect you with organizations seeking old bikes.

Luggage — Most foster care agencies, Department of Social Services and homeless shelters accept gently used luggage.

Rugs — Donate area rugs in good condition to a nursing home or homeless shelter. Carpeting and carpet padding cannot be donated for health reasons, but they can be recycled at a facility.

Vacuum Cleaners — Best Buy accepts stick, robot and upright vacuums for recycling.

Power Tools — Habitat for Humanity Restores will take tools of all kinds.

Christmas Trees — Artifical Christmas trees cannot be recycled. Consider donating to a nursing home.

Paint — Earth 911 provides information about different paint recycling programs. Some retailers offer take-back programs. For water-based paint, add kitty litter or paper equal to the amount of paint remaining in the can. Wait until the paint has dried before placing in the garbage. —Or you could inquire about donating it to your local high school drama department.

Batteries — Local hardware stores will recycle your batteries.

Light Bulbs — Home Depot, Lowe’s and True Value operate light bulb recycling programs.

WELL-REGARDED CHARITIES

While you’re in the giving spirit, consider giving monetary donations to the following well-regarded charities.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has provided 188+ million free books to children.

A Sense of Home provides furniture and home goods for teenagers who have aged out of the foster care system.

Give Kids the World provides children who have critical illnesses all-expense-paid vacations at their Kissimmee, Florida resort. They’ve hosted more than 177K families since 1986.

One Simple Wish helps match donors with specific requests for children in need, rather than donations going into a single pot.

Best Friends does outreach nationwide with shelters, rescue groups and members to promote pet adoption, no-kill animal rescue, and spay-and-neuter practices.

Society hypnotizes us into believing we need lots of things. We don’t. It’s important we learn how to be more discerning before we buy. Going clutter-free helps release the physical and emotional weight of unwanted things. When your home is clutter-free, your mind will be, too.

You might also like Pandemic Habits I Plan to Keep.

As always, thank you for being here and sharing the articles you appreciate most. Be sure to subscribe to future posts below. And if you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment or drop a note. My mind and inbox are always open.

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