Winter is here, time to get out your fluffy warm clothes. What better time to go through all your clothes and donate what you don’t wear anymore. Decluttering can be one of the hardest but most fulfilling things to do.
Getting rid of the clutter in your house can also clear your mind.
Many studies have shown that your home is a representation of your mind and personally I have found when my house is clean and organized I can get to do more of the things that I love doing instead of procrastinating.
Start small when you embark on decluttering. Start with one cupboard, then two, then the room and later your whole house will be organized. Later it will become second nature. A method I found that works for me is putting items into a box as I clean and after a month if you did not reach for it, donate or recycle it.
So how do you know what to donate, recycle or just dump? Here are some pointers for you to follow.
What do donate
Clothing / Shoes / Accessories
Inspect all your clothing and shoes. Just because you don’t love it anymore does not mean someone else won’t. But if it is something you will never wear because it is torn, stained or dirty how can you give that to someone else to wear with pride? Mend old clothes, wash your clothes before donating it. Charities will gladly accept all the clothes, but please throw away the underwear if you have worn it! Look through all your accessories. You’ll be surprised how many people crave just to have a nice pair of earrings but can’t afford it.
Libraries do not get a lot of government funding. Why not go through all your thousands of books covered in dust and donate it to your local library. This way more people can find joy in a book you once loved.
We always want to give our bedroom a fresh look but feel guilty about the old linen. Give them a good wash and donate them to a charity. Duvet covers, curtains, mats, and even old towels are valuable items by lots of charities. You’ll be surprised by how many people can’t afford curtains for there home. Animal welfare always need old towels for their animals.
Go through that Tupperware shelf, see that one Tupperware container that you will never use again. Put that in the box! See the odd utensils that just fill the drawer. Put that in the box! People will be most grateful for any pot or pan that you don’t want anymore. When I once talked with a charity worker she told me about people whose houses burned down and that they need all the help that they can get. They don’t even have chipped cups! How many times we just throw away chipped cups because of that missing little piece.
Furniture / Appliances / Electronics
We all like to redecorate our home, buy a bigger fridge, buy a new couch because the old one does not suit our new color scheme. Find out from your charity what they need and who you can donate bigger items too. Post it on Facebook, someone will come take it off your hands in no time. Most of the time you will be helping someone in great need.
Toys / Old stationary
Children need toys to play with and develop various skills but go through them fast as they grow up. Once your little one has grown pass those toys, not broken toys, on to someone in need. Gather all those odd pieces of stationery, glitter, half-used writing blocks and donate them. It is much needed and every bit of money a charity can save in not buying stationary is money they can use towards the people who they support.
When looking in your cupboard we all have the one or two canned food items that we bought but will never use. Charities will be glad to get any non-perishable food items, especially in winter. Go through your cupboard, look at the expiry dates of items. Those close to expire that you will never use, donate them. Just tell them about the dates, then they know they should use them soon.
What not to donate
Wet, moldy, contaminated, torn, stained items
Eew, just eew. You don’t want to touch these items but think a charity or person should appreciate it? Rule of thumb, if you think it is gross, toss it. Don’t just pass it along. This can be dangerous for someone who does not have the means to go to the doctor because of the bacteria they picked up on moldy clothes.
This can be dangerous. Don’t try to fix it if you don’t know how and don’t give it to an unsuspecting victim. A broken microwave can still have a charge in it, don’t give it to someone to fix or break it to pieces for the copper. Take it to a recycling center!
Old beauty products
Beauty products have expiry dates for a reason. Bacteria can build upon it and when you put that directly onto your skin and lips it can create serious problems.
Here is your chance to make a difference in someone’s life. If you don’t want to make the effort to find a charity yourself to donate, ask around between your friends / colleagues. Most of the time you will find someone willing to take it to the charity they support. You will definitely find someone more than willing to take it. I hope these tips helped. What tips do you have for donating items or decluttering your home?
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