We’ve spent a lot of time at home this year. A lot!
This means your storage space is likely cluttered with new hobby apparatus and unworn clothing – and, it’s most definitely due for a deep cleaning.
Good news: Fall cleaning is the new spring cleaning. As the holiday season kicks off, it’s the perfect time to find responsible, sustainable ways to dispose of unwanted goods. Consider these options for donating and upcycling household items that others may need.
Clothing, toys, other goods
When in doubt, remember that smaller thrift shops and donation centers as well as national chains like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill and The Salvation Army accept nearly all household goods and personal items.
As you sift through closets and tackle the basement, keep in mind that you can donate most things: unwanted clothing, shoes, furniture, household appliances, children’s toys, sports equipment and much more.
Composed Living lists ways to dispose of other household goods, including electronics and paint.
Many donation centers have an outdoor drop-off option or an at-home pick-up service to safely upcycle goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While you can’t salvage all food, you can typically donate most canned goods and unopened, sealed products to organizations such as food banks, rescues, pantries and/or homeless shelters.
Peanut butter, pasta, rice and canned goods are the most common donations. If you have perishable food to give, you can contact the organization to check if it will accept your items.
For food that donation centers won’t accept (but is still safe to consume), get creative and try to use it rather than tossing it in the trash. For instance, you can freeze overripe bananas and use them later in banana bread.
Your local animal shelter can always use old sheets and towels as bedding for the pets they house. Especially during the cold of winter, your extra bedding can keep dogs and cats warm. With nervous chewing and accidents – you know, general puppy mannerisms – shelters and rescues go through a lot of blankets.
If possible, wash and dry any linens before you donate them.
Most charity centers and local libraries will accept new and used books. In the U.S., chain donation organizations as well as veterans’ associations and retirement homes are always on the lookout for reading material.
Becoming Minimalist lists 20 useful places to donate books that benefit people of all ages.
As you clean your home in preparation for the winter, it’s always nice to consider those you can help this holiday season.