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Decluttering and Donating

Organizing is a goal that is often on our list for the new year. With that comes decluttering. One of the struggles in decluttering is the guilt we feel when letting things go. Maybe it was a gift, or we feel like we’re throwing away the money we spent. If an item is not used or loved, it’s just taking up space, no matter where it came from or how much it cost. By donating items, someone else can use or will love what we no longer do. Instead of feeling like we are losing something of value, we can provide that value to someone else.


Where to donate:

It’s pretty easy to pack up all of our unwanted items and drop them off at Goodwill. There are so many organizations that can benefit from donations of gently used items. Look for organizations that support causes that are important to you - children, women, the homeless, military veterans, animals, etc. You can also look up organizations by what you have to donate - electronics, shoes, furniture, toys, etc. A good old-fashioned Google search can do the trick, or get our Donation Resource Guide here. You can also ship donation items through organizations like Give Back Box and Zappos for Good. Pack a box, print the prepaid label and drop it off at UPS or the post office.


What to donate:

Don’t donate items that aren’t in good condition. If your item is worn out, has holes or stains, has missing parts, or is broken, recycle it or throw it away.


Don’t assume an organization can use what you have. Take a few minutes to check the organization’s website to see what items they accept. By giving organizations items they can’t use, we are putting the burden of getting rid of things on them.


How to donate:

Sometimes organizations have limited drop-off times. Make sure you’re going at a time when donations are accepted. Make sure your items are clean and pack them neatly. Some organizations won’t accept items in trash bags, so use boxes when possible. (Please don’t leave a huge pile of items on the curb to be ruined in the rain.)


What else we can do:

Not all organizations can accept used items. Here are other ways to help.

  • Check their website for a list of new items currently needed or an Amazon wish list.

  • Organizations can get inundated with donations around the holidays, and finding storage space can be a struggle. Try to donate at other times of the year.

  • Give a cash gift. This way, the organization can purchase what they need, when they need it. Oftentimes, the organization can also make the money go further with wholesale pricing from suppliers.

  • Volunteer. Make sure you know what’s required and that you can commit to what they need.

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Richmond, VA

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