Trying to kick a clutter habit? The holidays can be a great time to get organized. Pair the spirit of giving with these tidying tips to bring a sense of order to 2019.
To get started, the first thing you’ll want to do is make 3 piles — throw it, keep it, and donate it. Throwing things out that do not still serve you is the first order of business. You’ll know these items because they are unsalvageable, expired or empty. Toss.
Keeping things is not usually anyone’s problem. But many people do want to find their possessions with ease. Placing similar items together is ‘organizing 101.’ You then want to fold, hang, file, or store your items in such a way that they are retrievable.
Donating things that are still useful – just not to you – is one way to connect with others who are less fortunate. Even your old eyeglasses can be recycled. You’ll want to start the tidying up process in December. Donors must make their yearly giving decisions by December 31st if they are doing so for a tax deduction.
Seven Donations That Make A Difference
Inspired? Here are 6 things from your home or office you can donate to make a difference in the life of someone else.
With over 40 million Americans struggling with hunger, plenty of charities are in need of food donations. If you tend to stock up until your ‘cup runneth over’, set some things aside. All too often we buy cans and jars of things that never make it to the table. It’s also the perfect time to throw out any ingredients that are date-stamped and have expired. Top picks for food banks are canned proteins (tuna, salmon, chicken), dried and canned beans, and nut butters.
Scout your local food banks at Feeding America.
Adding new coats to your collection and not having enough closet space can lead to a pileup. Make sure everyone in the house has gone through their closets and weeded out coats that don’t fit anymore. Some stores actually have incentive programs. You donate your old coat in return for a discount on a new one. Otherwise, coat drives are usually held in the Fall and Winter months.
Find a coat drive at One Warm Coat.
Is home renovation on your seasonal wish-list? Don’t underestimate the organizational power of a built-in closet. Several chain stores can help you plan out your space to accommodate your needs. Built-ins can create a spacious, minimalistic vibe. Especially if you get rid of old furniture.
There are many charitable organizations that pick up used furniture and give you a tax receipt – so make sure to ask for one.
Schedule a pickup with the Salvation Army or Green Drop. Green Drop allows you to pick your charity from their partners: Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Red Cross, and National Federation of the Blind.
If you are a voracious reader and prefer the feel of real paper, chances are you’ve got a stack of books. If you are willing to pass books along to friends or family, it’s a great way to share lively conversations. It’s also a budget-friendly way to exchange gifts. But, unless you’ve got the space, keeping every book may not make sense. Libraries, thrift shops, and hospitals often welcome book donations.
Donate used books at Pick Up Please.
Many socially-conscious brands have started taking gently worn professional attire (their brand) and donating them to women’s organizations. That blazer you never wear could find its way into the hands of someone who needs an interview look but can’t afford it. While it is true that some things come back in style, you need a lot of closet space to keep everything. Both the Salvation Army and Green Drop take used clothes. Shelters, places of worship and crisis centers also welcome clothing in most cases.
Pay it forward with clothing at Goodwill.
The fast-paced world of technology makes devices obsolete in no time. If you can trade up — often the case with mobile phones — that’s one thing. But many gadgets lose their usefulness and collect dust. Throwing out old tablets, TVs, computers and such is possible, sure. But, according to the UN, electronic waste poses grave health risks both to humans and environments. So if it has a plug or a battery, and you can’t use it, here are some options. you can recycle it, trade it (tech firms), sell it, or turn your devices into donations. Make sure if your electronics have a memory, you erase all personal data.
7. Loose Change
Pocket change is something we all have but don’t necessarily use with the exception of quarters for the parking meters. If you aren’t going to roll your pennies, nickels, and dimes for your own bank account, this is the perfect thing to donate. With homelessness on the rise, you could make little bags, keep in your coat pocket, and play good Samaritan. However, this isn’t the only option.
Charity Partners has a Coins that Count® charity program.
The way it works is you choose your charity from among their partners – The Red Cross, Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Feeding America, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Humane Society, United Way, UNICEF or World Wildlife Fund. Then, look for a kiosk where you can give any amount.
Happy Holidays, and remember, anyone can be a holiday helper.