A Guide to Charitable Spring Cleaning

Is spring cleaning on your mind? If it is, you’re not alone. More than 70% of Americans engage in the yearly ritual of spring cleaning, according to a 2013 survey by the American Cleaning Institute. While this gets some clean-freaks excited, it can leave those of us who are less tidy filled with dread.

But never fear! If broken down into steps, spring cleaning can be very manageable. And best of all, you can donate the items that you no longer want but are still in good condition. Contact your local charity to find out what they can accept and what they need most, then follow these easy steps to sort out your belongings:

Clothing
That sweater you haven’t worn in over a year? Get rid of it. Those jeans that haven’t fit you since 2002? There’s no reason to leave them in your closet. Take everything out of your closet and drawers, and only put back in the things that fit you well and that you actually like to wear. Donate everything else.

Furniture
It’s the perfect time of year for a home makeover. Most charities accept furniture donations, and some will even send someone to pick them up.

Tech Items
Have a tablet, phone, or TV that you no longer use? This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the clunky items you left behind with your last upgrade.

Office Supplies
You might not think about donating office supplies, but they are very appreciated by charitable organizations, particularly those that have backpack programs for kids. Make some room in your desk by cleaning out that stack of empty notebooks you’ve accumulated over the years.

Food
Are your kids staging a full-fledged revolt against green beans? Take a look at your pantry and pass along all of the non-perishable goods that (if we’re being totally honest) your family is never going to eat.

Decor
Evaluate your paintings, curtains, pillows, seasonal decorations, etc. If you find things that you’re ridiculously tired of looking at, give them to someone who will be thrilled to have new decor.

Entertainment
Whether it’s a book you’ve read too many times to count or an artsy movie that you ended up hating, your entertainment donation will be much appreciated.

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