Clutter can be a source of anxiety and stress. Whenever I start getting frustrated in my office, nine out of ten times, my space is an unorganized mess. Sorting through things to organize what I need and get rid of what I don’t need helps open up space and relieve stress, but it also gives me the opportunity to donate to charity. This applies to all areas of the home; clothes, utensils, dishes, furniture, electronics, books, toys, and even food can be donated. Recycling, trading, and donating items are all ways you can get your home cleaned up while helping out your community.
Reuse and Recycle
I often throw things in the garbage out of habit without thinking about how the item can be reused. Larger cities don’t have room to fit all of the waste we throw away, and recycling is a small step to clean up your city while helping the earth. To combat this habit of tossing, I have two garbage cans right in my house; one is for recycling, and the other is for trash. Another box is tucked away under our stairs for donations. Before taking a box to a donation center, I weed through it and check for things I might be able to reuse. It is incredible the things you can do with “junk.” Browse Pinterest for hundreds of ideas of things to make out of old pallet boards or any other old item.
Swap Meets and Trades
I remember a few years back going to a swap meet held in our neighborhood. Everyone brought things they were planning to donate, and you got to freely browse through everyone’s items and take whatever you wanted without any questions. Almost all of our old stuff was gone by the end of the day, which was a huge relief, and we got a few neat items in return. It was a fun event that was stress-free and brought our small community together. It also gave everyone a chance to help out neighbors in need and save them from having to spend any money. Doing a swap meet with friends, an organization, your church, or a work group is a great way to donate things and find some hidden treasures, too.
Donating to a local organization is one of the best ways to unclutter your home and make a difference. A shirt that no longer fits or jacket that is out of style might be junk to you, but to someone in need, it can make a huge difference. Every few months, I take several large bags of clothes and items to a donation center. It feels so good to open up space in our home while doing something beneficial for someone else. Instead of tossing old items or shoving them away in a forgotten box, load them in your car for someone else. There are centers scattered across the country in every city, but New York City has countless places accepting donations. Goodwill and the Salvation Army are popular places to donate that you can find in several locations across the country. Catholic Charities and Food Bank for New York are both located in the Bronx and will get your items to those who need them most. In Manhattan, you will find dozens of centers, but Cancer Care Thrift Shop and Housing Works Thrift Shop are two that could definitely use your donations.
It is amazing to me how fast we acquire things. It never takes long to fill several boxes with items I no longer use. Once I get a few boxes filled, I take them out to my car. The next time I drive by a donation center, I quickly stop by and drop off the items. Every single time I give a little, it leaves me feeling better about myself. Donating is such a simple way to unclutter your home and give back to your community.
Image Courtesy of Stuart Heath (Flickr)