Spring is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to clear out the clutter from your home. Not only does spring cleaning refresh your living space, but it also brings numerous benefits, such as reduced stress, improved organization and the opportunity to donate to those in need.
To help with your cleaning efforts, we’ve compiled a handy guide to help you determine what to keep, throw, and donate during your spring cleaning journey. Our “how-to” resource includes a list of acceptable and unacceptable donations, as well as tips and tricks to make the process a breeze. So, grab a trash bag, some boxes and get ready to tackle your home room by room.
The Process of Spring Cleaning
Step 1: Sort through items room by room
To get started, go through each room in your home, one by one. Start by removing all the items from the closet, drawers, and shelves and place them in the center of the room. This way, you can see everything in one place, making it easier to determine what to keep, throw away or donate.
Tip: take photos of each room before you start. This will not only help you remember how the room was organized, but it can also provide a helpful reference if you need to revisit a decision about an item. And as a bonus, you can use these photos to track your progress and give yourself a sense of accomplishment as you work through each room.
Step 2: Make a keep pile, a throw pile and a donate pile
As you go through each item, decide if it’s something you still use or if it’s just taking up space. For items you still use, put them in the keep pile. For items you no longer need or use, put them in the throw pile. And for items that are still in good condition but you no longer need, put them in the donate pile.
Tip: set up dedicated storage bins labeled in your garage or a spare room. Year round, you’ll be able to declutter as you go. Once the donate container is full, do a trip to your local charity.
Step 3: Assess the condition of the items in the donate pile and determine if they are acceptable for donation
Now that you have sorted through your belongings, it’s time to assess the condition of the items in the donate pile. Make sure the items are in good condition and are still usable before donating them.
Tip: Before donating items, try repurposing or upcycling them first. For example, an old piece of furniture can be given a fresh coat of paint or a new fabric slipcover to make it look like new. You might be able to find new life for an item that you would otherwise have tossed, and it’s a sustainable way of reducing waste.
It’s important to remember that charities rely on donated items to help those in need, so it’s crucial that the items you donate are in good condition and still usable. Donating broken, worn out, or unusable items only creates more work and expense for the non-profit and takes away from their resources, which could be better used to help others. When evaluating items for donation, you can ask yourself the following questions to determine if they are worth donating:
- Is the item in good working condition?
- Is the item free from any damages or tears?
- Is it clean and presentable?
- Would you be comfortable giving this item to a friend or family member?
- Is the item still relevant and in style?
By answering these questions, you can make a more informed decision on what to donate and what to keep or dispose of, ensuring that you are not creating more work for the charity by donating items that are not usable.
Still not sure if it’s up to scratch to donate? Refer to the following table for an example of items and their condition accepted by the Opportunity Village Thrift Store along with suggestions on what to keep, throw or donate.