Some people do Spring Cleaning and decluttering. I do it between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays are a time when things can get really overwhelming. Between decorating, gatherings and events, and all the gifts that come in, busy and stuff can take over. To combat the extra stress that can accompany this season, I began using this as our annual decluttering season a few years ago. It’s remarkable what you can accumulate in a year.
Decluttering is all well and good, but what in the world do you do with all the “Stuff” that needs a new home, especially right before the holidays? We donate the majority of our things to Goodwill of North Georgia. Why?
- Donations to Goodwill are sold in stores to not just help those looking for inexpensive items. All proceeds help to support the mission of putting people to work. This year Goodwill will help 20,000 people in North Georgia find jobs.
- Goodwill is celebrating its 90th birthday of putting people to work in North Georgia. Our donations support our local families and local economies because of job opportunities.
- Now is a great time to clear out the closets in advance of the holiday. Clutter is not something you want to wait until the New Year to clear out.
- Documented donations (Ask your Goodwill donation accepter for a receipt slip. We also take pictures for tax files.) are a tax deduction.
- Every Goodwill I’ve ever shopped at has employees with special needs. As a special needs mom and advocate, I have to say this is one of my favorite things about supporting Goodwill and it’s mission. What’s that mission? At Goodwill, our mission is a simple one: we put people to work. Every day, thousands of men and women face barriers that make it difficult for them to find work and earn a paycheck to support their families. Sometimes it’s lack of training or education, limited job skills, or a disability. But with the support of donors and shoppers like you, we overcome those barriers. Goodwill gives people the tools they need to find a job, which allows them to support themselves and their families.
- Your gently loved items could make the holidays extra special for another family.
Tips For Clearing Out Clutter for Donations
- First, check out this list to see items that cannot be accepted as donations. Almost everything is accepted, but a few things are not.
- Pick one room to start with. I agree with Mark Twain on this. Eat the frog. Whatever room seems the most cluttered, bothers you the most, or has accumulated the most “Stuff” is the room you should tackle first. After that room is finished, move on to the next.
- Assemble your sturdy boxes and bags. Have a trash bag as well for things that cannot or should not be donated as well. If you wouldn’t want to pay money for the item in question because of it’s condition, don’t donate it.
- If you haven’t used, needed, or wanted it in a year, it is okay to find it a new home. This goes for clothes, trinkets, “as seen on TV”, whatever you haven’t used. Even gifts that have never been used.
- Toys should be gone through after bedtime for young children. If they are older, base it upon your child and how they react. No need to cause unnecessary drama. Keep some Clorox wipes on hand to wipe down any dirty toys.
- Keep multiple pieced items together. Put toys with multiple pieces in a bag together, wrap puzzles in clear plastic wrap to keep the pieces on the board, and make sure all game pieces are there and in the correct box. Large rubber bands around boxes are a good idea for board games. Dish sets should be packed into the same box when possible. Outfit “sets” should be kept together as well.
- Take your donations as soon as you finish each room. There is no reason to hang on to them. You decided they needed to move on, don’t give yourself the opportunity to let them linger or you will have a terrible case of the “what ifs”, and possibly redistribute your clutter. Make your decisions and then let it go.
- Goodwill has a location finder you can use to see the local Goodwill hours and donation hours (All Goodwill stores collect donations until 8:00pm, while standalone donation centers close at 6:00pm.). Donation Locations.
When you’re all done, you’ll be amazed at how much cleaner your space feels and how much less overwhelming the holiday gifts seem. You’ll also have the joy of knowing you’ve supported local families at the same time. Everyone wins when you donate to Goodwill!