The Giving Home



If you’re like me, you may have started off the year with a bang: organizing, decluttering and tidying. Then somewhere along the way, life and, well…more life, made it difficult to keep up. Even if you did some spring cleaning, you’ve probably found that things have gotten back to “normal” around the house, with clutter and stuff accumulating. So, let’s take a trip through the house and see what we can find to donate!

Family/living room: In our house, this area tends to become a dumping ground for all kinds of things. Once you have returned items to their original homes, do look for books, frames, pillows and blankets, décor and furniture that you don’t need anymore. Habitat for Humanity ReStore will accept your donations and even come pick them up for free. You can also check out LittleFreeLibrary.org to find a location near you to donate your gently used books—but don’t forget to take a new one home too!

Bedrooms & Bathrooms: Do you have a treadmill you use as a second closet or a crib no longer holding a sleeping baby? As in your family room, gather items you don’t need or use anymore. Don’t forget about furniture too! Make sure any items you donate are in good working order.

It might sound strange, but believe it or not, things found in the bathroom can be used by others! Round up all those hotel samples and mini toiletries from traveling to donate to a shelter but, remember, don’t donate any product that has been opened or used.

Closets: These can be quickly overrun if we aren’t careful. Consider putting a “one in one out” rule in place to help control some of the clutter. Regardless of whether you are cleaning out a linen, clothes or coat closet, search high and low for items you can donate. Do box up bedding, towels, clothing and shoes, but don’t donate things that are stained or have holes.

Office: Gather up electronics you aren’t using. If they are still working, consider donating to Goodwill. They will sell your item if they are able and, if not, will recycle it properly for you. Remember, don’t just throw ink cartridges, cords, printers, old cell phones and such away, as it all ends up in our landfill! 

Playroom/basement: If this is overflowing with Christmas and birthday gifts, trinkety treasure box toys, etc., try Suzanne’s tip. The Overland Park mom of three says, “In the chaos of everyday, clutter just adds to the stress. When we simplified our toys and only kept the things we truly loved and used, my stress levels went way down, and I was able to breathe in my own home again. Our home has a more peaceful atmosphere because they play better with less toys.”

Garage: Donate tools, bikes and garden equipment but don’t just toss out chemicals and paint. These need to be disposed of properly. You can contact Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal to schedule a drop-off.

 

Julie Collett writes from Overland Park. With four children, she always seems to be decluttering, organizing and donating … but it always feels so freeing each and every time! 

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