Spring Cleaning with a Bonus!


It’s that time again… spring cleaning!  The time when we go into our closets, storage facilities, bookshelves, bathrooms or kitchens, and we pull out items and say “why do I still have this?!”

If you’re like me, spring cleaning feels like both a blessing and a curse.  While it’s nice to go through our things and rid ourselves of unnecessary items that have been taking up space for far too long, it’s also a hassle to think about what to do with everything once you’ve filled bags and boxes with your unneeded “stuff.”

Another challenge that comes with spring cleaning is the actual act of letting things go.  Most of us find ourselves getting emotional about our possessions and objects, often reminiscing about how we obtained them or linking a memory back to when we first brought it home.  If you’re having difficulty taking your emotional attachment from the item, consider sharing your sentiment with others, allowing them to experience joy, peace and comfort. Oh, what a feeling!

As someone who’s worked for non-profits for my entire career, I can honestly say spring cleaning is like Christmas for community organizations.  The influx of in-kind donations that typically come in during spring cleaning time create the opportunity for a non-profit to save money on expenses they’d otherwise have to incur, allowing for even more of the dollars donated to their organization to be returned directly to the programs and services they offer. Neat!

So before you throw anything away or leave it on the curb outside your home, consider agencies in the community around you that may benefit from your unneeded items.

  • Furniture, kitchen items such as plates or glasses, rugs, sheets, blankets and décor are always needed and appreciated by organizations that help families rebuild after a disaster.

  • Bathroom items like toiletries, soap, bath towels, wash cloths or feminine products are wonderful items to be donated to women’s shelters.

  • Unused dog toys, leashes, food and water bowls, towels, newspapers and even pet food are welcome at area animal shelters.

  • Clothing, both professional and casual, is always appreciated by organizations that help the homeless or those who are struggling financially but need professional attire to find jobs or remain employed.

  • Children’s toys, books, games and stuffed animals are always ready to be loved by another child in the community through organizations that benefit children and families.

A quick call to a charity can help you understand the items they are always in need of, and some charities even offer to pick up your donations from your home.  For a full list of wonderful non-profits in our area, visit   http://www.uwca.org/about-us/our-partners/partner-agencies/ or to learn more about making an in-kind donation to Childcare Resources, contact mhargrove@ccr-bhm.org.

So before you toss anything in the trash, or head down to leave something outside a dumpster, or the next time you find yourself asking, “Why do I still have this?!”, remember there are wonderful organizations in our community that can give your items a “second life.”  March is the perfect time to get your home organized, start the spring season with a feeling of renewal, and give back to your community along the way.