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Declutter and Donate!

Can you believe it's already Memorial Day Weekend?  if you're not traveling, now is a great time to refresh and renew by cleaning out those spaces you've been wanting to get to for so long!  You'll not only feel better from decluttering your home (Feng Shui anyone?) but you'll also feel great when you donate those unwanted items to Goodwill and know you're helping to give a fresh start to someone in your community.

When you’re organizing, it can sometimes be difficult to let go and get rid of the things you’ve been holding onto. Here are five tips to make it easier to say goodbye to some of your stuff:

Make room for new things by clearing out the old.

When your closets and spaces are cluttered, it's hard to make room for the new things you're hoping to acquire.  If you have clothes you no longer wear (6 months or more, and by season is the rule), tools you've stopped using, bedding you've replaced, pots and pans that are just taking up space - then now is the time to clear out!  Even if you don't replace them with anything new, think how nicer it wlil feel to open those drawers and cabinets and not be overwhelmed by an overabundance of items.  The essential component to Feng Shui is that decluttering is not only cathartic but aso reduces anxiety and stress, and eliminates negative energy.  Even if it's taking 15 minutes a day to clear one space - your home and attitude will benefit. 

Multiples of items help to crowd spaces. Think collector item vs. dust collector!

Some of your possessions have memories associated with them, but perhaps they only remind you of things that are better left in the past. Or perhaps the memory is so strong that you don't need to have duplicates of the actual object to remember. Think about how many events or restaurants you go to and get the free cups or swags - when you open your cupboard, think about whether or not you really need all of those cups. Truth is, we all have favorite items that we choose again and again. That favorite pair of shoes, that favorite jacket, the cup you always use in the cupboard, the plate you've ate off of for years. If you notice you have an over-abundance of items that you don't normally pull for and you don't entertain with, them it's time to donate. Let someone else get use out of items that have just become your standard dust collectors!

Don’t be a slave to possessions that take time and energy to maintain.

You might want to reconsider items that eat up your time. We often say how our time is precious and limited - are there objects in your home you would love to have in theory, but in all reality spend more time maintaining than actually enjoying? Or items that you bought thinking they'd be a great addition and you haven't even removed them from their box? We often tend to overbuy or spend without reason - take those items and donate them. Not only will someone get more use out of it then you (and at least open it up!) but you'll also be creating jobs and opporutnities in our local community just from those small donations.

Fewer possessions simplify your choices and decision making.

Fewer choices mean easier decisions. So if you’re going to select a pair of shoes, it’s much easier to choose if your collection is smaller - and let's be honest, out of all of those shoes how many of them are you actually wearing? It takes a lot more time to make that decision every morning if you have dozens of pairs. You want your possessions to represent who you are and who you want to be - overcrowding with items that just "aren't you" creates clutter and takes up shelf space. So if you’re debating about whether to keep certain things, and they’re not meeting those criteria, you should probably let them go.

One man's junk is another man's treasure.

This is my number one reason why I love Goodwill - both for donating and shopping. Every shopping trip I make I end up buying something that others will look at and go "what are you going to do with that". And then I upcycle and repurpose it, decorate it for my home, and get constant compliments. "Did you get that at Home Goods?" Nope - Goodwill! Our stores fit so many mantras - "everything that is old becomes new again", and so on! And when I donate, I know someone will do the exact same thing with my belongings. Donating allows me to keep items out of landfills, to practice sustainability, and to help my fellow community member.

So while you're thinking about space this coming holiday weekend (and throughout the summer!) don't forget about us here at Goodwill.  Even if you've never set foot in our stores, your donations help to fuel our programs and to continue to have such an impact in our local community.  Declutter those spaces, and take our Memorial Day Challenge happening right now for a chance to win a great prize!  (see our Facebook page for more details).

Happy De-Cluttering!