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How to Declutter Your House and Garage

It's Time for the Perfect Spring Cleaning

Donate your gently used items to the thrift store when you're spring cleaning

It’s Debbie, your trusty guide for this season’s spring cleaning tour through your home.

Let’s talk about cleaning: a word that induces heavy sighs heard around the world. But, trust me, you’ll feel rejuvenated after you’ve tackled sorting, organizing and donating. Let’s shake off the winter to give summer your all.

The clean sweep

As you dust, mop and tackle laundry duty this weekend, evaluate every item in sight with a critical eye. Don’t attach yourself to past memories or what-ifs.

Still have Easter bunnies and baskets up? While you store them, sort through the rest of your holiday decor. If your family hasn’t displayed the bedazzled Santa statue or bewitched jack-o’-lantern since before your son was born in 1990, it’s time to let it go.

You’re on a roll, and you’re already in storage. Why not keep investigating? Here are a few more things to consider donating:

  • Your wedding dress, and other accessories (that outfitted you or your venue) from the Big Day
  • Unused kid’s toys
  • Excess office supplies, technology or entertainment devices
  • Unwanted kitchenware, including place settings and appliances
  • Tupperware
  • Nonessential home goods, including furniture
  • Textbooks, novels, DVDs, CDs, records, video games, cassette and VHS tapes (yes, people still have these!)
  • Bikes and scooters
  • Sports equipment
  • Puzzles and board games
  • Arts and crafts, DIY and hobby supplies you’ve given up on

Keep this rule in mind with every room: If you haven’t worn it or used it in the last year, chances are it’s not adding value to your life. Donate it!

It's likely that items you don't need will spring to your attention as you go through your daily life, so it’s best to repeat the process every few months.

Spring Cleaning: Donate your unwanted items to the thrift store

The once-over

“What if I might need this?”

We often cling to a clothing item or two in our closets because there’s an off chance that we’ll need one exact pair of jeans out of our inventory of 20. An endless mindgame loops, reasoning that if you ditch it now, you risk needing to spend money on an identical item later.

Gather together each of those belongings, and wear one of them every day until you weed through them. During the day, evaluate it for comfort, fit, condition, practicality and whether it’s worth the care instructions. If you’ve made it home without a fault in the item, keep it around. At any sign of dissatisfaction, donate it. A delighted new owner awaits.

Good rule of thumb: With every new thing you purchase, rid yourself of something old.

The reality check

You’ve evaluated and decluttered the rest of your house, but there’s a nagging feeling you’re still going into a new season with something unnecessary.

For the past few winters, you’ve had to pay bill after bill getting your car to make it through the bitter cold, vowing with every written check that it’s the final straw. But then warmer weather peaks in, your car gets its act together and you relent.

Donate your vehicle to Volunteers of America Greater Ohio, even if it’s not running. You might end up getting more for your vehicle as a tax-deductible donation than you would selling it yourself.

Treat yourself to a completely fresh start.

Enjoy your glistening home

Congratulations! You’ve managed to cut your clutter just in time for summer.

Donate your full bag of giveaways to Volunteers of America at one of our ten stores or a drop box location, request a free home pick-up online or call (800) 873-4505 to find out about our free pick up service.

Your car donation makes shelter, affordable housing and support programs for those in need possible. We’ll take almost anything with a motor, be it a car, truck, boat or RV, and we can arrange free same-day towing.