Reader Kristin submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:
Loved your response to Miriam [last week] and how you focused on keeping things in perspective. Now, you mentioned taking old towels and linens to an animal shelter. Great idea! Do you have any other ideas for where to donate hard to place clutter items that still have some use left in them? Thanks a bunch!
A great question, and one that many people posed to me this week. Below are types of organizations I’ve had luck with in the past for very specific donations. As with all donations, be sure to call ahead to make sure that the group actually needs what you wish to give. Also, beware of getting caught up in getting specific items to specific agencies as a procrastination tactic. Follow your instincts, but get the items out of your home.
- As I wrote last week, animal shelters very often need lightly used linens (towels, sheets). They use them for soft sleeping surfaces, bathing, and general mess cleanup.
- Women’s shelters often need children’s toys and books, diapers, and female business attire. Shelters here also accept half-used bottles of shampoo and conditioner you became bored with half-way through the large container.
- Hospitals and doctors offices may want your old (but from the past year) magazines for their waiting rooms.
- Our local prison constantly requests academic books (great for those books the university didn’t buy back at the end of the semester and you lugged with you on many moves) and reference books.
- Half-way houses and men’s homeless shelters are usually in need of men’s business attire and winter coats in cooler climates.
- Groups that build homes (like Habitat for Humanity) need power and hand tools and unused supplies (still-in-their-original-package screws, nails, etc.).
- Kitchen storage containers (like good condition Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers, not old margarine tubs) are often accepted by groups that provide meals to the needy (like Meals on Wheels).
By no means is this list complete. I hope that readers continue to add ideas in the comments. I’m sure we can create quite a wonderful collection of suggestions.
Thank you, Kristin, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column.
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