5 Things to Donate During Spring Cleaning!

Written by: Brittany Graunke

Every year, by the time spring rolls around, I’m eager to roll up my sleeves and organize like crazy. Maybe it’s just the “spring cleaning” bug, but as a new mom with a Type A personality, I dream that one day my house will be organized. While that dream might never come true, it gives me hope and makes me feel better about the fact that currently I have dog toys and pacifiers in every nook and cranny of my home.

We all know that ones man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that phrase couldn’t be more true during spring cleaning. I’ve found as I organize my home that many items are needed by charities in my area. Knowing I can help these charities further their mission not only brings a smile to my face, but also makes spring cleaning that much more satisfying.

While clothing and furniture are often the “go to” items people think of when donating, I’ve found that many other items in your house can make a difference. Here are my favorite items to purge and donate following a spring cleaning scrub down!

●      Office & school supplies: Take a look at that intimidating junk or desk drawer and you might see highlighters, pens, folders, markers, etc. All these items can be put to use by almost any charity. Most charities have desk work to do as well - why not relieve their cost of getting new items by giving them your gently used supplies?

●      Kitchen supplies: Last year, I found that I had 7 whisks. I have no clue how I accumulated 7 whisks, but I confidently know that I will never be preparing any recipe that will require me to us all 7 whisks simultaneously. I organized my kitchen drawers, reviewed what excess I had, and donated the extra utensils, flatware and some coffee cups. Those items ended up at a home for the developmentally disabled which constantly runs through kitchen items. Warm and fuzzies immediately ensued.

●      Electronic appliances: Thanks to my iPhone, I can’t remember the last time I took a photo with a camera. If you’re the same way and have found that your iPhone is more convenient than your old camera, consider donating your old cameras. Many charities can use digital cameras to engage students or to document their activities. Other electronics can also help organizations - iPods, speakers, computers, and televisions.

●      Linens: In my single days, I had beautiful girly bedding in my beautiful girly early 20s room. Now, I have mature, gender-neutral bedding so that my husband will actually sleep in the same room as me. Last year, I finally realized by the time my bedding could be passed on to any potential children (I was pregnant at the time), it would be 2032. With that calculation in mind, I realized that it might be time to donate those girly threads. Bedding and other linens can all be used by individuals who are moving out of homelessness into their own homes. Towels can be used by pet organizations to clean cages and animals - who knew?!

●      Board games and toys: If your toy box is overflowing or you have 30 decks of cards, donating the excess is definitely the answer. From after school tutoring organizations to housing for at-risk youth, many organizations across Chicago can benefit from the generosity of your overflowing playroom!

Now I may never have a truly organized home or get to a place where I feel truly “spring cleaned”, but after a good day of rolling up my sleeves and purging what I don’t need, I feel better and my house is always cleaner. As you spring clean this year, definitely consider what you could donate and whose lives you can help improve!

If you're looking to donate in Chicago, Zealous Good can always help find charities that need your "spring clean-ed" items. You can learn more about Zealous Good at www.zealousgood.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Posted on March 06, 2014 at 8:16 PM