Declutter Your House and Make a Difference in Your Community!
March 20 is the official start of spring, and for many that means kicking off the season by getting some cleaning and organizing done around the house. As you’re figuring out what to keep and what to toss, you may be wondering the best way to dispose of unwanted items. We created a list of things you should consider donating, and various organizations in Orange County that will put them to good use.
- Clothing. A tip for deciding which clothes to keep and which to get rid of: simply hang them in your closet with the hanger facing backwards. If you wear the item in the near future, you can hang it back up the way you normally would. Anything that’s still on a backwards hanger after six months can be donated.
- Dishes. Over the years, it’s easy to accumulate a random assortment of mugs, bowls, utensils and other items you rarely – if ever – use. Consider taking everything out of your cupboards and only putting back the items you use on a weekly basis. Put everything else in a box for storage. Anything you don’t need to dig out of the box after a month can be donated.
- Shoes. The average American owns anywhere from 12 to 27 pairs of shoes, and many of these pairs are only worn once! If this is an area you want to downsize, it’s easy to donate shoes just as you would donate clothes.
- CDs and movies. With streaming taking the place of DVDs and CDs, you likely have a few old movies or a shelf full of CDs you never use. Box up the ones you no longer want and drop them off for donation.
- Books. Just like CDs and DVDs, books are becoming a thing of the past for many people. If you’ve switched to an e-reader, gather up the books you no longer want and consider giving them to a charitable cause. Or, if you have a collection of books that haven’t been touched in years, consider only keeping the ones that are used for reference or have special meaning.
- Craft supplies. Do you have a large store of random craft supplies you never use? Yarn, beads, craft paint, markers, paper and other craft supplies can all be donated.
- Toys. Unused or unwanted toys can take up a huge amount of space, making them the perfect thing to donate. Pro tip: clean out your kids’ room when they’re not around and the may not even notice that the old toys are gone. Or, include them in the process and talk to them about the importance of giving to others in need.
- Extra home improvement items. When repainting, renovating or redecorating, you will always end up with left over supplies like tiles, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, lumber, specialty tools or other parts. Clear up space in your garage by getting rid of these items.
- Home décor. If you’re redecorating this spring, it’s also a great time to assess which décor items you no longer want, such as picture frames, wall hangings, trinkets and souvenirs.
- Furniture. As your family’s needs change, so do your needs for furniture. Gather up any unused shelves, cabinets, chairs, or couches that your family no longer needs and get them ready for donation.
Where To Donate Your Items
Remember, to qualify as a tax-deductible contribution, gifts must be made to a charity that has been designated as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS. Be sure to catalogue the value of your donated items, as when non-cash items are valued below $250, the IRS allows you to use the receipt that you receive from the organization you donated to.
Here are some local organizations that are currently accepting donations:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Orange County collects gently used clothing, accessories and household goods through Savers, a global thrift retailer. Reselling and recycling gives communities a smart way to shop, supports philanthropic causes and keeps more than 650 million pounds of used goods from landfills each year.
4852 Valley View Avenue
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
15825 Imperial Hwy
La Mirada, CA 90638
- Orange County Rescue Mission accepts donations such as food, clothing, bedding, cleaning supplies, new towels and hygiene items. They can be dropped off at their warehouse:
1 Hope Drive
Tustin, CA 92782
- Clothing the Homeless accepts all types of clothing and items such as backpacks, sleeping bags, towels and toiletries to help ease the lives of homeless on the street.
4849 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92604
Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Working Wardrobes helps accepts professional clothing donations to help people overcoming difficult challenges find meaningful employment.
1851 Kettering St.
Irvine, CA 92614
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Assistance League of Irvine’s gift shop is run by volunteers and accepts gently used clothing, shoes, accessories, home décor and household items + linens and glassware, jewelry + any broken jewelry which we use for repairs and crafting, toys and craft supplies.
2452 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606
- The Salvation Army helps fund rehabilitation programs that heal addictions, change lives and restore families. There are dozens of drop-off locations around Orange County and surrounding areas. Click here to can find one nearest you. You can also go to their website and schedule a free pick-up.
- Goodwill of Orange County is a long-standing nonprofit chain that accepts a range of pre-owned clothing, furniture, housewares & more. Visit the website to find the dozens of locations in Orange County.
You may also consider donating to your local church, youth group or secondhand art supply stores, and your local library will accept books, CDs and DVDs.Happy spring cleaning and happy giving!