I was visiting with a friend recently and she has been working diligently to declutter her home. For many years the the idea of more stuff being trucked into our landfills, has kept the clutter in her basement and garage. Recently she discovered multiple places that will take those items, recycle them and put them to use, helping the community. Having a purpose and knowing that an item can bring joy to another person, is the motivation my dear friend needed to let things go.
If you are concerned about the environmental impact of decluttering, it only takes a few minutes to find what resources you have available locally. You will be amazed at how easy it is to let things go when you know they are either filling a need or bringing joy to another human being.
Craft Supplies and Repurposing Materials
Maker-Spaces These are places that artists can go and work when they don’t have a workspace of their own. SCRAPUSA.org is a place for creative reuse of materials. Makerspaces may take tools, leftover building supplies, electrical supplies, etc. Find a local makerspace and call them to find out what donations they are currently taking.
Mental Health Center Many towns have drop centers for homeless who suffer from chronic mental illness. They provide recreational, practical, and therapeutic activities in a safe environment, which include all art mediums.
Schools & Churches Many teachers and Sunday School leaders have an idea of the many crafts supplies they need for the next year. Be sure to contact them and see if they are in need and exactly what they are in need of before taking your donation. We don’t want to overwhelm our beloved teachers with excess craft clutter- we want it to be used.
Clothing & Household Goods
Foster Care Clothing Programs Often times when children are removed from difficult situations, they have nothing more than the clothes on their backs. These children will go to emergency foster homes, and may be there for a few days to a few weeks before. There are programs that work with foster parents that are able to provide the children with clothing, backpacks, school supplies, etc. Our (Montana) program is Forever Families, Inc. Across the United States, you can find more by searching for Foster Care Closets or Foster Care Clothing Drives in your area or contacting your local foster care department.
Family Services Thrift Store Our local family service center has a thrift store, as well as a place for low-income people to pick up needed items, including toiletries and clothes for job interviews. They sell the excess in the thrift store, but the money goes right back into helping people in the throes of poverty.
Rescue Mission Thrift Stores Most Rescue Missions take donations. Some goes to supply the needs of those they are sheltering and excess is sold and goes back into bedding and food for those staying there.
American Red Cross accepts donations for their thrift stores and the money is then used for disaster relief efforts.
Dress For Success takes professional women’s clothing and provides low-income women with appropriate professional attire for job interviews.
Career Gear takes professional men’s clothing and provides low-income men with appropriate professional attire for job interviews.
Scrap Fabric, Sheets & Towels
Animal Rescue Centers often takes old towels and blankets. The animals aren’t picky – they just want to be warm and dry!
Textile Recycling Some GoodWill locations and other thrift stores offer textile recycling for worn out clothing and fabric scraps. Contact your local thrift stores to find recycling resources in your community.
Angel Gowns. If your wedding dress is stashed away, never to be enjoyed again, you can now donate to an Angel Gown Program, where a seamstress will create several beautiful burial gowns to clothe the precious babies that have passed away. Currently the Angel Gown Program in the U.S. is not taking dress donations at this time, but they are in great need of shipping funds. There are many wonderful people across the world that have started their own program and if you google it, you’re likely to find a seamstress in need of donations in your area.
Adorned With Grace takes wedding dresses, and works with young women coming out of sex trafficking, building relationships and pouring love into these young ladies, the dresses are repurposed and resold, funding their work at helping the victims of sex trade.
Brides Across America accepts wedding dress donations to help our military couples when they tie the knot. Being a mother of a Marine myself, I know first hand how difficult it is to plan any sort of event with an unpredictable military schedule, I can’t even imagine planning a wedding. Brides Across America tries to simplify some of that process for the engaged couple.
Brides For A Cause, a bridal store that raises funds to give terminally ill people the wedding of their dreams. Your dress can be donated and sold to help Wish Upon A Wedding.
Decluttering can be a lot of work and feel overwhelming at times, and when you’re ready for some serious change in your home, it’s great to have a plan of attack! Click here to check out these decluttering workbooks: 30 Days To A Clean And Organized Home
I would love to hear of more Eco-Friendly ways to declutter! Leave me a comment below and give your suggestions and resources.