4 home de-cluttering tips that also help your community
Reduce, reuse, recycle: the mantra of Earth Day. The big question is, where do I start? How about the closest place to you? Your home. And good news, Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake is here to help you discern what to “toss” and what to donate with a few simple tips. Not to mention, you’ll help the community along the way.
What you may know: Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, clothing, and appliances, and much more to the public at a fraction of the original retail price.
In 2015, Goodwill diverted 19 million pounds of donations from the landfill.
What you may not know: All donations and profits go directly back into the community. Goodwill donations start a cycle that funds job training and employment opportunities for people in your community. Profits and contributions are used to fund job training programs and services to help deserving people build careers. By simply decluttering this spring, you can change lives with Goodwill through the power of work.
To help you get started, here are four tips to organize your home and your life all while benefiting your community.
1. Clean out the closets. Just like at Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake, you never know what you are going to find. As you dive into the deepest corners of your closet, our suggestion is to focus on one category at a time: clothes first, shoes second. Put the keepers in their new permanent places before moving on to a new category. Be vigilant. Unless it holds deep meaning, donate it or toss it.
What can your donations do? Calculate your impact.
2. Create piles. Create one pile for trash (sweater with spaghetti stain), one for donations (sweater that you’ve only worn once), and one for keepers, which you will organize later. Better yet, make it a family affair. De-cluttering really can be a fun activity. Ask each person in your family to gather every item of clothing that they own and pile it in a designated area.
Goodwill recycled more than 11 million pounds of clothing and 345,000 pounds of shoes in 2015. That’s a lot of shoes that didn’t end up in the garbage!
3. Get rid of gadgets. You replaced that desktop computer with a laptop a couple years ago, but the dinosaur still sits in your home office. Let it go. Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake accepts computers, printers, monitors, keyboards, mice, portable DVD players, and other electronics. By donating your computer to someone in need, you are giving someone a chance that – due to illness or other barriers – may not have otherwise had one.
Goodwill annually provides services to more than 58,000 people in need of assistance because of physical, mental or other social barriers. It places over 3,000 people into jobs, giving them “Not a charity, but a chance.”
4. Don’t neglect the kitchen. If you have five identical baking sheets, or an unruly coffee mug collection, you can stand to lose a few things. Remember, all of your donations make a difference. Think about the greater good. If you’ve never used that salad spinner that Mom gave you, thank her for the gift and pass it along. Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake accepts cookware, glassware, small appliances, and tablecloths in good condition.
By donating to Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake, you participate in what it calls the “circle of hope.” Goodwill donations start a cycle that funds job training and employment opportunities for people in your community.
Through partnerships with more than 500 regional businesses, including Johns Hopkins Health System, Franklin Square Hospital, Horseshoe Casino, 7-Eleven, and Chipotle, Goodwill staff has placed more than 3,000 people in the workforce.
When these people enter the job market, others become aware of Goodwill’s good work. The cycle repeats, again and again.
Goodwill extends the circle to its inventory. What doesn’t sell in a month in its retail locations moves to outlets, where it sells goods for pennies on the dollar. What doesn’t sell there goes to one of its recycling centers. Through this process Goodwill is keeping items out of the landfill, allowing you and your community to celebrate Earth Day year-round.
Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake operates 29 retail stores in the metro Baltimore area and the Eastern shore. To find a location near you, visit http://www.goodwillches.org.