Texas Living

Turn Your Spring-Cleaning into a Good Deed

By Staci Parks 2.26.18

There’s no better feeling than giving your home a deep, thorough cleanse from time to time. This year, take your spring-cleaning efforts and turn them into an act of goodwill by transforming your throwaway items into valuable donations.

Trustworthy organizations across Texas are looking for gently used household items, many of which may be cluttering up your home. Here’s a house-wide guide to tackling the clutter and supporting worthy causes. 

Step One

Consider your clutter. Make a mindful plan for your unwanted items while you’re going through your kids’ bedrooms, organizing kitchen drawers, and cleaning out closets. (Hey, it’s better than driving around with bags full of potential donations tumbling back and forth in your trunk while you think of where to take them.) And now, begin! 

The Kitchen

  • What to donate: Instead of tossing out that Black + Decker toaster or the juicer you swore you’d use, consider donating gently used appliances.
  • Where to donate: Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. All proceeds from the store support Habitat’s mission of building affordable housing for communities around the world.
  • How to donate: Habitat offers this helpful guide to help you get your donation to them.

Kids’ Rooms

  • What to donate: Instead of stepping over stuffed animals and on Legos (yow), start bagging up some of your kids’ treasures of yesteryear.
  • Where to donate: Toys for Tots accepts items year-round, as long as they are in good condition.
  • Or,: Consider sending new or unused toys to your local Ronald McDonald House chapter. The organization offers families a place to stay while their child is receiving care in a nearby hospital; donated toys can offer siblings the comfort of home while they are away.
  • How to donate: You can schedule a pickup or find a location to drop off your items.

Your Closet

  • What to donate: Let’s face it. This can be one of the most difficult tasks, because you never know when you’ll need that sequined cardigan, or when shoulder pads will come back in style. Vogue has a handy flowchart to help you out.
  • Where to donate: Once you’ve gathered up your pre-loved clothes, consider giving them to Dress for Success, which outfits women in need with professional attire.
  • Or,: 
  • How to donate: If you have gently used men’s, women’s, or children’s clothing and shoes ready for a new home, reach out to Charity Clothing Pickup or Donation Town. These organizations will match you with a Texas-based charity organization eager to receive your donation.

The Bathroom

  • What to donate: If your vanity drawers are littered with perfectly good unused lipsticks, moisturizers, and mini-perfumes, save those cosmetics from sitting in a drawer to gather dust for another season.
  • Where to donate: Reach out to women’s shelters in your area.
  • How to donate: Austin-based aesthetician Renée Rouleau has some solid guidelines on how, and what, to donate when it comes to cosmetics.

The Living Room

  • What to donate: Maybe you’re using spring-cleaning as a good excuse to get a new sofa or coffee table. Consider parting with furniture you’re not in love with anymore.
  • Where to donate: Give yourself an extra nudge by reaching out to Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
  • How to donate: Depending on your area, the Salvation Army will pick up old furniture from your home. Goodwill offers pickup in some areas (like Fort Worth), but there are also donation centers all across Texas where you can drop off items.

After you’ve decluttered your home is the perfect time to do a home inventory evaluation to make sure you have the right coverage. (There’s an easy checklist here!)

If you finish before the tax deadline, you may even be able to write off some of this goodwill as a deduction. That’s an easy way to feel even better about your spring-cleaning.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation.

© 2018 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance