Fall is the perfect time to clean out and declutter! It’s perfect timing because the kids have gone back to school, the weather is cooler and you can take your time and organize before the holiday season begins. In fact, by decluttering now you will have the space necessary to relax and enjoy the season. When you declutter you can establish donation possibilities, and you could enhance someone else's holiday as well. Donating excess items is a healthy and effective way to help people simplify living space.
Donating old clothes, games, and books may sound simple but for many, including seniors, giving up these items can be stressful. For many people throwing out their items can make them feel like they are throwing out their old memories and stories. While some things may be harder to get rid of, it’s important to keep in mind that these items could potentially better the lives of others.
Your aging loved one may love their Christmas sweater collection or their old business suits, but remind them that these outfits could keep someone in need keep warm or help someone who is struggling for work to look professional for an interview. When it comes to our own belongings it can be easy to only think about ourselves, but try to remind yourself and your aging loved one this fall that donating these items will make them feel better than keeping them.
But how do you know what to donate and what to trash? That really depends on the item.
Clothing – Only donate gently worn clothing. Although it’s the thought that counts, most places cannot accept clothing with stains, tears, and rips. If the clothing is dirty or un-wearable, then it may be better off in the trash.
Games – Make sure your old games have all their pieces so the next person to receive it can have as much fun as with it as you did.
Decorations – Decorations are a little easier. Check each decoration to make sure it isn’t broken. Broken glass or peeling paint can be potentially hazardous and the item would be safer in the garbage.
Books – When donating books, check for water stains, tears, and mildew. Old books also tend to collect dust, so be sure to wipe them down before taking them to Goodwill or other donation collections near you.
Helping others and de-cluttering your aging loved one’s home is a great start to the holiday season. While saying goodbye to some items may be difficult, giving others in need the opportunity to make new memories can make the entire donation process worth every second.
Here is a list of what the Salvation Army will and won’t take for a donation.
If you want to dispose of a refrigerator, click HERE.
Click here to donate a working refrigerator.
If you have questions about how to clear away clutter quickly in the Chicagoland area, contact me directly. I have plenty of resources including haul away services, storage partners and even information on shredding services. Together, we can get any job done!