How to Declutter & Also Make a Difference)
Feeling overwhelmed, lately? Me too. I've had to remind myself that small acts of love and kindness can go a long way. No, following each one of these tips won’t be the most efficient way to declutter your home, but they will make a small difference in someone else's life.
I linked Denver-based nonprofits that are always looking for donations, but comment if there are any similar nonprofits in your community.
1. Pass out toiletries to homeless individuals on your commute to work. Take 10 minutes and gather a basket of extra toiletries that you aren’t using or don’t like: The extra tiny toothpaste tubes, soaps, mini-shampoo bottles, that natural deodorant you thought you’d like, but don’t. Some of my friends even make little gift bags and put these toiletries in old purses/bags that they want to get rid of, and stock them with tissues, tea, cough drops, hand sanitizer, and granola bars. They keep these purses in their car, and pass them out every time they see a homeless person. Make eye contact and ask them about how their day is going. :)
2. One man’s trash is another students’ art supply. In Colorado we have a great organization like RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching). Items you would otherwise toss (fabric scraps, packaging materials, and even bottle caps and corks), RAFT organizes and gives to teachers for art supplies.
3. Pick out 10 books you can get rid of and pop them into a Tiny Free Library.
4. Donate kids clothes that don’t fit anymore to Clothes for Kids. Students that receive free or reduced lunch in Denver get a completely free wardrobe twice a year! Uniform-like outfits (khakis collared shirts) are especially appreciated.
5. Donate all your cardboard boxes sitting in the basement to a Project C.U.R.E. distribution facility. Hospitals donate medical supplies & equipment to them, and they meticulously package and ship items to clinics in developing countries. They work closely with clinics, and ship everything from bandages to entire hospital beds. This saves tons of medical supplies from landfills. This is a great place to volunteer, packing medical supplies into boxes, as well!
6. Drop off extra gardening and kitchen supplies to The Growhaus, an indoor farm in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood that is dedicated to food production, food distribution, and food education.
7. Put your old tablet, laptop, or desktop to better use with PC’s for People & Blue Star Recyclers. Blue Star Recyclers train and hire adults with disabilities to clean, repair, and refurbish old computers. PC’s for People get’s those computers out to local residents at a ridiculously low cost, with free training and ongoing tech support. Blue Star Recyclers also accept batteries, TV’s , light bulbs, and other general electronic waste (Even including broken vacuum cleaners and hair dryers!)
8. Donate your nicest professional attire and accessories that you don’t wear anymore to Dress for Success.
9. Take 15 minutes and collect a box of items to donate to the African Community Center, which supports refugees in Denver. They collects all sorts of supplies, from toiletries, to cleaning supplies, to kitchen items, to household items and toys.
10. And of course, you can always drop off items at Goodwill. Remember that they are more than a thrift shop, they also offer career development programs and employment opportunities. .
What little actions do you take to make the world a better place each day? What other organizations should I know about?
Image by Evan Kirby, Unsplash