There is something about this time of year that makes me want to lighten my load. Usually that includes opening closet doors, taking everything out and only replacing the stuff that we actually use and love.  It’s amazing how much junk two adults can accumulate!  I think I learned to do this as a child, when my folks would periodically get all 6 kids together to clean out the playroom–the closet there was a pile of board games, puzzles, and toys.  Opening the door usually meant something fell out!

Of course, as you look at the pile of stuff you no longer need, I don’t want you to just chuck it all in the trash.  Much of it is likely perfectly good, so here’s a list of donation sites you might want to consider.  Some of the places are local and some I’ve taken from a list prepared by Oprah.

T shirts

If they’re 100% cotton, Pantaluna will turn them into cool pants, skirts, dresses, you name it.  This local (Frenchtown, NJ) company is run by our friends Illia Barger and Glen Cappelle.  If you’ve been to MIB anytime in the past several years, you’ve probably seen me wearing the clothes!  (while you’re on the site, look closely:  our own Sally Miller is one of their models!)

Telephone books

Why do we still even get these?  If you’re looking to responsibly get rid of these and other odd household items, here’s info for those of us living in Bucks County.

Furnishings and Home Decor

We really don’t need to keep every lamp we’ve ever owned, nor simply leave an old couch on the side of the road for the garbage collectors.  Deserving Decor will recycle/refurbish them for use in transitional homeless shelter apartments.

Prom Dresses and Evening Bags

Yeah, you can only wear them so many times.  (My mom kept all our old bridesmaid dresses for my nieces and nephews to dress up in.  Hysterical!  But probably not the best use of them).  Help another girl be able to join the fun.  Wgirls.org will help with the dresses, while changepurse.org will take the bags–and use the money to fund anti-human-trafficking efforts.

Consignment Shops

These can be your one-stop place for all your stuff.  My first choice would be St Mary Thrift Shop, which is close to our office.  If you aren’t nearby, look here for something closer to you.

Turn Your Trash Into Usable Stuff

TerraCycle is amazing:  they turn everything from old desk supplies, computers and food packaging into new, usable items.  Better than piling things into landfills!  Check out their site and see how you can get involved.

Cell Phones

You’ve upgraded, or it’s broken, but you don’t want to just throw out the phone.  If you don’t donate it to a local women’s shelter, then Hope Phones will send it overseas to improve healthcare (medical workers use them to text information regarding treatments and patients).

There are plenty of other good opportunities out there, I just wanted to get you started. Take charge of one closet this coming weekend.  Not the whole house, not even the attic, just one closet.  It will make you feel SO much better!