The allure of spring’s freshness often translates to new life, rejuvenation, and cleanliness in the home. Do you usually clean out your storage areas at this time of year? Instead of tossing old items in the trash, give them a second life by donating to charities. Not only will you create much-needed space in your home, but those who are less fortunate will receive assistance from the items you donate!

If you’re cleaning out your pantry…

Do you have a large stash of canned goods in the back of your pantry that you haven’t touched in months? Consider donating canned and nonperishable foods to a local food bank. Here are a few items that are commonly in-demand:

  • Canned or dry pasta and sauces
  • Canned beans, soups and stews
  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Spices to provide flavor to bland meals
  • Protein-rich foods like peanut butter or almond butter
  • Boxed meals that don’t require additional ingredients
  • Pet food (because pets are members of the family too!)

Check out Feeding America’s food bank locator and type in your ZIP code to find a food bank near you.

If you’re cleaning out your attic and/or basement…

You probably won’t be surprised if you come across boxes upon boxes of old shoes, jewelry, and toys that have been collecting dust for years. Consider donating your gently used items to GreenDrop, which is an organization that converts lightly used clothing and household items into critical funds for charities. All donations received are sold to thrift shops, and the money made will be used to help the four charities GreenDrop serves: American Red Cross, Purple Heart, National Federation of the Blind, and St. Vincent de Paul in Philadelphia.

As you’re combing through your attic and/or basement, keep in mind the following items that could be donated:

  • Household Items and house decorations
  • Kitchenware
  • Games/Toys
  • Small Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Sporting Goods
  • Books, CDs & Videos
  • Baby Items

GreenDrop serves the northeastern United States. If you happen to live in the Baltimore area like me, click here to see how you can donate today.

If you’re cleaning out your closet…

Whether it’s formal wear, jeans, hoodies, or blouses, you can donate your used clothing to those in need—and clear out some much-needed closet space in the process!

Over the past couple of years, Uber and Goodwill have teamed up for one day to collect donations of clothing. Through the Uber app, donors can request a free pickup for their donations to be delivered by an Uber directly to their local Goodwill. Although there is no word yet if the partnership will continue this year, keep this in the back of your mind just in case. You can read details about the Uber and Goodwill partnership here.