How to Declutter and Help Your Community

Research shows that by decluttering your surroundings, you decrease your body’s stress hormones. Similarly, when you help others, you engage the part of your brain associated with pleasure. Combine these practices for a feel-good double. Here are some ideas for doing both at the same time.

Clothes
Organization experts advise donating any clothing you haven’t worn in the past year. Many veterans’ organizations will pick up clothing and household items for no charge. Visit PickUpPlease.org, VeteranPickUp.org, or call your local VFW or other veterans’ organization.

Magazines and Books
Any place that has a waiting room is usually happy to have magazines. Your local schools may also accept magazines for crafts and recycling projects. Libraries accept book donations, and children’s books are always appreciated at clinics and hospitals that serve children.

Phones
The 911 Cell Phone Bank provides emergency communications for people in need. Cell Phones for Soldiers offers drop-off locations or prepaid shipping labels. Or choose from more than 4,000 organizations to support at AmericanCellPhoneDrive.org.

Computers
Your old computer could have a second life in a school lab, foster home, homeless shelter, or community center through Computers With Causes. The organization also accepts other electronics, such as digital cameras.

Linens
Blankets, sheets, towels, bath mats, and heating pads are welcome comforts for animals at shelters. While you’re there, you might even pick up a puppy!

Decluttering a little at a time all year long can help you feel more relaxed. For more ideas about items to donate and organizations to support, go to JustGive.org.