Not only do your donations to ClothingDonations.org help declutter your home, they also help fund VVA programs such as Uniforms for Final Salute, an initiative that Chapter 910 in Corpus Christi launched that ensures that homeless and indigent veterans are laid to rest in uniform and with dignity. Chapter members in the area have arranged funeral services and honor guards for more than a dozen of their brethren so far, and ClothingDonations.org has helped many thousands of people get rid of their unwanted stuff.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse are a problem for many of the people who witness the horrors of war in service to their country. The Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) stages town hall meetings throughout the United States to encourage veterans of all conflicts to get help if they are dealing with depression, abusing alcohol or other substances, or having thoughts of suicide. And that’s just one of the many veterans’ initiatives that your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org help fund, so you can feel twice as good about cleaning out your closets.
Donations of used clothing and household goods made to ClothingDonations.org are resold to thrift and secondhand stores throughout the country, with the proceeds going toward funding veterans’ programs at a hyperlocal level. With the help of the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association, for example, more than 30 homeless veterans in Northern Virginia received Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) program gift cards to assist in finding stable housing during the holidays, and still more received grants to cover sudden financial emergencies.
Anyone who has attempted to declutter all or part of their home knows that it can be a time-consuming and often frustrating process. If you stop to think about each item’s sentimental or monetary value and/or get overwhelmed by the project’s scope, you’ll get bogged down. You won’t see progress — and progress is what provides the motivation to continue.
The solution? Donate early, and donate often! You can contact ClothingDonations.org and request a pickup every time you gather up as little as one, two, or three boxes or bags of stuff. When a truck is in your area, it will stop, pick up those donations and leave a tax receipt. You’ll see that junk almost magically start to disappear, and the results will help you gain momentum.
To conquer those sentimental second thoughts that can defuse your decluttering, follow the “keep, trash, donate” rule. Decide quickly what will and will not stay in your home, put it in a bag or box, and don’t look back. And know that anything of value left in the “donate” pile is going to a good cause — programs that benefit our nation’s veterans.
If you’ve been in the same place for a while and share it with family members, the scope of a decluttering task can easily become overwhelming. To stay on top of it, break the project down into smaller pieces by targeting a single room each week, or dedicating an hour or two every Saturday morning. Once a few boxes are packed, contact ClothingDonations.org. Before you know it, you’ll have eliminated junk from every room.
For an in-depth decluttering, revisit each room regularly. The first sweep may net only a few bags of tchotchkes and T-shirts, but by your second tour, you’ll be a more seasoned declutterer and less sentimental about the extra stuff overflowing out of your closets and drawers. Your donations may even get bigger as you start to enjoy your new, uncluttered space; arrange another pickup!
If you get really good at decluttering, relatives and friends may ask you to help out with their moves, estate liquidations and other big projects. You don’t have to help unless you want to, of course, but if there is ever a call for it, most ClothingDonations.org affiliates can pick up more than 20 boxes of stuff at a time. For more information on what we can and can’t pick up, visit the ClothingDonations FAQ.
After you’ve decluttered in earnest, you’ll see a variety of benefits. Not only will your space be easier to clean and retain less dust and allergens, you’ll probably also enjoy the subtle, simple psychological benefit of feeling less constricted or weighed down by your extra stuff. So start right away, and donate as often as you like!
Just a week ago, New Orleans revelers celebrated Mardi Gras, tossing some 25 million pounds of beads. The following day—Ash Wednesday—marked the beginning of Lent, the annual religious observance that asks Christians to engage in six weeks of penance or self-denial by giving something up.
Whether or not you’re a regular churchgoer, there’s one way to give things up that will reward you immediately, even as you help others: Pledge to give up clutter during Lent—and maybe for good—by cleaning out your old clothing, housewares and other unused goods and calling ClothingDonations.org for a pickup.
Clutter not only gets in your way, it clutters and confuses the mind. “Like used plastic shopping bags stuck on the branches of a riverbank tree, our clutter poisons our view and enjoyment of the objects that we do need and want and use,” says green living expert Annie B. Bond.
Her “8 Easy Steps to No More Clutter” begin with a thorough sorting exercise. Arrange your stuff into five categories: “Essential” things you need every day; “Favorites” such as photos, jewelry, and souvenirs; “Other people’s stuff” that winds up in your space; and “Annoying” or “Downright gross” items like junk mail and dirty laundry.
Start with the gross, she says, and sort out the simply annoying. Return other peoples’ stuff and find places for your favorites. Finally, put all of your essentials in places you can access and use them. Anything that still doesn’t have a home when you’re finished is clutter—and you can throw it away or donate it.
This is a comprehensive approach to spring cleaning, to be sure, but with almost five more weeks of Lent, you’ll have time to give something up and still do the virtuous work of helping others. When you donate the stuff that clutters up your house, the proceeds go toward programs that help feed, house and thank the nation’s veterans for their service.
There’s never a bad time to give up clutter, but you, your family and the nation’s veterans will all be better off once you do. So start today—you’ll be happy you did!