Buy Gardening Goods at the Thrift

While the Organizing Blog never advocates buying more #stuff than you really need, savvy shoppers can often find springtime gardening essentials such as gloves, tools, pots and planters among the castoffs at local thrift stores supplied by your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. And if you need to get rid of some of your lightly used (but disused) gardening equipment and other household items as you start spring cleaning, now is the time to schedule a #donation pickup!

Is It Safe to Donate My Used Stuff?

ClothingDonations.org is again scheduling pickups throughout the country. But with coronavirus cases and hospitalizations again on the rise, readers may be wondering whether or not they can make their donations safely. The answer is yes!

Donations can be made without coming into close contact with other people and risking viral transmission. Simply put your lightly used clothing and household goods into boxes and bags, then place the boxes and bags in a designated area such as the front porch for pickup on the scheduled day.

A ClothingDonations.org truck will visit that day and take that used stuff away with a contactless pickup — without even knocking or ringing the doorbell. In your donation’s place, the driver will leave a receipt so you can deduct your donation.

If someone in your household has already had COVID-19 and recovered, it should be safe to donate your used things, too. Early on, it was found that the virus could survive on hard surfaces for 24 to 72 hours. Transmission between people, however, has since been found to be mostly a function of airborne droplets. As long as you donate things that have been washed or wiped down, in other words, there is little chance of passing the virus on your stuff.

You can continue to wipe down high-touch surfaces in your home and use hand sanitizer after touching unfamiliar surfaces to protect yourself. But you can be secure in the knowledge that donated goods aren’t a significant vector for disease.

The same goes for shopping at the thrift stores ClothingDonations.org supplies with used goods. Donated by families like yours, those one-of-a-kind finds spend sufficient time out of circulation before being priced for sale.

Finally, remember that a clutter-free home is a home that’s easier to keep clean. So as you sort through and eliminate some of your stuff, you’ll actually be making it easier to keep your place COVID-free.

With new lockdowns and restrictions, you may find soon yourself with plenty of time at home to declutter. Box and bag that stuff up and visit ClothingDonations.org to schedule a pickup today!

Donation Pickups Temporarily Halted Due to COVID-19

The Organizing Blog regrets to inform readers that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted ClothingDonations.org’s regular donation pickup services. We are currently unable to collect your donations in all but a few areas of the country.

If you are unable to schedule a donation pickup at our websites, that’s likely because service in your area is unavailable at this time. To check on your location, call the pickup number for your state listed at ClothingDonations.org.

We will resume pickup service as soon as it is safe to do so for our donors and drivers. We encourage you to revisit the site when the social distancing guidelines designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus start to ease.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders may provide the extra time you need to get started on #decluttering tasks you might have been putting off, however. Be sure to revisit the Tales From the Closet archives for advice on all kinds of #cleaning, #organizing and decluttering tasks.

Take advantage of your newfound down time to sort out the stuff you no longer need, want or find useful. Bag or box those castoffs and set them aside; we will pick them up as soon as we can resume donation pickup service safely.

We appreciate your support and patience during the COVID-19 pandemic and hope that you, your family and your friends are safe.

Sincerely,

Quentin Butcher, Business Director, Vietnam Veterans of America

Six More Weeks of Summer

With the Labor Day weekend behind us, most people (and especially people with kids) are mourning “the end” of summer. Whether or not you or your kids have to be in school, however, there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy.

At the time of this writing, there are still nearly three weeks until the fall equinox — the official end, astronomically speaking, of the season. But many places in the U.S. won’t see real fall weather for several weeks beyond Sept. 23.

If there was a Groundhog Day in the summer, in other words, Punxsutawney Phil would likely give us six more weeks to enjoy. So there’s no reason to stop having cookouts, taking road trips and otherwise savor the season.

Take in a baseball game, BroBible suggests. Go for swim. Attend a music festival or see a summer blockbuster. Throw a Frisbee. The weather is fantastic (in many places, better than in August), so don’t let the calendar tell you when the summer fun needs to end.

Most of the activities you’ve enjoyed since June are still going strong, HuffPost says, so maintain your summer mindset into October. “Continue to have fun, to eat fresh produce from the farmer’s market, to read trashy novels, to spend time outdoors, to go for walks after dinner and long bike rides on weekends.”

There’s still time for decluttering, of course. As you squeeze in those last few summer outings and events, be conscious of what you will and won’t need as it starts to feel more like sweater weather.

For example, you’ve probably worn those white jeans/shorts/linens for the last time, so you can now safely donate them to ClothingDonations.org. The same goes for outdoor equipment you won’t be using much longer, such as camping gear and pool toys.

By the same token, you can also stock up on sweaters, blankets and household items best suited to fall festivities at the thrift stores supplied by ClothingDonations.org. The resale of #donated goods helps fund veterans programs throughout the country year-round.

Now’s the time to squeeze the last bits of outdoor merriment out of summer. As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” And summer ain’t over just because the kids are back in school!

What Your Donations Do for Veterans

If you’ve donated clothing and other household items to ClothingDonations.org in the past, you may be aware that your stuff helps fund programs that support veterans throughout the country. But do you know how, and what your donations fund?

When you give the things you no longer need, the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) resells them in bulk to partner thrift and secondhand stores, where other people can shop for great deals on lightly used stuff.

VVA takes the proceeds and uses them to underwrite range of programs. On the national level, the association helps veterans tap government benefits and health care guaranteed to those who have served, and lobbies on behalf of veterans in the nation’s capital.

Aware that war can have challenging health effects for decades after a deployment, VVA offers outreach programs to veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.

It offers programs targeted to POW/MIAs and their families, minority veterans, women veterans, and justice-involved and jailed veterans. In other words, it is a comprehensive, wraparound service organization operated by and dedicated to Vietnam veterans.

As Vietnam veterans have aged and the country has continued to engage in overseas conflicts, VVA has expanded its mission to welcome veterans of all U.S. conflicts. “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” is its motto.

VVA programs are supplemented and supported at the local level by the organization’s more than 500 chapters nationwide. The chapters use some of the money raised through ClothingDonations.org to host educational and social events, honor veterans, and give back to their communities through parades, scholarships and sponsorships.

Last month, for example, dozens of VVA chapters celebrated National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29, hosting luncheons, memorial observances and educational programs around the country to thank veterans living and dead for their service.

While donations to ClothingDonations.org don’t pay for the entirety of the programs VVA offers, the money raised eases the organization’s fundraising burden while providing you — the loyal readers of the Organizing Blog — with an easy, earth-friendly way to get rid of your unwanted stuff.

The nation’s veterans appreciate every donation, and thank you for your support!