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

Gifts That Can Help Conquer the Clutter

Whether it’s the desk, drawer or dorm room, there is probably an accouterment designed to help people organize it. Simplemost has gift ideas to help organize tea bags, box lunches, batteries, toys, scarves, closets and more. The Container Store offers every kind of bin and box imaginable for room-by-room organization. But the last word on keeping one’s home organized, however, must be Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which will encourage giftees to slash their inventories of worthless stuff and embrace a new, clutter-free lifestyle.

Gifts That Help You Know Where Things Go

Half of staying organized is knowing where everything is supposed to go. To that end, blogger Abby Lawson suggests getting a labelmaker (or two) to print labels for stacking bins, kitchen canisters, file folders and other dedicated spaces. For small labels, Dymo and Brother make a number of easy-to-use, inexpensive sticky-tape systems, while larger printers offer the ability to print on clear plastic or vinyl. They make a great holiday gift for the accomplished neat freak — or anyone who aspires to get their stuff more organized in the new year.

Ordering Gifts That Encourage Organization Online

There’s still time to buy gifts for the neat-freak on your list online, even if you prefer to pay nothing for shipping. PopSugar suggests wire racks to keep the fridge more organized, a tiny vacuum cleaner for your computer keyboard, and a variety of hampers and organizers for clothing and shoes. Storage jars can help keep bulk goods fresh and easy to locate in the kitchen and pantry, while canvas totes can help sort out toiletries for people on the go. And if keeping jewelry or cosmetics organized and at the ready is a challenge, the site offers a number of catch-all dishes, trays and figural storage options.