Is It Safe to Donate My Used Stuff? 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 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 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 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’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

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.


Quentin Butcher, Business Director, Vietnam Veterans of America

Spring-Clean During the Spring Rains

There’s no better time than a rainy spring day to “clean and organize something really well,” says Apartment Therapy. The site suggests scrubbing and #decluttering the kitchen cupboards, sorting through a linen closet and organizing the home library, but there are likely a number of areas in your home that could benefit from a carefully considered purge and wipedown. Take advantage of the weather and contact for a donation pickup when you’re done sorting through that stuff; the proceeds from your donations will help fund veterans’ programs nationwide.

Start the New Year With a Plan

New Year’s Eve offers an occasion for reflection, even if you’re going to a big bash to watch the ball drop. Consider where 2018 has taken you: Are you more organized and clutter-free than you were at the start of the year? Are you happier, more fulfilled and less stressed? Make a resolution today to begin or reinvigorate your organizing efforts in 2019. First, make a place for all of the important personal and financial information you’ll want to access again throughout the year. Start by writing down all of the return addresses from your holiday cards and sorting out your bills and receipts from the last year, The Organized Home recommends, and you’ll get a headstart on correspondence and tax returns for 2019.

Happy New Year from!

Give the Gift of Decluttering

While we at the Organizing Blog often preach minimalism, we still maintain a childlike sense of anticipation about finding brightly wrapped gifts under the tree with our names on it — not to mention the many hours of “retail therapy” that go into giving a thoughtful gift.

But the many new things you’ll give and receive during the holidays do take up space, and when left haphazardly around the home, they become clutter. And when left unchecked, clutter not only crowds tabletops, hallways and closets, it can crowd the mind.

That’s why some of the best gifts are ones that organize all of the stuff in one’s busy life into spaces that make sense — or even cut down on what and how much of any category of thing one hangs onto. Treat decluttering as a gift, and you can show you really care.

This year, try giving things that maximize the space already available in one’s home. SimpleMost suggests 19 clever gifts, for example, that will help your giftees create more storage space in kids’ rooms, mud rooms, kitchens and closets.

Another excellent gift at year’s end is a daily, weekly or monthly calendar, planner or journal. You can’t magically make someone into a Type A, but having a place to write down and organize one’s appointments is a great start. Self offers a number of options.

Some of the best gifts are things that hold other things. Sorting small, like items into a designated place can help keep them from scattering around the house or getting lost. Pop Sugar has selected a bunch of bins, hooks, caddies, shelves and holders that can contain the clutter in style.

You can also give a gift that doesn’t add to the clutter whatsoever. Anything that can be used up is a great choice — homebaked cookies, a nice bottle of wine or a gift basket of gourmet charcuterie. Or you can gift an experience with theater tickets, dinner out at a local restaurant or a spa treatment.

If you get something for which you just can’t find a place, there’s no shame in getting rid of it. The goodwill won’t go unappreciated— even though whatever it is might get lost in a heap of surplus stuff. Quietly set whatever it is aside and include it in your donation to so it can’t clutter your home.

Less clutter means less stress. And who doesn’t want that?!