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Spring Cleaning? Don’t Dump. Donate!*

April 14, 2010

Spring is here, and with it comes the perfect excuse to freshen up your home. Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning, though; it’s also about organizing and de-cluttering, so that when the weather gets warm, you can spend your days enjoying the sunshine, instead of indoors getting your house in order!

Once you’ve scanned your home for that extra stuff you no longer need, don’t head for the trash can—instead, gather up those gently-used items you no longer want, and help them land in the hands of someone who will use them. That’s where we come in. When you donate to Goodwill, you keep items with lots more use in them out of the landfill, to be sold in our stores for amazingly affordable prices. And the best part is that the proceeds from the sales in our stores fund our job training and employment programs that help thousands of people go back to work each year. (Not sure where your closest Goodwill donation site is? Click here for a list.)

Here are some easy ways to pull together a donation that will help the environment and your community at the same time.

DO: Wash or dry clean clothing. (Goodwill doesn’t accept donations of broken or soiled items.)

DON’T: Leave your donations unattended outside a collection center; they can be stolen or damaged by bad weather.

DO: Test electronics equipment to be sure it’s in working order.

DON’T: Donate building materials, food, live plants or animals, mattresses, newspapers or magazines, pianos, or used auto parts.

DO: Donate household items, furniture, and sports equipment. We even take used cars!

DON’T: Forget to ask for a receipt—your donations to Goodwill are tax-deductible. We’ll even help you decide how much to declare; click here for a price list for items sold in our stores to use as a guide.

And the biggest DO of all:

DO: Think before you donate. Cities across the United States are seeing a sudden appearance of unattended collection bins in parking lots and roadside. Donations placed in those boxes don’t benefit licensed charitable organizations and don’t qualify for tax deductions—plus, they’re often left open to weather damage and theft. It’s important to make an informed choice and know to whom you’re giving.

*This post originally appeared as a guest post on the Rubbermaid blog, Adventures in Organization.

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