Emptying Your Spring Cleaning Outbox

If you have been cleaning and purging this spring season, chances are you now have quite the outbox occupying some corner of your home. We all know Craigslist and Freecycle can help remove almost anything from your home, but if you would prefer to drop things off than to have them picked up, there are plenty of organizations in DC eager to help you clear out that inbox. Though furniture is always an easy sell, here are some suggestions for getting rid of harder to move items.Clothing: In addition the standards (The Salvation Army, Goodwill) you can also donate clothes to So Others Might Eat (SOME), an interfaith, community-based organization cares for the homeless and extremely poor citizens of DC. SOME distributes new and gently used donations of clothing to men, women and children thoughout the city, though the greatest need is for men's clothing (especially coats/jackets, jeans, shoes/boots, new underwear/socks).

Formalwear/Wedding Accessories: If you have old bridesmaid or prom dresses taking up too much space in your closet, then St. Anthony's Bridal is the answer. St. Anthony's Bridal provides free use of wedding gowns and reception items to low-income and moderate-income brides. Through their Ciao Bella! Giveaways, they also offer free prom dresses to many area high school seniors on tight budgets. Drop off your donations Saturdays 10am to 12pm at the Bethesda Bridal Center- 4920 Wyaconda Road, Bethesda, MD 20852.

Books: Most libraries in DC have a Friends of the Library organization that accepts donations of used books. If your local library doesn't have a donation box, you can bring your donation to to the Chevy Chase Library (5625 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20015)- funds raised at their FOLio store go to support library programs around the city.

If your outbox includes stacks of paper to be shredded, remember that the DC Department of Public Works (DPW) offers document shredding services to residents. Boxes for shredding can be dropped off on Saturdays 8am to 3pm at the Ft. Totten Transfer Station (4900 John F. McCormack Road, NE). DPW also operates a weekly household hazardous waste (HHW) /e-cycling program at the Fort Totten Transfer Station if you need to recycle leftover paint, batteries, computer equipment etc. A full list of acceptable items can be found here.

Image: Mairead's 2010 Spring Cure Collection.

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