5 Charitable Ways to Declutter Your Home for the Holidays

published Nov 1, 2018
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(Image credit: Diana Paulson)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

For 10 days at the end of October, Apartment Therapy wants to help you get ahead on the holidays. Together, we’re checking off doable daily tasks to get one step closer to the effortless holiday season you deserve. Sign up now (it’s free!) so you don’t miss a thing.

With the generous spirit of the holiday season, there is certainly a lot of focus on stuff. The very best thing you can do this time of year is to be mindful of all that entails. Be a thoughtful gift giver who considers their giftees wants, needs, and available space. Do a bit of research about the companies you’re buying from to ensure they’re institutions you want to support. And if you have space in your heart, your handbag, or your home, be charitable towards those who are less fortunate.

Today’s Holiday Jumpstart assignment is something in that vein. For many of us, trips to visit with family end with armfuls of new things to bring home. But there are plenty of people out there with far fewer blessings in life. Here is one small way we might be able to spread the love…

(Image credit: Craig Kellmann)

DAY 9:

Find toys, clothes or other things from your home to donate.

It’s a two-fold effort. We’re making room in our homes for the things our loved ones wanted us to have, but also getting much-needed things into hands that need it most.

You can go about it one of two ways (whatever speaks to your soul today):

  • Walk around your home with an eye for what those in need might like to have, collecting anything that’s in good, clean shape that you could do without.
  • OR Do a sweep of your space with a mental picture of the things that cluttered your home last holiday season: Were you overrun with new toys? Did your pantry cabinet get stuffed with holiday meal supplies? Was your closet crammed with new clothes?

Whichever path you walk today, use that strategy to collect things for donation. For now, it’s fine to heave everything into a bag or box (IKEA FRAKTA bags are great for this), but you should end the day with a plan to get everything sent on to a new home that needs them.

Below are some common things you might collect today, and some ideas for places to donate them.

(Image credit: Diana Paulson)

For any unsolicited donations to local organizations, it’s always best to call ahead and ask about their donation policies. And if you search for the word “donation” with your city and item (for example: “Atlanta toy donation“), you might find local groups dedicated to facilitating the collection and distribution of donated items for the benefit of everyone involved. You can also keep an ear to the ground for donation drives—they start to creep up everywhere this time of year.

Children’s Toys and Baby Supplies


Pantry Food

Household Goods


If you have any ideas or organizations to add to the list, leave a comment!

How to keep up with Holiday Jumpstart:

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)