A room-by-room guide to decluttering your house

It’s almost summer, but if you haven’t started your spring cleaning, don’t fret. We know it’s not easy to part with your belongings — but decluttering is a great way to clean up your home. In the process, you can save items from ending up in landfills, and help local organizations in the GTA. So get that summer playlist on, and get ready for some belated spring cleaning! Here’s Habitat’s guide to decluttering your home, room by room, on both a large and small scale.

Kitchen

What to donate: Your entire kitchen, including cabinets.

Where to give in the GTA: Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga offers a free kitchen removal program. Habitat’s professional team of volunteers will remove unwanted kitchen cabinetry or pick up your already disassembled cabinetry for free. You can schedule either a kitchen salvage or kitchen pickup online through Habitat’s website. Habitat accepts kitchen cabinets, countertops and furniture.

What to consider when donating your kitchen: You’ll receive a charitable tax receipt for your donation to Habitat. Plus, you can feel good about the fact that your old kitchen will be sold in a Habitat ReStore, where proceeds will go towards building more homes for local families.

Other items to donate: If you’re not looking to donate your entire kitchen, you can still declutter by getting rid of items you no longer use, need or want. Habitat also accepts donations of used kitchen appliances, including fridges, stoves and dishwashers. Other organizations in the GTA, such as The Salvation Army, Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Furniture Bank also accept donations of small appliances.

Bedroom

What to donate: Clothing.

Where to give in the GTA: Let’s face it — you almost certainly have clothing in your closet that you don’t wear anymore. Instead of letting it gather dust and take up space, consider donating your clothing to a charity in the GTA. Habitat for Humanity recently introduced clothing drop-off bins in its parking lots. The Burlington Humane Society, Goodwill, Wastewise, Safetynet and The Salvation Army also accept donations of clothing.

What to consider when donating clothing: Before you donate clothing, research the organization to which you’re considering making your donation. Some organizations recycle donated clothing directly through textile waste programs, while others sell it through for-profit arms. Other organizations give donated items directly to people in the community who might not be able to afford clothing on their own. Ensure that the organization you’re donating to aligns with your values so you know where your donation is going.

What else to donate: Bed frames, lighting and electrical accessories. Habitat ReStores accept a variety of other items that you might find while cleaning your bedroom, including home decor items. You can find a full list of items that you can donate to the ReStore by following this link.

Living room

What to donate: Old or unwanted furniture.

Where to give in the GTA: If you’re looking to get rid of an old couch, shelving or storage unit, end table or other item in your living room, you have a variety of options. Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga offers free pickup for used furniture, either from your driveway, garage or from inside your home. Find more information and schedule your pickup through Habitat’s website.

What to consider when donating: Some organizations offer home pickup, either for free or for a small price, while others only accept furniture through drop-offs at a certain location. Ensure you’ve checked the organization’s website or called ahead so that your donation process can be as smooth as possible.

What else to donate: Habitat’s ReStores also accept donations of decor items and electronic waste (including TVs up to 29” which are intact and not cracked or damaged).

Home office

What to donate: Desks, shelving and storage units and other used furniture items.

Where to give in the GTA: As mentioned, Habitat for Humanity accepts donations of desks and other furniture items, and offers free pickup in the GTA area. There are also several other organizations in the GTA which accept donations of used furniture, including Furniture Bank, Salvation Army Thrift Stores, Red Door Family Shelters and Value Village.

What else to donate: As you’re decluttering your office space, you might notice that you have lots of old technology lying around. Whether your electronic items are still in working condition or not, there are a variety of nonprofits and other organizations which accept donations of e-waste. Habitat accepts electronic waste, which is then sold to an ethical recycling partner.

Other organizations in the GTA which accept electronic waste include Recycle My Cell, Free Geek Toronto and reBOOT Canada. Check out their websites to learn more about what they do with your donated electronics, and how you can drop off your donation.

Garage

What to donate: Seasonal tools and supplies and scrap metal.

Where to give in the GTA: You might be avoiding tackling cleaning your garage, but Habitat makes it easy to donate tools and other items. You can drop off your donation at a ReStore near you; find your closest location by using Habitat Canada’s ReStore Directory.

What else to consider: Through Habitat’s Gift-In-Kind program, you can donate building materials to Habitat build sites. Check out Habitat’s blog post about where to donate building materials in the GTA to learn more.

What to do with plain old junk: If you’ve found items you’d like to declutter from your garage, or any other area of your house, but they’re not in condition to be donated, then it might be time to look into junk removal. Check out this blog post about junk removal in the GTA to learn more about your options, including recycling it through your region or paying for a company to come to your house and remove it for you.

Declutter today

When you’re decluttering, don’t forget that many of the items you’re looking to get rid of, both small and large, can be donated to charities and local organizations. You may have been putting off your spring cleaning, but with this handy breakdown you have no excuse not to start today.

If you’d like to donate to Habitat for Humanity but are outside the regions of Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Milton, Halton Hills or Georgetown, check out another Habitat affiliate.  Habitat for Humanity GTA serves Brampton, Caledon, Toronto, Scarborough and the region of York. Habitat Durham represents Ajax Oshawa and Uxbridge, and Habitat Hamilton serves the region of Hamilton.

You can also check out Habitat’s 2018 spring cleaning checklist for more tips on decluttering. Happy cleaning!