Many Americans have a dirty little secret: clutter.
However, it's that time of the year to scale down and give away. Spring cleaning means tackling that attic, closet, and junk drawer. But how do you do it all - and what do you do with all the discarded stuff?
On "The Early Show," Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, shared some great suggestions on how to de-clutter and do-good at the same time.
• The National Cristina Foundation will match your used tech equipment with an organization near you that needs it.
• The organization has been operating for more than 25 years.
• They not only accept computers, but also printer, software, fax machine, monitor, mouse, scanners, etc.
• Supports organizations throughout the United States that help people in need, like nonprofits that provide education or training to at-risk students, people with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged people to lead more independent and productive lives.
• They match you with one of their partner organizations in the geographic area where the equipment is located.
• Someone from the organization that your donation has been matched with will contact you to make arrangements for you to either ship, drop off at designated location, or they will pick it up for you.
• First, back up any necessary data. It is important to remove all data from your hard drive. There are links on the National Cristina Foundation website to data removal products (many are free).
• Batteries contain heavy metals that can contaminate landfills.
• Instead of tossing them in the garbage, order an iRecycle kit from Battery Solutions.
• Household batteries // Rechargeable battery packs (from cell phones, cameras, laptop computers, power tools, etc.) // Handheld electronics (cell phones, iPods, PDAs, pagers, etc.)
• Fill the kit, which holds 12 pounds with any type of battery, including rechargeables found in cell phones and laptops.
• Drop the prepaid box and any US post office or FedEx location and the company guarantees the batteries will be recycles according to EPA regulations .
• 12 pound = designed for 1 year used in average household.
• Includes box, shipping, etc. Once full, seal and send - pre-paid .
• Your gently used athletic equipment can help underprivileged children enjoy the fun of sports when donated to Sports Gift
• Send Frisbees, baseballs, cleats, and even coaching supplies
• A full list of items they accept is found on their website
• They will refurbish the items and distribute them to needy children all over the world including the United States, South America, Indonesia, and Africa
Paint, Tools and other building supplies
• Purchase too many cans of paint or decide to go with another color? No need to waste!
• Drop them off at your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
• These donated goods are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price to help local affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities.
• It's an environmentally and socially responsible way to keep good, reusable materials out of the waste stream.
• Each ReStore is different, so contact one in your area to see what they take.
• Flushing or pouring meds down the sink sends them into the water supply, harming fish and the environment.
• Instead, put them in a plastic bag, crush pills and add water to dissolver them. Add kitty litter or coffee grounds to make them less appealing the animals. Seal the bag and place it in the trash.
• Another option: many pharmacies offer a take-back program for unused meds.
• Unfortunately, there are many diseases out there that because of their rarity are often overlooked for funding and public support.
• Donate Games accepts new games, as well as your 1990s Mario Kart.
• They post them for sale at a discounted price.
• Purchases fund medical research to help fight rare, life-threatening, or debilitating diseases.
• Mail in any game you don't want. Receive a tax-deductible receipt for your game.
• They currently have over 400 games catalogued under topics like action-adventure, science-fiction, and family.
• They operate entirely by volunteer staff.
• Proceeds go toward funding research of life-threatening or chronically debilitating rare diseases that are often overlooked for funding and public support.
• Many of us often upgrade out cell phones and have the old ones lying in a drawer.
• Americans will replace an estimated 130 million cell phones this year.
• Send them to Cell Phones for Soldiers.
• The phones are sold to a company that recycles them, and Cell Phone for Soldiers uses the money to buy calling cards for troops stationed abroad so they can phone home for free.
• Each phone provides an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad. - such a amazing benefit for virtually no cost.
• You can print a prepaid shopping label on their website to send in your phone: cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
• Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by two teenage siblings from Norwell, Mass.
• They will accept any type of cell phone.
• Make sure to erase cell phone data before sending in your phone.