It’s satisfying to get some bulk out of your closets and gratifying to know that the coats will keep someone warm instead of gathering dust. Find organizations like Bernie’s Book Bank, which collects and distributes books to at-risk children throughout the Chicagoland area; Bernie’s also provides a great service opportunity, as young kids can sort, sticker, and bag books at the warehouse. To rehome a small haul immediately, locate a Little Free Library and deposit a few titles. My family is tackling some of our biggest accumulators and finding plenty of enthusiastic takers, eager to distribute our donations. Getting the whole family involved is a great way to promote social mindedness, the spirit of the season, and a sense of generosity and grounding. Coats
Here in the Midwest, the weather has everyone bracing for a long and very cold winter. Check out school and nonprofit websites, or just ask on Facebook if anyone is collecting for a holiday drive. ‘Tis the season for coat collections, holiday gift drives, and charitable giving, and this year I’m trying to coordinate my own periodic decluttering with the efforts of local organizations. (Image credits: Breanne Johnsen) Houses of worship and schools are coordinating coat drives. Toys
Overwhelmed by birthday and holiday gifts, I have a tendency to stash unopened gifts in a closet, and my kids often age out of those gifts before we even get to them. It’s nice to make space for the new, and nicer still to get kids involved in donations, identifying things they no longer use that other children can enjoy. Toiletries
Many schools and food pantries put together self care baskets for recipients in need. With social media, it’s easier than ever to find out what different organizations need and how to get your items to them. Toys for Tots is a great destination for new, unopened toys.