By: ALEX KLINE
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Now that winter is coming to a close, what better way to welcome spring than to get rid of the old drab and bring in the new fab!
The March issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, suggests getting rid of everything that is weighing down your life and bringing in fresh exciting things to replace them.
Here are a few items worth donating, recycling, or selling:
– Used clothing – Instead of taking these items to the usual drop-offs – Salvation Army, thrift store, etc. – try somewhere less well known like the Vietnam Veterans of America (www.vva.org). This organization will resell your clothing to fund veteran programs and even pick up your donation (three cheers for saving gas!).
– Stuffed animals – Flopsy, your favorite childhood bunny, will be in loving hands when you donate it and other stuffed animals to SAFE (stuffedanimalsforemergenciesonly.org), which will then give them to children in hospitals, homeless shelters, and emergency aid workers for children riding in ambulances.
– Toiletries – You know all those complimentary hotel shampoos and soaps that are just sitting in a basket unused? How about donating them to an organization called Clean the World (www.cleantheworld.org), which will take them to areas with overwhelming infectious diseases, which can often be put under control through good sanitation.
– Shoes – For those shoes that are no longer your style, try donating them to Soles4Souls (www.soles4souls.org), which gives away millions of shoes to those who need them. Just go to one of their many boxes nationwide and drop them off.
– Cell phones – Clean out that drawer full of everyone’s old cell phones and get some green from Flipswap (flipswap.com), which will resell or recycle your old phone. For every phone recycled they plant a tree!
– Cars – If you’re looking to say good-bye to the old family car, think about donating it to Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program (www.habitat.org/carsforhomes/), which will tow away your donation and give you a receipt so you can deduct it from your taxes. Your old car is then resold to help build affordable housing in your area.
– Everything else – Whatever you need to get rid of, Freecycle (www.freecycle.org) will take it off your hands and donate it to people who want or need it.