Make Space with a Pre-Holiday Purge

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I try to sort through and purge some of our belongings at least once a season, and I make a special point of doing a serious pre-holiday purge. If you’re like me, Goodwill and The Salvation Army are your go-to thrift stores when it’s time to clear out some space, but there are several other organizations (most of them local) that will help you put your donations to good use. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it could be a good starting place if you’re looking for new places to unload that pile of clutter that’s currently filling the back of your minivan (please tell me I’m not the only one). 

Drop-Off Sites

  1. Gaia Movement: Look for Gaia’s green and white boxes to drop off your used clothing, shoes, and linens. The organization will sort your donations and decide whether to sell or recycle them. Proceeds benefit environmental programs here and abroad.
  2. Community Warehouse: Accepting household goods, linens, and furniture (including clean mattresses), the locations in Portland and Tualatin help people in need set up “more comfortable, stable homes.”  You can drop off donations or schedule a pickup for $30.
  3. Mother & Child Education Center: Your used bras, baby carriers, maternity clothing, and baby clothing and equipment help the organization fulfill its mission of “building a community of competent and confident mothers.”purge
  4. One Warm Coat: Your new or gently-used coats will “provide anyone in need with a warm coat, free of charge.”
  5. PDX Diaper Bank: The diaper bank accepts disposable diapers (opened packages are okay), cloth diapers and covers, adult incontinence supplies, and diaper wipes to help families in need.
  6. Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Donate used furniture, household goods, and building materials (including paint). Proceeds from sales help Habitat for Humanity help low-income families “realize the dream of owning their own home.” If you can’t drop off your donation, you can schedule a residential pickup for $20.
  7. Cat Adoption Team: The CAT thrift store in Raleigh Hills accepts used, new, and collectible items and sells them to support the organizations cat-only shelter.
  8. Raphael House: Your donations will help local families escape domestic violence situations.  Current urgent needs include personal care supplies, baby items, and new or gently used TVs, CD players, and DVD players.
  9. Northwest Children’s Outreach: Most children’s items are accepted by this organization, including newborn to teen clothing, toys, books, and safety items.  In addition, they accept hygiene products for infants and new moms, breastfeeding products, and unopened infant formula.
  10. Foster Parents Closet: Foster parents shop for free from your donations of new and gently used kids items, new car seats, and new toys for the children in their care. household-goods
  11. William Temple House: You can donate clothing for men, women, and children, household items, furniture, and antiques to support William Temple House’s mission of providing mental health support to community members who need it. Can’t drop it off? You can schedule a pick up for $10.

Other Ideas:

Hopefully, these worthy organizations will help you purge and clear some space to make room in your home for the new year (and maybe a few new presents as well)!

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Aside from being a writer, Kendra is a Birth Trauma Doula at KarysMa Birth, where she helps moms find their joy after birth trauma. A former middle school English and theatre teacher, she has an insatiable love for learning and a flair for the dramatic. Among the best moments of her life, she counts marrying her husband Steve during a dream rainbow wedding, planning a princess picnic on the beach with her eight year old daughter Karys, giving birth to her one year old daughter Saryn in the middle of a blizzard, and sitting on stage with Glennon Doyle. A Navy brat for the first 13 years of her life, Kendra settled in Virginia for eighteen years before she was finally ready to move again, relocating to Portland in 2014. You can find her work on Portland Moms Blog, The La Leche League Blog, and The Not Your Average Mom Project, as well as the hard drive of her computer.

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