The holiday season brings many opportunities to give back to those in need. When trying to organize your home before guests arrive, use this chance to donate some of your unwanted things. After all, it’s a season of giving and there are plenty of ways your stuff can go to use again.
Any one of the charities below are a great place to give away your unwanted items! It can be difficult getting rid of things that you’ve held onto for a long time, but it makes it much easier when you know that it’s going to a good cause. If you have a number of small and large items to give away and don’t have a vehicle to haul it to a donation center, consider contracting a hauling service, such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Orange County that will donate your things before sending to a landfill. Although a paid service, it will save you the inconvenience of heavy lifting and driving to multiple donation centers.
Need help deciding what should stay or what should go? Let Marla, Professional Organizer, at i DEAL Lifestyle help you! You can Learn more about her decluttering techniques here.
From clothes to furniture, construction materials to knick-knacks, there’s a number of national and independent charity shops in Orange County. Use this guide to find out where your stuff can best be put to good use at.
Santa Ana ReStore - Habitat for Humanity of Orange County
Habitat for Humanity has a sterling reputation as a charity that gives back to the community and can be trusted to do more with the funds they raise. The Habitat ReStore's in orange county, a home improvement store by Habitat for Humanity, does that in some fairly clever ways.
Being a home goods store, ReStore can accept just about anything for donation. From furniture and appliances to doors and windows! It’s a great place to donate stuff when you’re remodeling or just clearing out unused items. People can then have access to home materials at a fraction of the retail price.
The wonderful thing about ReStores is that all the proceeds go towards Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, impacting the local community by helping homeowners build and upkeep affordable housing.
OC Goodwill Boutique
Located conveniently in downtown San Juan Capistrano, the OC Goodwill Boutique is a great place to donate smaller goods such as clothes and little knick-knacks that are lying about the house.
The drop-off door (located in the back of the store) is easily accessible and the staff is always super helpful and thankful for your donations!
Goodwill specializes in helping those with disabilities and other barriers to independence, and almost 92 percent of every dollar they raise goes towards their programs and services that help with that. It’s a fantastic charity and a great little treasure in Orange County.
This tiny little shop is a hidden gem tucked away in Placentia. They typically accept like-new clothing and knick knacks, which means you can also find some awesome treasures hidden within.
The proceeds from Charity’s Closet go towards funding H.I.S. House, a transitional living association assisting those who have been made homeless get back on their feet.
This is a great place to send any new or gently used items if you want to make sure they go to a good home, or just that their value isn’t wasted.
The Assistance League of Orange has many locations throughout orange county. Go to The Assistance League of Orange to find one near you. The Assistance League is your best choice to donate old uniforms as your kids outgrow them. Their friendly staff love helping children and low income families with uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, and more!
Instead of affiliating with any one charity, The Assistance League of Orange use their position to help out low-income families in Orange County and donate the rest of the proceeds to various local charities.
Once you visit this place, you’ll know your donations are going to good use. The clothes are being given to the people who need them most and the funds raised are assisting those in need in our own community.
The Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center
The Salvation Army has become a staple of American holiday culture in the past several decades. It’s gotten to the point where it’s difficult to imagine Christmas without thinking of some volunteer bravely facing the cold to ring a bell and advocate for donations for those in need.
Being such a large entity, in some cases they will utilize their network of trucks and volunteers to come to your home and pick up large donations. The Salvation Army will accept just about anything that’s in good condition and can be reused.
Located in Orange, their friendly staff make both buying and donating an enjoyable experience. Each donation made is tracked to make sure the donations and funds raised are go to places in need the most across America.
The American Cancer Discovery Thrift shops have two locations in Orange County. You can find high end furniture, home goods, and clothing at this boutique thrift shop. One shop is in Laguna Niguel and the other in Corona Del Mar.
Take the time this holiday season to shop, and help others out too.
Getting organized is simple with the i DEAL LiFESTYLE® method. The method I developed helps you not only get organized, but remain organized, long-term. When I started my business in 2010 I read every book on organizing I could get my hands on, and found that none of them really addressed the challenge of staying organized, for good. Most of the books were all about making piles and getting "rid" of things, and I did not see the correlation between people's stuff and becoming organized. Getting rid of things does not make you organized. A clear method for knowing what to keep, and for arranging and storing all of your belongings is the #keytogettingorganized for the rest of your life.
The first step in the i DEAL LiFESTYLE Method is to figure out what you love to do. Knowing what you value in life leads to knowing what to keep in your life. You want your objects to sync with your lifestyle. So if you love to knit, you will have your knitting ready and accessible. If you used to love to knit, 5 years ago, and you'll never knit again, why is the yarn and needles still occupying your space? It doesn't pay rent! If you used to do carpentry, but you have zero interest in carpentry, why is your garage stuffed to the gills with saws and tools for carpentry? Some things can be deemed sentimental, but usually stuff that has gone stale for you will also create guilt, and confusion about what to do with all the stuff you paid for, collected, and then stashed away. The motivation to sell, donate or find someone to give the stuff to, is met with thoughts ranging from "I should get back to that activity" to "What do I do with it all?" The answer is simple, be honest with yourself about the fact that you will or will not return to that activity. When you understand what your current interests are, you will sell, donate or gift the items with grace instead of regret.
Getting your space cleared up for the activities you currently love to do is a smart idea. Having things around that will be used, that serve a purpose, that you love, and that are sentimental makes perfect sense, and will supports the activities you currently love to participate in.
Step 2 of the i DEAL LiFESTYLE Methods is to categorize every single object you own into broad categories. So, for example, office supplies, books with books, knick knacks with knick knacks, kitchen items with kitchen stuff, and bathroom items with bathroom items, shoes with shoes and paperwork with paperwork. That may seem overwhelming, yet most people, once they start, find it completely therapeutic and eye opening. You end up re-visiting all things by category, and you will realize how much you have of every single thing you own. When you are not capable of such a project, due to health reasons, or lack of time, hiring a professional i DEAL LiFESTYLE Method® professional organizer will be a great option.
Step 3 is to go through all your stuff with the i Deal Lifestyle criteria:
1. Will I use it?
2. Does it serve a purpose?
3. Do I love it?
4. Is it sentimental?
With this simple, and to the point criteria, you will determine what stays in your life, and what goes up for sale, to donate, and or to gift. Some things may end up in the trash, or to e-Waste, but always dispose of things responsibly.
Step 4 is to fine tune the categories. So take a look at what you are keeping in your space, and fine tune every single object you own. So office supplies will break down into paper clips with paper clips, staples with staples, phone cords with phone cords, pens with pens and by color and type, paper work defined into categories, for instance banking with banking, invoices with invoices, receipts with receipts, and by date, and purpose, business cards with business cards, stationary with stationary, and so on. Putting the time into fine tuning is the biggest #secrettostayingorganized.
Step 5 is containing the categories, however big or small the amount is. You can use plastic zip bags, bins, decorative boxes, file cabinets, shelves, drawers, and whatever containment you choose, it becomes the permanent home for your separated, finely tuned categories. There are "No mixed venues" in the i DEAL Lifestyle method. So, no putting simple standard paper clips with binder clips in this method. They are two separate animals. No putting ladles with large serving spoons into kitchen drawer inserts. Keep everything find tuned in their own separate space, and in some type of containment.
When you find there is a lack of space to store your belongings, you may seek cabinets, shelving, file cabinets, bins and racks for the garage, or #closetsolutions.
Then once everything is i DEAL LiFESTYLE organized, kick back, and feel the great flow and energy of your #perfectlyorganized space.
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of