Give Green, Get Green

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Cleaning and organizing projects around the house typically includes cleaning out cramped closets, boxing up clothes and getting to that cluttered garage. Instead of sending a truckload off to a landfill, create a second life for your extra and outgrown stuff.

There’s just something satisfying about a clean closet. As you organize, you might have a lot of old or outgrown clothes you no longer need. An easy thing to do with clothing in good condition is to donate it to Goodwill or other charities. You will get a tax deduction, and the resale of the items pays for job training and other programs. Gently worn children’s and teen clothing is highly sought after. You can even make a little money by taking the items to a resale or consignment shop.

For shoes of all sizes, consider donating them to SolesForSouls.org. This organization gives your shoes to kids and adults around the world who need them most. You can find collection sites in hundreds of stores across the country.

Toys take up a lot of room all over the house. When you’re tired of tripping over the ones that no longer get any attention, you have options. Many local charities accept them, as do certain battered women’s shelters. Children’s hospitals generally won’t accept toys unless they’re new.

Sometimes when we do a deep clean, we stumble across old cell phones, chargers, MP3 players and other electronic devices we no longer need. NextWorth.com or Gazelle.com will pay you to send in your electronics. That’s a great reward for not sending that e-waste to the landfill where toxic chemicals can seep into the soil and water. If you want to get rid of a computer, a good option, again, is to drop it off at Goodwill. Workers there will wipe out any personal information and either resell it or remove the valuable parts for recycling. Some computer makers, such as Apple (apple.com/recycling) and Dell (dellrecycling.com), will also recycle equipment.

This article from Tribune Company news outlets has been republished for additional  education purposes.  Please note that this editorial content was produced by Tribune news staff who are not employed by ForSaleByOwner.com or  by Tribune Digital Marketplaces.  This article is not affiliated with any links or products that appear on the on the same pages.  Read more about our editorial policy.