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Spring Cleaning: Declutter and Donate to Make a Difference

The spring cleaning ritual is an annual rite of passage for many as they get set for warmer weather. But did you know that spring cleaning can also help others in your community get a fresh start? When you clear out the items you no longer need and donate them to Goodwill®, they are sold in stores and online to create job placement and training opportunities for people who are looking to find jobs or advance in their careers.

Goodwill teamed up with downsizing and decluttering expert Matt Paxton to demonstrate how donations to Goodwill translate into workforce programs and services in communities across the U.S. and Canada . Plus, he’s sharing his tips for organizing your decluttered space. And there’s no better time to downsize than when you see those first hints of spring.

“Spring is an ideal time for families to declutter their homes,” said Paxton, who wrote Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff. “I always remind people that it’s the stories they should hang onto and not the stuff. Why not take it one step further and help someone else write the next chapter of their story with a new job simply by donating items to your local Goodwill?”

Follow the Paxton-approved ‘Three Ds’ when tackling spring cleaning: Declutter, Donate and Make a Difference.

Declutter: Take it one room at a time. Enlist the help of family members to go through each room and separate items into keep, toss or donate piles. Take the time to tell stories about each item you are removing from your space so that you can keep the memories alive. Before throwing away any clothes or functioning household items, consider whether those items can be donated.

Donate: After taking inventory of bedrooms, storage closets, the attic or basement, and even your trunk, take useable items to your nearest Goodwill donation site so that others can enjoy them.

Make a Difference: Donors can take pride in giving to Goodwill, as the sale of donations supports employment programs that help people find jobs and build careers in their communities. Nearly 80% of the Goodwill network’s collective revenue from the sale of donated goods supports and grows local community-based programs and services.


By donating to Goodwill during this spring cleaning season, you can extend the lifecycle of your goods, which helps the environment while creating employment programs in our community. After you donate, why not also spend some time shopping at Goodwill and help out even more?

Matt Paxton is one of the top downsizing and decluttering experts in the country. He is the host of the two-time Emmy nominated series Legacy List with Matt Paxton on PBS and was featured on the hit television show HOARDERS for over 15 seasons. Matt is also the author of the best-selling book, Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff. Paxton started cleaning out houses after his father, stepfather and both grandfathers died in the same year. This fueled Matt’s passion and is the reason Matt continues to work with families struggling with hoarding and downsizing. Visit for additional resources related to downsizing, organizing and decluttering.


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