The real secret to spring cleaning success: Give a little!

It’s that time of year when many people get the urge to clean out closets and cabinets. But what do you with all the items you no longer want? You know, like those bunny slippers that Aunt Bea gave you, or the smiley face pint glass you’ve had since you were sixteen?

Seattle is full of nonprofits that benefit greatly from donations of unused (or gently used) items. If you’re a Facebook user, there’s also the Buy Nothing Project, where you can give (and get) items for free directly from your neighbors.

Here’s a list of some Seattle-area nonprofits you might want to reach out to as you do your own spring cleaning. Before you visit one of these organizations, check their website to make sure they are accepting donations of items like yours.


Dress for Success—Dress for Success collects interview clothes and personal hygiene products as part of their mission to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

FamilyWorks—Located in Wallingford, FamilyWorks serves residents of North Seattle with a food bank and a family resource center. They appreciate donations of unopened food and personal hygiene products, as well as children’s clothing.

Goodwill—Goodwill has sites all over Puget Sound. Donated items are resold, and the funds raised go toward job training programs.

InterConnection—InterConnection accepts computers and accessories that are refurbished for underserved populations. They also provide job training to low-income individuals.

Seattle Humane Society—Accepts pet food and pet items. There is a wish list on their website.

Seattle ReCreative—Accepts arts and crafts items as well as school supplies.

The Sharehouse—Collects furniture and household items for homeless individuals and families that have found a place to live.

Verizon Wireless Hopeline—Collects old cell phones for victims of domestic violence.

King County: What Do I Do With…?—Not sure what to do with an item? Check out this database of more places to get rid of unwanted items.

If you have even more items you’d like to donate but aren’t sure where to go, feel free to contact me. I have a longer list of organizations throughout the region that will make good use of your old items.