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New year, new you: start by decluttering

Tracy Arnett

Determination and drive come naturally to Tracy...

Determination and drive come naturally to Tracy...

Jan 11 3 minutes read

Albert Einstein once said: “Out of clutter, find simplicity.” How beautifully simple and concisely said.

We often don’t realize the negative impact clutter can have on our lives, how it promotes chaos, inefficiency and stress. Personal organizer Kathy McEwen of Second Set of Hands refers to it all as a real cost that can take a toll — certainly on our finances, but also on our emotional and physical well-being.

The turn of the new year is a natural time to think about getting ourselves — and our homes — in order. But at the same time, it can be just as detrimental to our greater home (that is, the planet) to simply toss out those things we no longer want or need.

Instead, why not help others by donating your treasures? There are many worthwhile Ottawa-area organizations that can benefit from your goodwill. Here are some of them:

St. Vincent de Paul: Provides clothing and household goods to the needy and newcomers to the city. Smaller items can be dropped off at drop boxes across the city or at one of the stores. For larger items, pick-up can be arranged.

Youville Centre: Accepts clothing, toys, certain baby gear, toiletries, diapers and more for teen mothers and their children. Check site for what’s most needed and what cannot be accepted. (The site also offers other helpful ideas for donating, both to the centre and to other organizations.)

Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Accepts furniture and other items. Certain items are not accepted. Check before donating to ensure there is space for your items. Pick-up can be arranged for a fee.

Salvation Army Thrift Store: Accepts clothing and household goods. Items can be dropped off at your nearest drop bin or thrift store (there are multiple locations across the city) or arrange for pick-up. Some items cannot be accepted; check the website.

Harmony House: Provides safe, affordable transitional housing for women and children who are survivors of violence and who often arrive with few possessions. See the website for restrictions on what can be donated.

Helping with Furniture: Provides gently used furniture and household items to those in need, especially refugee claimants. Pick-up may be possible; otherwise you can fill out a form on their site to arrange a drop-off.

Matthew House Ottawa (The Furniture Bank): Also provides gently used furniture and household items to those in need, especially refugee claimants. Items can be dropped off or, for a fee and with prior notice, can be picked up.

Diabetes Canada: Accepts small household and electronic items, gently used clothing, footwear and toys. Items collected are sold to Value Village, with the funds raised going toward diabetes research and support. Often, donations can be picked up free of charge.

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