Uncategorized February 14, 2023

Clear the Clutter & Make an Impact

A quick guide to what & where to give this holiday season!

The following is a guest post from Chief of Organized Living & NorthStar Moving Company Co-Founder Laura McHolm

‘Tis the season of giving. Here’s a simple way of spreading holiday love and cheer to fill your heart and empty your home.

It’s easy to give and make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. Just look around your home. Perhaps, you have clothing, furniture, kitchen items, or even food that’s been cluttering up your home and fridge? Follow this guide of what and where to give and you’re sure to make Santa proud. It is the ideal time to give your household items a new home and make someone else’s holiday brighter.



Clear your kitchen of food items you don’t plan to consume and make room for all of the yummy holiday goodies!

What to Donate:

Wondering if your food bank wants your three pound bottle of mustard? Here are the top items that they need:

  • Canned Vegetables & Fruits
  • Canned Stews & Soups
  • Canned Beans
  • Canned Tuna
  • Pasta & Sauce
  • Baby Food
  • Dry Beans
  • Flour
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Juice
  • Rice
  • Peanut/Nut Butters & Jelly/Jams

Where to Donate:

  • Your local Food Bank. You can find your local food bank here
  • Check with your local fire department, churches, synagogues, schools and grocery stores to see if they are hosting food pantry donations drop offs
  • Moving soon? Find a mover who will volunteer to deliver your non-perishable food to your local food bank at no additional cost. Visit Move for Hunger to find a local participating moving company
  • Willing to roll-up your sleeves? Start your own food drive. Simply ask local businesses, schools and libraries to put out your colorfully decorated food drive donation boxes and use your social networks to get the word out. It only takes 1.2 lbs of food to provide a meal to an individual in need, so it doesn’t matter how big your food drive is, every little bit helps


Make room for your holiday sweaters! Sort through your closets and ask: When was the last time I wore or used this? If you can’t remember, donate it.

What to Donate:

  • Baby, kids and adult clothing
  • Coats (Kids and families are in great need of coats this time of year.)
  • Suits
  • Belts
  • Scarves
  • Ties
  • Pocketbooks
  • Boots
  • Shoes

Where to Donate:

Bring gently used clothing to the following charities, go online or call them to see if they will come to your door to pick up your donations.

  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Veteran organizations
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Red Cross
  • Check with your local fire department, churches, synagogues and schools, to see if they are hosting clothing donation drop offs


Make room for what Santa brings! Sort through old toy boxes in your home. Get your kids involved in sorting through their things so they get to learn the ultimate gift – the gift of giving!

What to Donate:

  • Gently used, unbroken toys or new toys that are unwrapped (it depends on the charity if a new toy is required so contact them first.)
  • Stuffed animals
  • Coloring books & crayons
  • School supplies and stationery
  • Hand held games
  • Children’s books
  • No toy guns or other violent toys

Where to Donate:

  • Toys for Tots. Find your local Toys for Tots drop off locations here
  • Local children’s hospitals & hospitals
  • Local Boys & Girls Club
  • Many local shelters or children’s charities accept toy donations. Use this Homeless Shelter Directoryto find shelters in your area
  • Organizations like My Stuff Bagsand Stuffed Animals for Emergencies offer children a familiar object in times of crisis
  • Check with your local fire department, churches, synagogues, and schools, to see if they are hosting toy donation drives
  • Other places to check includechildren’s social services offices and often stores have a donation bin at the front entrance


Not only are your old things finding a new life, you’re making room for the new and clearing space for holiday entertaining.

What to Donate:

  • Gently used furniture
  • Antiques, collectibles
  • Appliances (small)
  • Artwork
  • Bedspreads, blankets, curtains, tablecloths, decorative pillows
  • Bicycles
  • Books, records, tapes, CDs, DVDs
  • Cookware, dishes, pots and pans
  • Housewares and decorative items
  • Jewelry
  • Sporting goods

Where to Donate:

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Veteran organizations
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Red Cross


Clean out the old gadget drawer!

What to Donate:

  • Old smart phones & tablets (Make sure to clear your data from it first!)

Where to Donate:

  • Visit sites like com and CellPhoneBank.org where you can donate your old smartphone to someone that needs it


Keep your drawers clutter free!

What to Donate:

  • Re-gift the gift cards you are given by turning them into charitable donations.

Where to Donate:

  • Visit sites like org where you can exchange your retail gift cards for a charity donation. You will receive a tax receipt for the entire full value or residual balance of your card


Open up a parking space for Santa’s sleigh!

What to Donate:

  • Car
  • Truck
  • RV
  • Boat
  • Motorcycle
  • Trailer

Where to Donate:

  • Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes
  • Salvation Army
  • Kars 4 Kids
  • Wheels for Wishes
  • Cars Helping Veterans.org
  • Goodwill

Don’t forget it’s the end of the year!

Tidy up those 2022 taxes by making a tax-deductible donation to a favorite local charity or these deserving nonprofit organizations:

  • Claire’s Place Foundation: Founded by thirteen-year-old Claire Wineland who was born with cystic fibrosis, the foundation provides financial assistance to families so they can afford to sit bedside while their family member is in the hospital
  • Hands and Hearts of Hope: Supports homeless college students, most of whom were emancipated from the foster system and left without resources
  • Miry’s List: Provides essential household needs to families who have recently resettled in the United States as vetted refugees from war torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and the Ukraine
  • My Stuff Bags Foundation: Fills overnight bags with new belongings to provide comfort and hope to children who were rescued from abandonment, abuse, domestic violence, homelessness or neglect

Once you have cleared the clutter and given to those who will actually use and need your unwanted items, your heart and home will be filled with love & joy. Afterall, giving with love is the true meaning of the holidays!


Laura McHolm is a home organization, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.   www.northstarmoving.com