Many of us have extra items lying around our homes that we don’t use or need but for one reason or another have never taken that next step to get rid of.
Two elderly sisters that were in the process of downsizing recently hired me to help them find “new homes” for their items they loved but just couldn’t take with them. They didn’t want their items to go in a big bin at Goodwill. Instead they wanted to make sure their items could be found and used by people that would appreciate them. Finding new loving “homes” for people’s possessions is sometimes the pivotal point that allows individuals to finally let things go.

TrumpetOne item the ladies had was a 1920′s coronet that had been in the family forever. For this item, I was able to contact the Shedd Institute for the Arts to find out if they accepted donated instruments, and they do. The ladies felt this was a perfect fit. They had also collected many cameras, video projectors and various photography equipment pieces over the years. Most of the items were so outdated you couldn’t buy film or parts for them anymore! But again, to someone they would be a treasure of sorts. For these items I found The Camera Guy (seriously! He collects and refurbishes old photography equipment. He felt he could find good homes for many of the items. Old newspapers from famous events (i.e. Eugene Register Guard Newspaperwhen JFK was shot) were other items they just didn’t want to dump in the recycle bin. Many of the schools, libraries, and other institutions no longer take newspapers because of how difficult they are to preserve. But finally we were able to find a “home” at the Springfield Historical Society.

What a wonderfully refreshing project this was to work on!

A few other local places to mention that accept donations of items you may be ready to take that next step with are listed below. Check out their websites for more information and happy “home hunting."

  • *MECCA – Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts – They take anything (seriously!) but Styrofoam. They are a recycled art supply store accepting materials such as flooring and wallpaper samples, corks and bottle caps, glass and ceramic pieces, fabric scraps, and used cards and calendars. “Many of the things we throw away could be reused instead”.
  • *NextStep Recycling – Their motto “Reuse is the New Recycle”. NextStep accepts items such as computers and other electronic devices. They receive donations of obsolete electronics – laptops, handheld games, cell phones, clocks, radios, lamps, microwaves, stoves, dryers, stereos, VCR’s and DVD’s.
  • *Bring Recycling Center – “Build a World without Waste” Bring accepts a wide selection of salvaged and surplus building materials, garden supplies, and other reusable items.
  • *Habitat for Humanity Restore – They accept new and used building and home improvement materials. 
Jan Lehman is the founder and owner of Can the Clutter® Professional Organizing Service. Can the Clutter provides both home and office organizing.  Her clients include: seniors, professionals, stay-at-home parents and even children. Jan can be reached at (541) 232-9213 or