Spring cleaning tips for decluttering and donating

With the promise of the spring season comes an excitement of knowing that we will be shedding our sweaters and saying a warm hello to our favorite tees.

If you’re not feeling it because you left your ho-hum spring and summer wardrobe behind when the birds went South, it’s time to change that around!

But before you go out and buy a bunch of stuff to make you and your closet happy, you need to shed the things that no longer fit, matter or match your style.

Welcome to spring cleaning!

And there is no time like the present. Given the popularity of the queen of tidying up Marie Kondo and her Netflix series, there’s a national decluttering frenzy happening now. It’s time to hop on board, folks!

For those of you who need a refresher or who haven’t tuned in, here are some of her organizing tips:

  • Ask yourself if the item sparks joy. If it doesn’t, thank the item for its service and put it in the donation pile.
  • Donate the books you aren’t going to read or reread rather than storing them.
  • It’s OK to part with gifts you’ve received that you don’t use or enjoy. Don’t feel guilty getting rid of gifts or obligated to use them.
  • Buy storage containers only after you figure out what you need to store.
  • To declutter your closet, take everything out and make a pile. Go through and only keep your favorites. Donate everything else.

Afterward, not only will you have a decluttered home, but you should be extra satisfied knowing your donations make a difference in your community. The average donation provides more than three hours of job training and opportunities for people with barriers to employment.

Plus, all these terrific donations make for some incredible shopping!

“I am thinking now that @MarieKondo is now on Netflix there is going to be some awesome thrift shopping in the coming weeks. #TidyingUp,” blogger Kelly Collis tweeted.

Donating tips:

  • Check for and remove any documents containing personal information, including tax statements, bank statements, medical records and similar items.
  • Don’t worry if your clothing has holes or rips. The items that don’t meet quality standards for the store floor can be cut into wiping cloths, for example, as part of our GoodWipers team. These products provide job-skills training within our mission services while offering wiping cloths to businesses and households. Other imperfect items can be sold in secondary markets as a way to keep it from the landfill.
  • Check our list of what we can accept and what contains hazardous materials and must be disposed of differently.
  • Check pockets of clothing for jewelry, money and other valuables you might not be intending to donate.
  • When possible, include all pieces and parts to games, toys and household appliances.
  • If your business has outdated branding on merchandise, we will take them, remove the branding and make them into GoodWipers as a way to provide job-training opportunities.

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of more than 70,000 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. Goodwill NCW is one of four companies in the nation to be honored with a Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America, which recognizes our commitment to wellness in the workplace. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at, a women’s apparel website, and It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit


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