We are all super excited that Massachusetts Spring is FINALLY in the air. The birds (and some of us) are outside singing. And it’s time to think about Spring cleaning.

Not the most glamorous of activities, which some love and so many of us dislike, the Essex County ReStore’s are here to help! We know it can be difficult to muster the motivation to do spring cleaning chores. The warmer weather brings the opportunity to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, but spring fever will be around for a while. Get a jump on spring cleaning with this motivation in mind: your weekend spent doing chores could benefit local families in need of safe, decent, and affordable homes. If you won’t do it for yourself, will you do it for a Habitat family?

Basic Spring Cleaning Tips

  1. Work from inside to outside. Bags of trash and donation piles will probably find their way to the garage. There’s no sense in cleaning out the garage only for these piles to bring disorder to the tidiness.
  2. Clean one room at a time. Progress is motivating. Once you see results in one room you’re more likely to move on to another room. On the flip side, the chaos of cleaning out an entire house at the same time is a big deterrent to ever wanting to do spring cleaning again.
  3. Clean from top to bottom, literally. Clean ceiling fan blades, door frames, top shelves, etc. first. Any dirt that breaks loose will fall on lower surfaces you’ll clean later. If you switch the order, you’ll end up cleaning some surfaces more than once.

Organizing The Mess
When you’re cleaning out closets, drawers, cabinets, garages, attics, and storage facilities sort your items into the following categories:

  • Keep
  • Trash
  • Recycle
  • Donate

Once all of the items are categorized, you only have to organize the items you plan to keep.

Even if your spring cleaning process involves a bit of renovation or remodeling, don’t just throw away the old items. There’s a good chance it’s something our ReStores could sell and you could receive a receipt for a tax write-off.

Where To Take Donations
See the full list of accepted items here of all the things Essex County Habitat for Humanity ReStores will accept as donations. Contact us today to schedule a drop-off to your nearest ReStore (in Peabody of Lawrence) or schedule a time for us to pick it up.

  • Cabinets (complete with doors)
  • Doors and windows   
  • Floor tile/hardwood flooring
  • Plumbing fixtures (in working condition)
  • Light fixtures (in working condition)
  • Water heaters (in working condition)
  • Air Conditioning units (in working condition)
  • Appliances (clean, working, and saleable)
  • Lumber
  • Plywood and sheetrock (at least ½ sheets)
  • Tools
  • Most other useable residential building materials
  • Wood Furniture

Stay Motivated
You’ve seen the donation possibilities now. As you begin cleaning, keep the individuals these organizations serve in mind. It will keep you motivated and hopefully prevent some hoarding tendencies.

Here’s a checklist to use as you clean. See you at the donation center!

Donating to the Habitat ReStore keeps functional — and often desirable — items out of the landfill. Other renovators get the materials they need for their projects, and you get to help others while getting rid of your trash. Essex County ReStores in Peabody and Lawrence provide donation pick-up services, and your donations may qualify for a tax deduction. Donating is a win-win situation!

In general, donate items that can be reused and are in good condition. Make sure that any small parts in multi-piece items like doorknobs, plumbing fixtures and lighting are kept together. Check for rust, sharp nails or broken boards. Donations that are clean and in good condition are easy to reuse, and many local organizations will help you recycle these items.