Spring cleaning is something we all do (or mean to do). Whether we do it in spring or before a big holiday or family visit there’s nothing like a good “clear out” as the Brits say. But what exactly does Spring have to do with cleaning?

Spring cleaning isn’t just for Spring but that is where it sprung from

There are many theories as to how Spring got designated as the season for cleaning. Some believe the idea started in ancient Iran with the celebration of the Iranian New Year in Spring. Iranians see the new year or Now Rouz as a time of renewal and reinvigorating life (much like Spring itself). Then there is suggestion that cleaning in Spring has it roots in the Jewish tradition of clearing out all that is “chametz” (bread made with yeast) in preparation for Passover. Not wanting to insult God, Jews would scour their homes to ensure not even a crumb of bread remained.

Travel way east and we find the Chinese too have a claim to the invention of Spring cleaning. The Chinese new year occurs in February and in anticipation of the new year, the Chinese clean house to rid themselves of any bad luck they may have accumulated over the previous year so that they can welcome good fortune. So maybe they don’t exactly clean in Spring as much as they prepare for a clean Spring but no matter how or when, Spring cleaning seems to have it’s roots in the feeling of a duty to rid oneself of the old and unclean in order to feel renewed and refreshed.

Donate and your Spring cleaning will put a “spring” in your step

Whatever the real start of Spring Cleaning, getting rid of stuff and doing some deep cleaning does seems to awaken an overall sense of doing good as you clear out the bad. So add to that “do good” feeling by donating unwanted items as you do your spring cleaning. Sure you could hold a garage sale but that takes work and are you really going to do it? Or is some good useable stuff going to end up in some landfill when you decide you’re tired of looking at it? It’s a lot easier to call a charity that pickups up household good, computers, clothing, etc. Finding a charity to donate to is as close as Googling “donation pickups.”

If you live in South Florida, consider donating to Pickups for Breast Cancer, a service of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. Pickupsforbreastcancer.org picks up your donations and leaves a tax receipt. The donations help fund the FBCF’s research, education and advocacy programs.

What can you donate? Clothing, especially children’s and special occasion items are always great to give away. Instead of keeping your kids’ hand me downs for the best friend who MIGHT have a baby someday, let these items be given to a child that can use them TODAY. And that cocktail dress you (or suit) you are keeping in the closet that you HOPE to fit into again….give it up. By the time you do reach your weight goals, will that special occasion item still be something you want to wear? Probably not.

Yes you can donate mattresses!

Other great things to donate…believe it or not mattresses. Yes you can donate a decent mattress. It is allowed and people do need them.  Shoes, belts, purses and other accessories should also be on your list. Spring cleaning out your closet works wonders on the psyche. It lets you feel unencumbered by out of date, ill-fitting stuff you won’t wear, while making it clear what you do have and the new stuff you really can feel confident about going out and buying.

Computers are needed

Think long and hard about the computer you have tucked away in your home office closet. Just because it’s old and useless to you, doesn’t mean you should let it end up in landfill. Old computers (which for some people can mean they are only a few years old) can seem brand new to someone else; plus charities can sometimes get money for the computer’s parts.

Household linens make great donations

Towels, sheets, blankets and comforters make great items to donate. If you think they are in good enough condition for a person to use them, donate them to a charity. If they are more appropriate for the family pet, consider giving them to your local animal shelter. Shelters and pet hospitals are always on the lookout for towels and blankets.

Whenever you choose to do your “spring” cleaning, always try to donate before you dump. It can really make a difference in someone else’s life.