Declutter: why just before Christmas is the perfect time to do it

Spring cleaning was yesterday
Why just before Christmas is the perfect time to declutter

© Robert Kneschke / Adobe Stock

We have a lot of things in our closets, in the basement or in the attic. Even if we declutter regularly – and right now is a great time to do so!

We often think of the typical spring cleaning when it comes to sorting things out – but at Christmas time there are many adults, teenagers and children who want new things but can’t get them themselves. Among other things, because they themselves or their families are in need and they lack the means. For example, they fall back on offers from aid organizations, gift shops or other donations.

Especially in the upcoming Christmas season and in view of the cold winter, everyone can do something for small rays of hope in other people. We explain what you could take a closer look at at home to do something good for yourself and others when decluttering in December. The things you donate should be in good condition.

Bedding – for outside

Fresh sheets or a warm blanket are quickly pulled out of your own four walls – and we usually have more of them than we actually need. Blankets, bed linen or sheets can support homeless people, among other things. Because they often have problems keeping their belongings dry overnight and wet sleeping clothes are usually the result. Drying them again is often not possible without an apartment or heating facilities. If you can hand in bedding in a large (preferably water-repellent) bag that is easy to transport, you are welcome to think about it and hand in such things to a local collection point. For example, donations in kind are usually possible via the Johanniter or the Malteser. The best thing to do is to check the local website first.

Give away toys and make someone happy

For many families it is difficult to buy new toys for the little ones – also in Germany. Especially with the ongoing inflation, some are saving in all sorts of corners and toys are fun, but in case of doubt they are not essential for survival. Give away or second-hand shops like the FairKauf chain are happy to accept toys that you donate. Children’s hospices or kindergartens are also happy to accept used toys. It can also be worthwhile simply asking there. Other aid companies also bring old toys (or donations in kind) to other countries where people lack the means to make children happy.

Technology – for the environment

Your old technology can not only do something good at Christmas, but also in general. For example, do you still have old cell phones or charging cables that you no longer use? You’re not the only one if you answer yes: According to Telekom, around 200 million used cell phones, smartphones and tablets lie unused in Germany’s drawers. These could be (partially) recycled, which means that the environment is less burdened. Because the resources that were used can be reused in this way. The disposal of old mobile phones works wonderfully at local collection points (at least in larger cities) or at Telekom. The latter offers the option of sending mobile phones to the collection point free of charge by DHL parcel. Alternatively, the owners can send the cell phones by post to the German Environmental Aid in Cologne.

Clothes – warm and soft in winter

We usually have a lot of clothes in the closet that we no longer (want to) really wear and that remain in our closet as unfortunate fabric ghosts. We can do something much better with them: After all, clothing can bring joy to so many people in winter and ensure that they get through this season healthy: For example, the homeless, who usually have no opportunity to do so after a cold and wet night, something Wear dry clothes and get sick. Many of them also do not do regular check-ups at social institutions, for example out of shame. Everything is needed: tops or pants – but underwear is usually not accepted for hygienic reasons. If you want, you can add a fresh pack of three.
Those in need who are dependent on donations and children who either come from socially disadvantaged families or are dependent on help in other countries need warm clothing all the more in winter. Many social institutions organize clothing donations for disadvantaged children and their families in December. For example, via the Diakonie, the DRK or even via city websites, there are various acceptance points nearby.

Well, if that isn’t a reason to tidy up in Advent – and so after Christmas there is enough space again for your little friends from others.


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