Give Spring Cleaning A Boost

By / Magazine / April 29th, 2011 / Like

Just in time for spring cleaning season, Value Village thrift stores, an international chain with 270 locations across the U.S., Canada and Australia, has announced a massive donation drive across North America called “Clear Clutter for a Cause.” Together with over 140 nonprofit partners, Clear Clutter for a Cause encourages the public to turn otherwise unused goods into revenue for local nonprofits by donating items, rather than sending them to a landfill.

“We know millions of families are already clearing out their clutter with spring cleaning,” said Tony Shumpert, VP of Recycling & Supply Chain Operations for Value Village. “By donating these items, instead of simply throwing them away, you can give back to the community and save quality goods from polluting the Earth. In fact, Value Village operates one of the largest recycling programs in the world, keeping more than 500 million pounds of goods out of landfills last year alone.”

So how does it work? Every Value Village location (and Village des Valeurs stores in Quebec) has a unique nonprofit partner in its community, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Canadian Diabetes Association. All year round, each store pays its nonprofit partner for every item donated, which includes clothing, housewares, furniture and more. Partners are paid for donations collected directly by the nonprofit or at the Community Donation Centres located on-site at Value Village stores. These partnerships turn otherwise unused goods into sustainable funding that supports the nonprofits’ programs and services.

To make it easy for consumers to get involved with the Clear Clutter for a Cause campaign, Value Village offers these tips:

—  Bring a friend in to help with spring cleaning. Not only can the two of you spend a great afternoon together, but your friend can also give you an objective opinion as you sort through items to keep or donate.

—  Be organized about getting organized. Start in one corner of one room, and make your way around the room in a circle. Don’t move on to the next room until you are finished with the first. If you need to take a break, go for it, but always return back to where you left off.

—  Designate a specific place for donations. Your “clutter corner” should be in a handy, but out-of-the-way location in your home. Encourage family members to place items – clothes, toys, housewares – that they aren’t using any longer into a bin. For parents, your children will see that gently used items shouldn’t be thrown away, and something they don’t want any longer can have a new life with someone else.

—  Be realistic about what you think you want to keep. If you haven’t worn that shirt in more than a year, it’s ready to go. Another way to determine what to donate is to put items you’re not sure about into a box. Seal it and store it. If you haven’t opened that box a year later, donate the entire thing. Chances are, you don’t have a clue what’s in the box and don’t need it.

—  Know your nearest donation drop. Once you’ve designated items to donate, you don’t have to spend hours tracking down a location to drop your items off. Simply visit or to find a nearby Community Donation Centre where you can drop off your goods. This site also provides a list of Value Village’s nonprofit partners in your area with donation home  pick-up service where they’ll come straight to your door to collect donations.

Even items people may think no one could possibly want are still welcome with Clear Clutter for a Cause. Merchandise not suitable for resale, or items that do not sell on Value Village sales floors, are responsibly recycled. A portion of these goods are sent to developing countries where they support micro-economies and help improve the lives of people in other parts of the world. Remaining items are sold to domestic material wholesalers who recycle the products into new materials such as wiping rags, car insulation and much more.

The highest quality items donated are value-priced and displayed for purchase at Value Village stores. By shopping at Value Village, consumers put millions of products back into use each year, eliminating the need for additional manufacturing, and thereby decreasing energy and raw material consumption.


Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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