It’s that wonderful time of year. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the air is fresh. It’s spring!

Which also means spring cleaning. North American families have an annual tradition of cleaning their homes, and purging unnecessary belongings. From clothing to kitchenware to books, each year individuals purge these items they’ve collected over time that they no longer need in order for a fresh spring start.

But as you sift through your belongings, identifying what will stay and what will go, where do this discarded items go? Throwing perfectly good items in the trash is a shame! There are countless ways to part with your unwanted goods so that they can benefit others.

Here are four different ways to lighten your load and make a difference while you do it!

1. Host a garage sale for charity

This is a win/win/win solution! First, you are getting your spring cleaning done and decluttering your home. Second, you are selling gently used goods to your community members at a very fair price. Third, the proceeds go to your charity of choice, furthering a social/environmental cause. Yippee!

This option takes a little more time and effort than others, but it has great rewards. Not only do you engage with your community, but you also choose exactly which organization benefits from your monetary contribution.

2. Donate to Salvation Army/Goodwill

Do you have clothing, books and toys lying around your house for which you no longer have any use? Only easy solution is donating these gently used goods to the Salvation Army/Goodwill. If you go onto their website, they will list all the drop off points in your hometown – so simple!

3. Give to a friend/family member in need

Often one of the most rewarding avenues of charity is giving to a friend or family member in need. Do you have a niece or nephew who just moved away from home and in need of kitchenware? Do you have a friend living on a tight budget who would appreciate clothing or books?

Share your surplus of goods with someone you know and love!

4. Give to a local community club

Another great way to help another after your spring cleaning, is to donate your goods to your local community center. Sporting equipment like ice skates or soccer balls are always needed.

With your contribution, you can foster a community spirit and promote kid sport and recreation.