As you tidy up, give things away instead of throwing them away. Here are some ideas to get you started.
-Your old specs could allow someone else to see. The Lion's Club "Recycle for Sight" program sorts by prescription and distributes to the needy worldwide. LensCrafters also gathers and gives glasses to those who can't afford to buy a pair.
-Your lovely locks could help those who lose their hair medically and can't replace it financially. Visit www.locksoflove.org for more details.
-More than 100 million cell phones are retired each year - why not let your old model make a difference? Phones, pagers, and PDAs can be donated to help people and causes you care about (including domestic violence, the environment, and third world communications).
www.collectivegood.com. (Tip: Erase all the data before donating.)
-Share the Technology (www.sharetechnology.org) lets you match your old computer with someone who really needs it.
-Turn trash to treasure through Staples' InkDrop program (www.staples.com/inkdrop). Just send them your empty cartridge in the prepaid InkDrop envelope and get a new one right back. And FundingFactory.com helps nonprofits and schools raise money with cartridge drives rather than the old-fashioned newspaper drives.
-For (almost) everything else, you can turn to Goodwill International, the Salvation Army, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and United Cerebral Palsy. They accept clothes, furniture, and appliances. There's also Excess Access, a matchmaker for nonprofits who need and individuals who have.