Tackle Clutter With a Purpose

By Arashi Young

The days get longer, the weather gets warmer and the neighborhood plants toss pollen into the air. There’s no denying it – spring is here.

Spring is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and let go of the winter hoard of stuff. If you’ve come out of hibernation with too many acorns, consider donating your lightly used items before throwing them away.

There are lots of places in greater Portland that can help you cut clutter while supporting great causes. Check out these local nonprofit organizations – but be sure to contact them before you drop off your stuff to make sure they can accept your donation.

Home goods

Furniture, kitchenware, appliances – all the things that make a house a home. Consider giving to The Community Warehouse in Portland 503.235.8786 or Tualatin 503.347.2147. Their mission is to connect neighbors in need with essential home furnishings.

The Community Warehouse is one of the few places in greater Portland that accepts mattresses. They are also a great place to donate small appliances like blenders, coffeemakers, toasters and vacuums.

Similarly, Habitat for Humanity 971.229.8888 has four local ReStore outlets that can receive home goods and building materials too. ReStore is a great place to donate gently used large appliances.

Building materials

Check out the Rebuilding Center 503.331.9291 in N Portland either before or after your next home improvement project. They are looking for reusable building materials like lumber, mirrors, cabinets, flooring materials and more. And they just might have what you need to complete your spring DIY project.

Tool lending libraries

So, you’ve put up that fence and now you have a post hole digger gathering dust in the garage – consider donating your used tools to a local tool library. Tool libraries are volunteer-run community resources that allow people to borrow tools for free. They save people money on tools and allow tools to be reused instead of discarded.

Green Lents Community Tool Library (email librarian@greenlents.org), North Portland Tool Library (email northpdxtoollibrary@gmail.com) and for the Southeast Portland Tool Library, use the contact form at septl.org. The Northeast Portland Tool Library is not currently taking donations due to lack of space

Creative reuse

The organizations above focus on rehoming or loaning used items. But what if those items could be transformed into entirely new things? That’s the philosophy behind creative reuse or upcycling. SCRAP Creative Reuse collects a wide variety of materials that can be repurposed.

Most left over art and craft supplies are accepted at SCRAP. In addition, there are many offbeat things that SCRAP will take, such as metal keys, small glass jars, coated wire, seasonal decorations, gift wrap and much more.

To see if you have materials that are useful to SCRAP, call 503.294.0769, visit their donation page at portland.scrapcreativereuse.org or email portlanddonations@scrapcreativereuse.org.

There is a thriving reuse community in greater Portland with lots of great places willing to accept donations. But please call first before dropping anything off. And if you have more questions about reuse and donation, Ask Metro at 503.234.3000 Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm.

This article was originally posted on the Metro website, oregonmetro.gov.

Tackle Clutter With a Purpose

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