Spring is in the air and with it comes the—oftentimes dreaded—obstacle of shaking off the winter dust with some serious cleaning. Whether you’ve recently discovered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or simply believe that spring is a time to organize your home, one thing is for certain: you are bound to amass at least a box or two of unwanted items as you work through each room. Soon after, you’ll find yourself asking, what should I do with all of this stuff? In the spirit of an eco-friendly approach to living aiming to reduce, reuse and recycle where possible, we’ve put together a guide to spring cleaning donations in Seattle so your items will find a second life and make an impact in our community.
Humble Design is a non-profit that helps families and veterans who are transitioning into permanent housing by furnishing empty apartments and houses into homes. Those small day-to-day items we take for granted can add up to a world of difference for these families. Research indicates that roughly 50 percent of individuals or families return to shelters after entering housing within one year. Yet just 1 percent of the families served by Humble Design return to homelessness after 12 months. As their mission statement outlines, “We are not just furnishing homes, we are furnishing hope.”
The organization runs on donations and they are always looking for furniture, décor, kitchen, bath, and other miscellaneous items (such as books, vacuums, toys, and televisions) to add to their warehouse stock.
There are two simple ways to donate to Humble Design:
Humble Design accepts donations at the Harbor Island Warehouse Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. They are located at 3235 16th Avenue Southwest in Seattle.
Schedule a Pick-Up
If you prefer that the crew comes to you, then schedule a Monday pick-up. Contact Annemarie at AnneMarie@HumbleDesign.org or 509.593.8282 for details.
“I think home is where your family is, where you’re comfortable, and where you can rest. You can rest and rebuild . . . These are people who are struggling and they really just need a littlebit of help. What we do is make sure they have a strong, secure base from which to build on, and that includes a safe, warm, and comfortable home.”
-Treger Strasberg, CEO & Founder, Humble Design
While Humble Design does accept many goods, you may find yourself looking for alternative donation sites to dispose of damaged clothing or linens, building supplies, and electronics, or other items such as car seats, which are not widely accepted. Below are a few additional resources:
Damaged Clothing, Linens & Fabric
The King County Threadcycle program estimates that “up to 95 percent of the clothes, shoes, and linens thrown in the garbage could have been reused or recycled.” Though it seems hard to believe, there are many local organizations that will accept damaged clothing and linens, so long as they do not contain mildew or other hazardous materials. Here’s a list of places where you can donate >>
There are a few places around the Seattle area that accept building supplies, including Second Use (a retail store in south Seattle that sells salvaged materials and vintage architecture), Ballard Reuse (which accepts doors, cabinets, windows, plumbing and light fixtures), and Earthwise (a south Seattle destination for building materials and other architectural items).
When our electronics fail, many of us don’t think twice about ordering a replacement, with the failed piece ending up in a landfill. Not only are electronics harmful to the environment, disposing of them in a landfill means none of the parts can be recycled or reused for other products. E-Cycle WA accepts a range of items at no charge, including cell phones, televisions and monitors, computers and laptops, tablets and e-readers, and portable DVD players. As of this writing, they have collected an astounding 393,725,597 pounds of electronic waste.
Though pulling up to the nearest local donation site or scheduling a pick-up through a service such as Humble Design is convenient, there are also many family items that are in good working order but are generally not accepted by these organizations. This is where Westside Baby comes in. They take things such as car seats, cribs, booster seats, and other family items that are difficult to find a second home for.
Regardless of how or where you choose to donate the fruits of your spring-cleaning labor, there is one common thread running through these efforts: they will contribute to the quality of your own life and make a difference in the life of someone else as well.