Declutter and Donate to Make a Difference

MARCH 17, 2022 — Spring cleaning is a seasonal chore for many, but did you know spring cleaning also can help others in your community get a fresh start? When you donate your gently used items to Goodwill, the money we raise by selling these items creates job placement and training opportunities for people who are looking for jobs or to advance their existing careers. 

This year, Goodwill has teamed up with downsizing and decluttering expert Matt Paxton to demonstrate how Goodwill donations translate into community-based programs and services. Plus, he is sharing his tips for organizing your decluttered space. 

“Spring is an ideal time for families to declutter their homes,” said Paxton, author of Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff. “I always remind people that it’s the stories they should hang onto and not the stuff. Why not take it one step further and help someone else write the next chapter of their story with a new job simply by donating items to your local Goodwill?” 

Goodwill of the Heartland encourages people to follow the Paxton-approved “Three Ds” when tackling spring cleaning: Declutter, Donate, and Make a Difference.  

Declutter: Take it one room at a time. Enlist the help of family members to go through each room and separate items into keep, toss or donate piles. Take the time to tell stories about special pieces leaving your space so that you can keep those memories alive. Before throwing away any clothes or functioning household items, consider whether those items can be donated.  

Donate: After taking inventory of bedrooms, storage closets, the attic or basement, and even your trunk, take usable items to a Goodwill location near you so that others can enjoy them. A full list of locations is available on the Goodwill of the Heartland website, 

Make a Difference: Donors can take pride in giving to Goodwill because the sale of donations supports employment programs that help people find jobs and build careers. In fact, we reinvest 88 cents of every dollar from donated goods through community-based programs to provide job training, life skills, veteran reintegration, day habilitation, supported community living and more.  


About Goodwill of the Heartland  

Our mission is to help people reach their full potential through education, training and the power of work. We accomplish this through life and job skill development, work experience, job placement assistance, day habilitation, veteran reintegration, supported community living and workforce development throughout our 19-county service area. We operate 18 retail locations in eastern Iowa and west-central Illinois that accept and sell donated goods to fuel our mission. Learn more:, 1-866-466-7881. 

About Matt Paxton  

Paxton is a leading downsizing and decluttering expert and author of Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff: Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward with Your Life (Penguin Random House/AARP, February 2022). He began this career path after his father, stepfather and both grandfathers died in the same year, leaving him with several estates to settle at once. He and his network of experts have worked with struggling families ever since. He is the host of the Emmy-nominated public television series “Legacy List with Matt Paxton,” distributed by American Public Media. He also was a featured expert throughout 13 seasons of the A&E hit show “Hoarders.” Paxton makes regular appearances as a public speaker and television and radio personality, helping families find the upside of downsizing. Learn more: