Spring Cleaning: Tips To Declutter & Refresh Your Home This Season

Spring is here! There is no better time for some spring cleaning! Decluttering your home of unwanted items, thoroughly cleaning room to room, wiping the dirt off every nook and cranny you can find – these are all a part of the exciting (and sometimes tedious) spring cleaning routine. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of tips on where to donate or recycle items you no longer need and DIY recipes for your home cleaning needs.

Cleaning Out Your Closet

Donating your clothes to non-profit organizations will ensure you’re donating to a good cause and helping those in need.

San Diego Rescue Mission 

San Diego Rescue Mission accepts clothing and shoes that are fairly new or gently used. They take into account the wishes of the donor and your requests on how the items you donate will be used. Most of their donations are given to students and guests at the San Diego Rescue Mission according to their needs.

Father Joe’s

Father Joe’s accepts clothing and shoes that are clean and gently used and resells them at their thrift stores. The money collected from reselling the donations goes directly towards helping the homeless population in San Diego.

Many mail-in programs exist for clothing and shoe donations, where most items are sent to developing countries for people who are poverty stricken and are in need of clothes. 


Soles4Souls is a free mail-in program which aims to turn unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. Shoes are distributed to people in need and are also used to help people launch and sustain their own small businesses selling donated shoes and clothing.

Retold Recycling

Retold Recycling is a mail-in program that accepts damaged or very worn-out clothes and textiles (blankets, towels, bed linens, etc.) for recycling. Whether it’s just one sock or a full bag of clothing, Retold makes sure none of it ends up in the landfill. The items are sorted by type and quality and are then sent to thrift stores, charities, upcyclers, recycling companies, and developing countries to support micro-economies.

USAgain Drop Off Bins

USAgain accepts clothing and shoes that are in reusable condition. Items in fairly good condition are given to people who don’t have the option to buy new clothes, allowing them to conserve funds for other basic necessities such as food, shelter, and education. Some are sold to small shop owners or second-hand stores who are in need of products to make ends meet. Items that are battered, such as fabric scraps, are either reused as wiping rags or shredded to insulation material for appliances and vehicles.

Many clothing brands have a take-back program. If you bring back a used item, you could get a discount to purchase a new item.


Madewell has a Do-Well recycling program in place where they offer free repairs in stores for patching, mending, and other fixes. Used jeans are also available for purchase at their stores. If you have fallen out of love with your jeans, you can turn them in at Madewell, which then turns those old bootcuts into housing insulation for communities in need.


Patagonia has a Worn Wear program where you are able to trade in or mail in used Patagonia garments that are still in good condition in exchange for store credit. They also offer a used clothing section as well as repair services in order to expand the lifespan of clothing and keep them out of the landfills.

North Face

North Face accepts used apparel and footwear in any condition and brand at their stores and rewards $10 towards your next purchase when you sign up for their XPLR Pass. Approved items are then washed, prepped and sold through the North Face Renewed program, donated, or recycled. First time users get a 10% discount on purchases too!

To Clean Everything Else: Sustainable Cleaning Recipes
All-Purpose Cleaner 
  • 2 cups hot water 
  • 1 tsp. biodegradable liquid soap or borax 
  • 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (cuts grease) 

Directions: Fill a spray bottle with hot water. Add soap and vinegar or lemon juice. Shake the bottle gently to dissolve the ingredients.  

Floor Cleaner 
  • 2 cups warm water 1/4 cup biodegradable liquid soap or detergent 
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice 

Directions: Combine the ingredients in a large plastic bucket. Use it with a mop or sponge. 

Glass Cleaner 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/8 cup vinegar 

Directions: Fill bottle with both ingredients and shake for 30 seconds. Use on all types of glass surfaces, including mirrors. 

Tub and Tile Cleaner
  • 1/2 cup baking soda Enough liquid soap to make a frosting-like consistency 
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice. (Pro tip: Try using eucalyptus, tea tree or Peppermint oil!) 

Directions: Place baking soda in a bowl and slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches the consistency of frosting. Add drops of essential oil (optional). Scrub surface with sponge and mixture, and rinse.

Toilet Cleaner 
  • 1/4 cup baking soda 
  • 1 cup vinegar 

Directions: Place baking soda in a bowl and slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches the consistency of frosting. Add drops of essential oil (optional). Scrub surface with sponge and mixture, and rinse.