De-clutter your house and de-clutter your mind — but don’t throw it away! Here’s our handy guide for clutter busting, donating, upcycling, consigning and recycling in Baltimore. Just in time for Earth Week.

the (cool) declutter guide: where to donate, consign + recycle in baltimore

Donate Baby Clothing, Gear and Toys

Have gently used baby clothes lying around? Sure, you could consign them but consider donating them instead. Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital accepts gently loved clothing and their patients would love new cozy threads and ShareBaby will find a home for EVERYTHING maternity, baby and kid gear. All of those newborn size clothes your kiddo never wore — and they still have the tags on them? Check your local hospital’s NICU. Most will give you a receipt so you can write the donation off as a tax credit. Be sure to check House of Ruth‘s needs, too. They are often looking for clothing for kids (especially pajamas).

Consigning Kid Suff

Consider consigning never-worn or almost-mint-condition baby and kid clothes to earn a little cash. Little Lamb Consignments in Roland Park, The Lily Pad of Towson in Stoneleigh, Greenberries in Columbia and Hampden, and Tried but True in Cockeysville are great options. Best part? Consigning in a local shop means they’ll do all the tagging and selling for you!  If you don’t mind putting a bit more elbow grease into the process, check out Tot Swap for their next area kids consignment sale dates (you’ll have to tag yourself — but you can unload toys, books, gear and clothes all in one spot). If online is more your speed, you might want to look into Dashing Bee. The online kids’ consignment shop is operated by two Baltimore moms!

Adult-Sized Clothing, Bags and Accessories

Re Deux in Wyndhurst, Fashion Attic in Canton, and Uptown Cheapskate in Cockeysville are fashion-forward choices for consigning your own duds. If you’re thinking about donating, try The Wise Penny near Belvedere Square. Owned and operated by the Junior League of Baltimore, consignment sales benefit their local programs. {They accept home goods, too!} Have work clothes that don’t fit right anymore? Make another working woman’s DAY and donate to Suited to Success or Dress for Success.  Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Martha’s Table accept clothing donations.

Electronics

Sure, there’s eBay for selling electronics, but you may also want to look into BuyMyTronics.com for a more focused marketplace. And there are even sites that will pay you for your old cell phone or iPad. If the computer you’re looking to get rid of is less than five years old, consider donating to The Lazarus Foundation in Columbia. They’ll refurbish it and provide it to a local non-profit or school. Baltimore City also offers an eCycling program, so you can safely discard electronics. NTRecycling is offering FREE electronics recycling on Earth Day (April 22).  Want your old cell to help new cells grow? Donate to Cells 4 Cells, which puts the money earned from your recycled phone toward benefitting cancer patients.

Exercise Gear

The treadmill that never  — er, rarely — got used. Or Nana’s old Bowflex that appeared when she downsized to a condo and became an unattractive coat rack in your bedroom. What to do with THOSE? Believe it or not, Rec and Parks or your local school might be interested depending on the condition,

the (cool) declutter guide: where to consign, donate, and recycle in baltimore - (cool) progeny

Paper, Paper, and More Paper

Tax season is done. Did you come across returns from the last 30 years in the process of doing your finances? Shred everything older than 2011 (The IRS recommends keeping records from the date you filed your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later).  The Owl Corp offers 100% free, secure paper shredding and recycling services. ProShred works with different organizations to offer community shred events (one is in Timonium on April 25th).

Books

The Book Thing is the perfect place to donate your no-longer-needed books. It’s a tax deductible donation and you can pick up a new read for free, too. You can donate children’s and young adult books to The Book Bank, the donation arm of the Baltimore Reads program, too. Baltimore Reads distributes books to teachers, day care providers and health care workers free of charge. {Have a huge collection? They might just pick it up for you!} Want a more creative option? Set up your own Little Free Library. You could also save and stash the books for the Mt. Vernon Children’s Book swap that happens each fall.

Furniture

Have new or gently used furniture you’re looking to get rid of? Donate to Project PLASE,  which will accept your donation to furnish apartments for their temporary and permanent housing projects, which serve hundreds of Baltimore residents experiencing homelessness. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are another great feel-good-about-decluttering options. You can also try Craigslist or your local Freecycle Group, too.

Sports Gear

Have the kiddos outgrown their perfectly good lax stick, baseball glove, or tennis racquet? Donate sporting gear (in good condition!) to All Kids Should Play, a Baltimore non-profit started by a local teenager. They’ll see that your donation makes it to a child who wants to play.