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Shocking personal revelation: I've been known to trawl for trash. No, I don't actually pick through garbage cans. But I do keep an eye on what people are leaving curbside ... and if I see something good I'll totally snag it. Basically, I hate when people dump useable items in the trash. What a waste!

Clearing out the clutter before holiday guests come to stay? Don't toss old and unwanted stuff. Donate it to a great cause instead! And while – yes -- you could dump it all at your local Goodwill, how about sharing the love by donating to a variety of charities?

I've found some terrific how-to links on the Web, including The Green Parent's overview of donation options. I also liked The Good Human's impressive suggestions and another array of ideas from MSNBC's Today.

Some favs: donate old eyeglasses to Lions Club International. Send your old cellphone to a women's shelter where low-income clients can use it to make free 911 calls. Oh, and don't forget other organizations that assist low-income women and girls climb the ladder: career clothing can be donated to Dress for Success, while various local groups distribute prom dresses to appreciative teens.

Happy de-cluttering!

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