Before Spring Cleaning: Donate, Recycle, Trash

I usually skip spring cleaning altogether because it seems overwhelming and I don’t know where to begin. There’s usually an excessive amount of stuff that I need to clean up or clean out before I can even start the process of spring cleaning. It’s just amazing what we can accumulate in a year, isn’t it?

I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve been at home more or what, but I’ve noticed the excess amount of dust in my house and the excess amount of extra stuff we don’t need on a new level recently. Over the holidays, we had a mega purge, and I was able to research and find places that took donations in the Kansas City Metro area. For me, I had a lot of stuff, so curbside pickup was a must. I’m never going to be a minimalist; if you know my mom you know that I come by it honestly, but I do try to limit buying things we don’t need and cleaning and purging when I can to make the whole cleaning process a little more manageable.

If you plan to do a little spring cleaning and purging of all the extra things, set yourself up for success right from the get-go. Start with three large laundry baskets or boxes, one for donation, one for recycling, and one for trash. You’ll need to go through every room of your house (yep every one!) and make a decision about the items in that room. Once you’ve decluttered, the real cleaning can begin because cleaning a room full of excess stuff isn’t possible—You must get clear space before you can clean!


I created a quick list below of places in the metro area that accept donations of different items.

Kansas City Donation Pickup—With this service, you can schedule a pickup time on their website and place your donation at your curb. They’ll do the rest. All donations go to help children and families in the Kansas City area.

Pick Up My Donation—Two Kansas City area thrift stores to serve your donation pickup needs on the Missouri side. When your zip code falls within the pickup radius of either Red Racks Thrift Store or City Thrift, you’ll be able to select a pickup provider. Then, you’ll describe your donation, enter your contact info, select some potential pickup dates/times, and they’ll take it from there.

Habitat for Humanity Restores—Habitat ReStores are home improvement stores that accept small and large donations of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares, building materials, and more. Proceeds from the sales of these items help Habitat’s work in your community and around the world.

Mission Southside—Mission Southside accepts donations of all kinds at its office in Olathe. Non-perishable food items, clothing items for all ages, bed linens, toys, baby items, and even large appliances like a washer and dryer. Check out their website for more details about donations.

Johnson County Christmas Bureau—We help our Johnson County neighbors who live below 150% of the poverty level. The neighbors living in poverty are moms, children, the clerk at the store, and others we interact with every day. Use the link to find donation specifics.

Shawnee Community Services—Shawnee Community Services is a local food pantry and free clothing resource, serving the entire KC metro since 1982.

Lee’s Summit Social Services—Lee’s Summit Social Services was incorporated in March 1992 as a non-profit agency to benefit low-income families and individuals with basic needs such as food, utility and rent assistance, clothing, medical items, school supplies for children, and holiday needs.

Finally, check out your local Buy Nothing on Facebook. There are a ton of people in your community who will gladly pick up your items from your porch.


Sometimes items aren’t trash, but they’re not donation-worthy either. Another option would be to utilize your local recycling centers. Below, I’ve compiled a list of centers in the Kansas City area and the types of items they recycle.

Bridging the Gap—A community-based recycling program with three metro locations that accept a wide variety of donations from clothing to electronics this place takes it all. Check out their website for a full list and for drop-off hours.

Overland Park Kansas Recycling Center—Have too much to put in your at-home recycling bin? With the exception of electronics, the OP Recycling Center will take just about everything—including your old Christmas lights!

Liquid Tech KC—Liquid Tech KC is KC’s premier electronic recycler. They have two drop-off locations (Shawnee and River Market) and a large list of electronics they recycle for free.

Earth911 allows you to search the items you’d like to recycle as well as a zip code to help you find even more options for responsible disposal!


Once you’ve donated and recycled, then it’s time to call for bulk trash pickup. This is a great way to get rid of the broken furniture, larger household items, or anything in too bad of shape to donate or recycle. In Olathe where I live, they’ll send a special truck to pick up the bulk trash items. It’s a simple process of scheduling and paying a small fee. It’s about $20 for 15 minutes of loading time. We’ve used this service multiple times and I’ve never paid more than $20. I think other communities have a similar service just check out the city’s website to find more information.

Hopefully, this has motivated you to tackle some spring cleaning projects this year. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you put a plan in place, at least that’s what I tell myself so I can get through it!

Tell us, do you have any other donation or recycling places that you use?

Britni Jarvis
Hi all, I’m Britni! I’m a wife to the king of dad jokes and a mom to three daughters ages 10, 7 and 3. We live in northwest Olathe (basically Lenexa) where I am a part-time high school business/computer teacher and a part-time adjunct instructor at a local college. When I’m not teaching the youth of America, I can be found helping my husband run the two KC area shave ice stands we own (@jarvys_shaveice) and organizing our event business. In my free time, I enjoy running outside when it’s not above 85 or below 40 degrees, watching my husband grill out so I don’t have to cook, and being perpetually sarcastic. I love nights out with the hubs, traveling with my family, red wine, coffee, ice cream and flare pens. Follow my crazy on IG @britni_jarvis or on all other forms of social media @britnijarvis.