Is it the end of summer madness for you? Or maybe the kids started school already? Either way, it’s that time of year where we end summer vacation, get the kids in school gear, and head into Fall. Routines begin, beach bags get put away, we all know the drill. Let’s take a moment, though, to consider what we can donate before we pack them away, throw them away, or just leave them to fill up closet space.

Donate books your children have outgrown. Many teachers set up their classrooms early and are in need of extra books. Since kids’ reading levels change often, you probably have many your kids outgrew since last year. Consider giving to the teachers you know, reach out to preschools, or post them on your local Facebook page for free. There will be moms out there grateful for this, trust me.

Donate the summer clothing kids outgrew. We all know how fast kids grow, and face it, those shorts won’t fit next summer. Pack them in a bag now to donate. Offer them to friends, or post them for free on a local page or app. As a single mom myself, I can vouch for how much this is appreciated.

Donate winter coats now, before it gets cold. Outgrown gloves, unused scarves, snow boots, and barely-worn snowsuits will all find a happy new home (and a grateful parent). And you’ll find a happy empty spot in the closet or storage area. Cold weather comes fast in northern states. Offer coats to local moms or call the school to see if they have a donation closet.

Donate your time. Consider helping a teacher set up a classroom, or give a new mom friend a night out by babysitting. Offer to pick up school supplies for a busy working friend who may no have time to shop. PTA’s and PTO’s need parents once schools start too. Sports teams need coaches or assistants. We all know that the gift of time is a big one that helps many and pays back in the simple satisfaction of knowing we helped.

Donate old magazines and books to nursing homes. They can always use them. Not only does it give you space in your home, it feels good to know someone’s day will be brighter with a new stack to read.

Not only will donating help others, but it also keeps us out of the cycle of hoarding or just hanging on to things we don’t need. It’s time to get rid of all that clutter!