Studies have shown that decluttering your home may actually improve sleeping patterns and reduce anxiety. And when we say declutter, we mean everthing; toxic friends? Dump them into the clutter box; cute sweater you promised yourself you’d wear but haven’t actually touched in two years? Into the clutter box.

Decluttering isn’t just about the benefits you reap though, it may just be a way to save the world. By opting to declutter and repurpose the items you don’t need anymore, someone else gets to benefit from them, and they don’t end up in landfills, continuously contributing to the staggering amount of pollution the world is already plagued with. If you’re not quite sure where to start, we’ve rounded up a list of initiatives that’ll help you declutter and start on the road to paying it forward.

Thrift for Good
Thrift shopping has now officially become a thing, and with good reason. With fast fashion being a significant contributor to our global carbon footprint, thrifting is one option to minimise the amount of discarded clothes that end up in landfills. Thrift for Good is an online charity thrift shop in Dubai that works in partnership with Gulf for Good – a charity that helps underprivileged children all over the world. Thrift for Good ethos’ is to help the environment by reducing waste and grow the trend of second-hand shopping, with 50 per cent of the proceeds going to charities. Thrift For Good is currently collecting shoes, bags, clothing, accessories and books every Monday for its Declutter for Good initiative.

To donate, you can fill in the form here.

Animals & Us
Globally, cases of animal neglect and abuse are widespread. While in some countries, the phenomena is significantly lower than others, the fact remains that it is an ongoing issue. There are, however, those good samaritans in every community that have dedicated their lives to helping our furry little unsung heroes. With a number of shelters springing up over the years, in this part of the world, these neglected animals may actually stand a chance. And one shelter that you can donate your unwanted towels and old blankets to, is UAE’s Animals & Us. Rescuing neglected animals since 2006, the shelter aims to instruct the public on the proper treatment of animals while fighting against neglect and abuse. So take a look around the house for any unwanted blankets and send them over to Animals & Us. As the old adage goes, one man’s trash is that cute golden retriever’s treasure or something like that.

To donate, visit the Animal & Us website, here

E-waste, which is basically our discarded electronic gadgets, is a growing cause for concern particularly in emerging and third world countries. According to a report published in 2014 by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), e-waste is both a health and an environmental hazard. Enter Enviroserve: the company that takes your electronics and recycles them, ensuring that nothing ends up harming you or your planet.

To donate your electronics, set up a pick-up date here.

Toys With Wings
Founded by a journalist when she’d seen the conditions in which children in refugee camps were living, Toys With Wings tries to give children back a small piece of their childhood through toys. The organisation has already managed to deliver over 320,000 toys (and counting) to disadvantaged kids all around the world.

To donate your old stuffed animal (you know you don’t need it, the memories are in your head not in the bear), visit Toys With Wings’ website here.

Photo: Getty Images