Spring cleaning tips during COVID-19

News article

If spending more time at home makes you want to clean out your closet, your kitchen, or your whole home, we’re here to help. Portland offers terrific options to donate and recycle items. However, due to health and safety measures, some donation and disposal options are more limited than usual.

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chairs, lamps, paint, soccer ball, picnic table, blender and computer

Sort your stuff 

  1. Take stock of what you no longer need or want – from small appliances, kitchen utensils, clothes, to old electronics – and separate usable stuff from things that are truly trash.  

  1. Look through the trash pile and pull out anything that could be recycled (in your home bin or at a drop-off location) and anything that cannot go in the trash (hazardous wastepaintelectronics).  

  1. Use the guide below to find options for donating items and safely disposing of electronics and hazardous waste. If you’re not sure if something is hazardous or if there’s a donation option, ask Metro.  

Get rid of your stuff

Note: Due to evolving health guidelines, please check with Metro’s Recycling Information Center for the most up-to-date information. It’s also possible that you may need to hold onto items until donation or disposal options are available again.  

Bulky garbage 

Call your garbage company to find out when they can pick up the item(s) and how much it will cost before putting any large items out on the curb . If your garbage company has temporarily stopped picking up large items due to concerns about their drivers' safety, call 503-234-3000 to see if other options exist.  

Hazardous waste 

Hazardous items do not belong in your recycling or garbage bins. Common hazardous materials must be taken to one of Metro’s household hazardous waste facilities, which are open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

Donate to local reuse organizations 

Many of your unwanted usable items are of value to area nonprofits that provide them to those in need. Before dropping items off for donation, please look on the organization's website to confirm their days and hours of operation and the types of items being accepted for donation.

Community Warehouse in Portland is now accepting drop-off donation of the following items between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on weekdays only: 

  • kitchen tables and chairs 
  • dishware (plates, bowls, cups, and silverware - no china or metal-rimmed dishware) 
  • cookware (pots, pans, cooking utensils) 
  • small appliances (microwaves, toasters, coffee makers) 
  • sofas (no sleeper sofas, sectionals, or recliners) 
  • armchairs 

Habitat ReStore in Portland and Beaverton are now accepting donations, with CDC-recommended safety protocols in place. They are open between 10 a.m – 6 p.m., Thursday through Monday only, and accept a variety of new and reclaimed building materials, furniture, and appliances in good working condition.  

The ReBuilding Center has limited hours for donating building materials; between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday only. 

Free Geek provides refurbished laptops and technology support to students and others. They need donations from the community and are beginning to offer donation drop-off hours and may have donation drive-thru events in the future.  

Share with neighbors

Rooster is a community of neighbors who share resources at no cost. It’s about borrowing things you need, sharing what you don’t need, and making rewarding connections in your community.  

Members of neighborhood Buy Nothing groups post anything they’d like to give away, lend or share for free. It is focused on items to borrow or acquire from neighbors. That includes things you may be finding as you declutter and clean up for spring.

Broken items? Don’t despair – repair

There are great resources to help you repair things that need some extra love – from mending a hole in your favorite shirt to fixing that broken gadget so you don’t have to buy a new one. Look for local repair shops on Portland Repair Finder. Or go to iFixit to find online tutorial for fixing broken phones, appliances, power tools, vehicles, clothes, and more. 

Find more ideas for donating, sharing and repairing at ResourcefulPDX