Whisking away winter in San Francisco with a thorough home cleaning is a time-honored tradition, so why nix an idea that works? Spring cleaning is, after all, a wonderful way to ferret out those lingering needles from the Christmas tree and the dust bunnies that have been mating under your bed. This year, though, try getting clean by thinking green: reduce, reuse, and recycle–all of which allow for a sparkling house and a smidgen of moral superiority as well. San Francisco is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the country, making spring cleaning in an environmentally-friendly way a snap.
The Arc of San Francisco
1500 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Mon to Fri — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Say hello to spring by improving the community while you declutter your house. Two worthy accomplishments can be achieved in one fell swoop by donating your unwanted items to The Arc. This nonprofit agency serves adults with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc accepts furniture, household items, clothing and more, and will even send a truck to your house for pick up. To drop off your items, go to ThriftTown at 2101 Mission Street at 17th and be sure to specify that the contribution is for The Arc of San Francisco.
1414 Van Ness
San Francisco, CA 94109
Hours: Mon to Fri — 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Sat — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun — noon to 6 p.m.
We know your dirty little secret: You can’t bear to give away a treasure that was once indispensable to your lifestyle, even though now it contributes nothing but layers of dust. Yes, we mean that unused china set, or maybe that ’50s-style coffee table you bought during your retro phase. This gem of a consignment store will sell your unused items–furniture, artwork, china, and the like–and split the proceeds. Don’t think of it as deserting your past. Think of it as providing a new life to once-beloved items (and potentially giving yourself a new 3D-HDTV.)
Zen Home Cleaning
582 Market St – Ste 301
San Francisco, CA 94104
You can poach your neighbor’s maid, scour the ads for a cleaning service or take one look at the subhead on Zen Home Cleaning’s website: Luxury Green Home Therapy Services. That alone is a tipoff that this isn’t a weary washerwoman with a bucket of bleach. If you want to green your home, consider a service that uses 100 percent organics such as Zen, which describes its services as green cleaning, professional organizing, green living consultations, and eco-painting.
SF Approved List
If expending elbow grease to turn a bathtub into a shining basin of beauty provides you with “look at me” pride, use cleansers that are kind to the earth. The City of San Francisco created this web resource of products approved by the City as “green.” Designed for homes and businesses, it recommends everything from eco-friendly keyboard cleaners to home-made products concocted in your kitchen. The site gives criteria for a product to be considered green, provides suggested brands, and offers links to other sites, all to give you a clean house and a cleaner world.
30 Las Colinas Lane (HQ)
San Jose, CA 95119
3100 Alfred Street (donation drop off)
Santa Clara, CA 95054
1(866) 636-6283 (for pickup)
Office Hours: Mon to Fri — 9 .m. to 5 p.m.
If you work in San Francisco, but live in the south Bay or vice versa, consider making HOPE Services the beneficiary of your spring clean up by donating gently used clothes, appliances and other household items. This nonprofit provides services to–and work opportunities for–over 2,500 individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism and down syndrome. HOPE offers a free home pickup service in several cities and has drop off sites from Salinas to Daly City, including many Savers locations.
Related: When the clean up is complete, treat your home to some flowers from one of the Bay Area’s Best Florists.
Marketing communications professional Amy Rabinovitz is a Bay Area writer who has lived in Marin County, San Francisco and now resides in Silicon Valley where, for 15 years, she has been a digital and social media marketer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.