Yale launches Declutter, Destress, Donate campaign

February 25, 2019

On February 26th, the fourth annual Declutter Destress Donate campaign will launch at Yale. This year’s two-week campaign is a collaboration between the Yale Office of Sustainability, Being Well at Yale, Work-Life, and the Good Life Center. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to participate across the university. The event empowers individuals to make positive changes in their personal lives and to help others in the community by donating materials and diverting them from the waste stream.

Decluttering has been shown to have multiple mental health benefits including lowered stress levels and improved focus. Building off the nation-wide excitement about decluttering, participants are encouraged to clean and organize their residential college dorm rooms or offices spaces. Work-Life will offer two one-hour “Less Clutter = Less Stress” workshop sessions for those who are looking for a bit more guidance. Students also have the opportunity to attend a student-run workshop at the Good Life Center, hosted by two of the Center’s “Peer Wellness Champions.”

Melanie Grad-Freilich, a senior in Pierson College and one of the Peer Wellness Champions organizing the student-run workshop, noted that, “Decluttering has been just a part of trying to live a more intentional and meaningful life, where I only keep material items that I use and love in order to free up more time and energy for the experiences and relationships that really matter.”

This initiative is part of a suite of efforts across the university to provide resources to improve mental health and happiness. The Good Life Center at Silliman College is Yale’s new student wellness center, open to all college, graduate, and professional students. It offers relaxing spaces and a full programming schedule offering evidence-based skills workshops for well-being.

After decluttering and reaping the benefits of lowered stress, participants are encouraged to donate unwanted items through a partnership with Goodwill Industries of Southern Connecticut. Donation diverts unwanted items from the waste stream and facilitates reuse, which is more environmentally conscious and limits one’s effect on waste generation. Bins in residential colleges and one administrative building are accepting donations during the two week period.

Join the campaign February 26-March 8, 2019. Find more detailed information about decluttering workshops and specific donation bin locations on the Office of Sustainability website.

Yale is committed to building a more sustainable world. By doing what we do best—integrating science, the humanities, and our community—Yale creates, tests, and adopts innovative solutions to the environmental and social challenges we all face.