Where to Donate Unwanted Items Before You Move

May 21, 2018 / Posted in Before the Move
Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.

When the time comes to move and pack your belongings into boxes, you may suddenly realize there is a small hoarder inside of you. Luckily, you can always donate unwanted items that you have piled up over the years and help the less fortunate, as well as make some money on the side.

neatly put boxes in the middle of the room
By donating things you have not used in a while, you can help many people who are struggling to make ends meet

According to a report, an average US household has around 300,000 items, while American children have almost half of all toys and children’s books on the planet. Although once wanted and loved, some belongings lose their purpose and value over time, so it’s essential to know when to say goodbye to them. Stay with us to find out which charity organizations accept what kind of goods as donations, from clothes to furniture and eyewear. Besides, we’ll explain why donating is not just a noble act, but a cost-saving hack, as well.


Charity Organizations That Offer to Pick Up Your Stuff

When you are in the middle of moving, you are trying to juggle between your old and new home. Between skipping boxes and making sure you don’t forget to pack something, knowing what not to pack is essential. Because, to be honest, we do not really need all the stuff we have been piling and hoarding for years in our home. But did you know that just like you can hire someone to help you with moving and packing, some organizations would gladly stop by to collect your unwanted stuff?

Numerous charities do this kind of work, but here we focused on the most reputable ones that are well-known and transparent. You can always check in your community if there are any local organizations with the same purpose and mission.

Goodwill Offers to Pick Up Items in Working Condition

When it comes to reputation and transparency, there are not many charity establishments that can compete with Goodwill. It has been operating for more than 100 years and has more than 2,800 stores in the US and Canada. The money they raise goes to job training and similar educational activities.

  • What Goodwill accepts: broad list of household things, new or well-maintained clothes, shoes, toys, books, etc.
  • How to schedule a pick up: contact your local outfit to check if they offer pick-ups because not all of them do.
  • Goodwill offers to help: youth, elderly, people with disabilities, and many more who are looking for a job through training programs and various classes.
  • Where to find more detailed info: org

AMVETS – Serving Veterans Since 1944

This is a national service foundation that operates in 22 US states. They have been helping America’s war veterans since 1944.

  • What AMVETS accepts: clothes, bedding, smaller furniture, appliances, etc.
  • How to schedule a pick up: check their website to see if AMVETS is present in your state and call them to set the date.
  • AMVETS offers to help: mainly honorably discharged US war veterans, as well as men and women in active duty.

Habitat for Humanity Features Locations in All 50 US States

This organization has been around for more than 40 years, with a focus on helping people find decent and affordable housing at a low cost. It receives funding for its projects through thrift shops known as Habitat ReStores.

  • What Habitat for Humanity accepts: mainly household goods, furniture, and appliances.
  • How to schedule a pick up: you can check on their website if they have stores nearby and contact them to see if they offer this service.
  • Habitat for Humanity helps: families across the world who are in need of housing.
couple loading the truck
Some organizations will save you time by coming to your doorstep to collect the stuff you want to give away.

You Can Donate Bulky Furniture to the Salvation Army

How to move out of a state on a budget is a burning question among many frequent movers. If you do not want to pay to keep your furniture in some storage, and you are wondering how to save money on moving costs, give away these bulky objects to organizations like the Salvation Army. Founded in 1865, this international organization offers pick up services and helps people in need. It currently operates in over 7,000 US cities and towns. In certain states, you can schedule the pick up online, while in others, you have to call them directly, but you can find all the information on their website.

Bear in mind that the Salvation Army does not accept particle board furniture, as well as some metal desks, baby car seats, and high chairs. All donations are being sold in their store, with the main goal of helping people that are recovering from addictions get back on their feet and continue with their everyday life.

How to Save Money on Taxes by Donating

Make sure to save all the donation receipts you receive. After taking your stuff without profit, charities will give you a tax deduction receipt for your donation. It will lower your tax bills and help you save a few bucks. You can check which charities are eligible by using Tax Exempt Organization Search. To determine the fair market value of your donations, you could use a guide on how to estimate the value of household goods.

Besides, getting rid of the stuff you don’t need through donations will lower the price of your moving services by reducing the amount of stuff that have to be shipped across the country,

couple carrying a couch
If you do not want to ship your bulky objects, you can always make a donation.

Places Where You Can Donate Unwanted Items Like Eyewear

Glasses and eyewear are the things we do not usually think of when making donations, but since glasses are always in demand, you can give them away, too. Just don’t forget to clean them and bring their case.

Although you may assume that everyone would accept books, that is not completely true. If you have a lot of books in your home, perhaps it is better to give them to your friends, local libraries, or try selling them online.

Is it Better to Giveaway Clothing-Related Stuff During December?

During December and winter months, in general, the need for warm clothing is certainly higher than during other periods of the year. However, you cannot plan your move according to that, and some people especially avoid moving during winter. But if you have plans for moving in spring, you can slowly start cleaning out your closet during the cold winter months. The easiest way to pack for a move is to downsize and relocate only the belongings you can’t do without.

person folding clothes on the bed
Make some room in your closet by donating clothes you no longer wear.

Things That Some Donation Sites May Not Accept

Every organization has its own policy regarding the donations they accept. Make sure to check that information on their websites before counting on them to take those stuff away. Because you might have to bring it to your new home or throw it away, after all.

Items you should not donate:

  • Stained or ripped clothing
  • Appliances that need to be repaired
  • Unsafe or damaged objects
  • Household chemicals
  • Ammunitions and weapon
  • Textbooks
  • Food
  • Unframed mirrors
person working on a laptop
Do not forget to check which things organizations accept.

The Bottom Line

According to a federal government estimate, roughly a quarter of Americans use their two-car garages for storing things other than vehicles. We do live in a day and age when the ability to buy more and more stuff is perceived as a sign of prosperity and a quick way to happiness. And we do attach a particular emotional or practical meaning to the stuff we own. But unlike the objects that hold certain sentimental value, a pair of old, rarely used jeans or cowboy boots just tend to collect dust in some dark corner of our homes.

In case it seems too much for you or you do not know how to handle last-minute moving with so many things, you can contact your local charities and get all the information you need about donating unwanted items. It’s not just a noble thing to do; it’s practical and economical as well.

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