By Sam Wasson
Updated Oct 12, 2022
One of the most effective ways to get rid of unwanted items before moving is to donate them to various charities or shelters in your area. Donating is not only a cost-effective way to rid yourself of unwanted possessions but also helps those in need and gives back to the community. However, not all items are suitable for donation, and not all charities accept all types of donations. This quick guide will go over the best charities for your donations and what items are best suited for shelters.
Charities and shelters only have use for functioning, clean, undamaged items that contain all respective parts and pieces. If an item does not function properly or is otherwise damaged, the charity will not accept it. Ideally, the items you donate should be new or, at worse, gently used. For items like clothing, avoid donating pieces that are ripped, torn, stained, or filled with holes. For other items like household goods, tools, electronics, and furniture, ensure that all items still work, are not missing important pieces, and are devoid of damage. For single-use or perishable items, ensure that they’re unused and that the original packaging or package seals remain intact.
Some locations are more general, accepting just about anything, like Goodwill or The Salvation Army. However, some charities have more specific missions and only accept items that further those causes. For shelters, you should always check ahead of time and ask what items they need, and many shelters will also post wish lists on their websites.
Here we have listed each category of donatable items and some of the best corresponding charities that accept them. The need for these items can vary depending on location and season, so before heading down to make a drop-off or schedule a donation pickup, check your local branch’s website or shelter’s wish list.
Clothes are some of the most commonly sought-after items at accepting charities or homeless shelters. Clothing donations include most types of garments, including shirts, pants, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Socks, in particular, are sought after by homeless shelters during the winter months.
Another high-demand item for charities and shelters is shoes. From heavy work boots to children’s shoes, loafers, and sneakers, there is no shortage of need for footwear. So before throwing out your next pair, consider donating to one of these organizations.
Tools can last a long time but are difficult to pack and transport. So when you’re downsizing for your next move, you can save on time and cut down on cargo weight by donating some of your old tools.
Food is one of the most important things you can donate. According to the USDA, just over 10% of American households (13.8 million) experienced food insecurity in 2020. Thankfully, there is no shortage of charities and food banks willing to take your unwanted food and give it to those in need.
While not typically considered needed items, old electronics, like computers and cellphones, are sought after by in-need families, low-income communities, and schools. As a result of this growing need, many charities have sprung up in recent years to collect and distribute electronics.
Donating entertainment media is important for several reasons, such as providing families with accessible Christmas gifts and enriching the lives of children in need. Many organizations accept toys, books, video games, and other kinds of entertainment, but we find the following to be the most reputable.
Moving fitness equipment can be difficult. It’s heavy, bulky, delicate, and complex to assemble and disassemble. However, several charities can take these items off your hands. Before you head down to one of these locations, be sure to call ahead and schedule a drop-off time – this allows the charity the time to prepare the space to move and store the equipment.
A good piece of furniture can make a world of difference to a family in need. With rising inflation, large purchases like a new couch, dresser, or bookcase are out of the question for all too many families. By donating to one of the following charities, you can help an underprivileged household get the furniture it needs while reducing the amount of furniture you need to haul in your next move.
If you have an assortment of goods you need to get rid of, you might consider going to a thrift store or homeless shelter. These locations may not accept all items, but they will accept a wider variety than most other specialized charities.
Donating is a great way to get rid of unwanted items while giving back to the community. You can also get a valuable tax deduction for making sizable donations to accredited charities. While the charities in this article are all great, there are many more local organizations that you can donate to, and we recommend thoroughly researching them before donating.
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