Just because you wouldn’t call yourself hoarder, it doesn’t mean you aren’t holding onto stuff you don’t need anymore.
Whether it’s clothes you haven’t worn since high school, DVDs you never took out of their plastic wrapping, or Razor flip phones from 2002 taking up space in your nightstand, we’re pretty sure there’s something in your house you don’t use anymore.
But before you go and toss your belongings into the recycling bin (because we’re finished with trash cans, right?), consider helping out someone in need instead.
There are dozens of charities where you can donate clothes, books, furniture, toys, cell phones, TVs, and much more. Some of these charities even offer at home pickup, so you don’t have to get off your new couch to donate your old one.
That’s why we put together this list of charities that accept used goods.
We included local options for those of you looking to help out your community and internet options for those of you looking for an easy way to donate.
Ready, set, get donating!
- Where to donate books
- Where to donate clothes
- Where to donate furniture
- Where to donate baby items and toys
- Where to donate electronics
Where to donate books
Getting rid of books is hard.
As soon as you decide to declutter your bookshelf, that book you read once twelve years ago becomes the most important book in the world.
But if you’re being honest with yourself, chances are that book is going to collect more dust than rereads.
Instead of letting your old books sit on the shelf, save space and feel good about doing your part by donating some of your collection.
Donate Your Books Locally
Libraries and schools usually accept donations for all types of books.
If they receive a book they have already, they’ll sell them in a fundraiser and purchase more books or fund literacy programs. So even if your local library already has twelve copies of Pride & Prejudice, they can use yours to drum up some additional funding.
Google your local school or library to learn about their donation policy.
Prisons really, really need used books. And not just legal reference books.
Books provide prisoners with a mental escape from their current situation, necessary learning materials, and a critical connection to the outside world.
Check out BookRiot for a list of organizations that accept book donations for prisons.
Donate Your Books Online
1) Books for Soldiers
Books for Soldiers doesn’t just accept your old Stephen King novels. With Books for Soldiers, you can create a care package of used books for soldiers deployed overseas.
Just sign up as a volunteer on their website - a security requirement - and browse through the soldiers’ book requests. Some soldiers request specific books or books from a particular genre, but most are happy to accept whatever you can send.
You can also include CDs or DVDs with your care package, so if you want to burn a playlist of songs that the soldiers need to listen to while reading your extra copy of TFIOS, you can.
2) Better World Books
Better World Books doesn’t donate books to any specific group of people but instead sells donated books through several different online marketplaces.
Visit their website to find out how you can schedule an at-home pickup of your used books.
Where to donate clothes
After books, clothes are probably what’s taking up the most space in your garage, closet, or chair in the corner of your bedroom.
And if you’re anything like us, you’re always complaining about closet space.
Now is your opportunity to clear out cobwebs and donate those knee-high red leather boots you bought for a Ginger Spice costume and never wore again.
Donate Your Clothes Locally
1) Women’s Shelters
Women’s shelters protect women who are running away from bad or even dangerous situations at home.
More often than not, women are fleeing to these shelters in a hurry with very little - usually just the clothes on their back. Many of them also bring small children.
Once women and children land in a shelter, the shelter tries to find them new places to live as soon as possible. That’s why shelters have such a high turnover rate and a constant need for new clothing donations.
Don’t know of any women’s shelters in your area? Google women shelters in your area or look up Facebook community groups.
Some shelters don’t give their location information online for safety reasons, so they may even be willing to come to pick up your donation at your home to maintain their anonymity.
2) Disaster Relief Organizations
According to FEMA, most people don’t evacuate from their homes in disaster situations.
Because evacuating is expensive.
For a family of four with no friends or family nearby, a week-long evacuation - including hotels, food, and fuel - can cost over $2,000.
But regardless of whether or not a family stays or goes, families whose homes have been struck by weather-related disasters often lose most or all of their possessions.
Organizations like the Red Cross provide clothing and supplies to families who have lost everything. Visit their website to find a Red Cross drop off site near you.
Donate Your Clothes Online
1) Planet Aid
Planet Aid’s mission is to help charities while creating a more sustainable environment at the same time. When they receive clothes that aren’t viable for reuse, they recycle the textiles so that they can be used in making new clothes.
That’s a win/win in our book.
Planet Aid has drop-off bins all across the country, and accept clothing for men, women, and children.
You can find a Planet Aid bin near you here.
2) Dress for Success
Women who are unemployed or come from low-income environments don’t often have the money to buy professional clothing for job interviews that could help them get out of their economic situation.
This charity doesn’t pick up donations, but they do have drop-off locations in urban areas that you can find on the Dress for Success website.
Where to donate furniture
You finally replaced your IKEA coffee table from your first apartment, and no one is buying it on Craigslist, so now it’s slated for a future sitting in your garage collecting dust.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can donate your furniture to your nephew in college who currently uses the floor as a coaster, or you can gift it to an organization that will get it to a family or individual in need.
Trust me, your garage doesn’t want that HEMNES any more than you do.
Donate Your Furniture Locally
If you want to donate your old table and chairs and stimulate your local economy at the same time, Goodwill is the place to go.
The revenue from furniture donation pickups and drop-offs fund employment training opportunities and support job placement services for people in communities all over the country.
Check out the Goodwill Locator to find a drop-off site near you.
2) The National Furniture Bank Association of North America
Not sure where to donate your furniture? FBANA has got your back.
FBANA will help you find a charity or organization near you that accepts furniture donations. You can choose the size of the organization (national or local) if you want to support a smaller organization in your local community.
The group will even let you search by organizations that pickup and those that don’t.
Donate Your Furniture Online
1) Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity ReStores resell donated furniture, appliances, building materials, and household goods. They use the proceeds to help build comfortable, affordable homes for families in need across the U.S.
With ReStore, you really can do everything online. Lookup your nearest store, submit the items that you’d like to donate and schedule your furniture donation pickup.
If you want to schedule a pickup before moving, try and schedule it 2 - 3 weeks ahead of time, otherwise ReStore won’t be able to guarantee pickup availability.
2) Donation Town
Similar to FBANA, Donation Town helps you find charities that will do furniture pickups based on your zip code. They specialize specifically in charities and organizations that offer pick up services.
You can schedule your pickup directly on the Donation Town website.
Where to Donate Baby Items and Toys
Acording to the National Center on Family Homelessness, 1 out of 50 American children experiences homelessness every year.
Even more experience hunger and lack access to clothing and education supplies.
New toys? Unlikely.
If you’ve finished having children and have a surplus of baby supplies in your basement that you’re never going to use, consider donating them.
There are thousands of children in need - and parents - who will thank you for it.
Donate Your Baby Items and Toys Locally
1) Local Shelters and Children’s Centers
If there is a children’s charity or shelter in your area, chances are they need toys, clothes, and baby supplies. Kids are kids! And all children who stay at shelters will feel more at home with toys or books.
Make sure you call ahead before driving up to your nearest shelter, as some shelters only accept specific items.
Visit the Homeless Shelter Directory to find a shelter in your area.
2) Ronald McDonald House
Families with sick children regularly take advantage of the services offered by The Ronald McDonald House.
The House provides lodging and facilities for families whose children are currently receiving care in nearby hospitals, making it possible for families who live far away from a hospital to be by their little ones in their time of need without breaking the bank.
Because they offer facilities for entire families, The Ronald McDonald House is always in need of toys, baby supplies, and other goods for siblings who are staying at the house.
You can locate your local Ronald McDonald House chapter here.
Donate Your Baby Items and Toys Online
1) Toys for Tots
Most people think that Toys for Tots only accepts new, unwrapped toys, but the organization also takes in used toys in great shape.
If you have a box of toys to donate, visit the Toys for Tots website. You can either schedule a pickup or find a drop-off location nearby.
Want to give to the organization but don’t have any new or used toys? Toys for Tots also accepts cash donations and is always looking for warehouse volunteers.
Volunteering at Toys for Tots warehouse with your little ones is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family and give back!
2) Pickup Please
Moving soon and need to schedule a donation pickup ASAP? Call Pickup Please.
Run by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Pickup Please can pick up your unwanted toys and baby supplies within 24 hours.
All you need to do is schedule a pickup online and leave a labeled box of goods on your doorstep. A Pickup Please driver will show up at your house the next day.
Where to donate electronics
You might think that your old flip phone is irrelevant, but it might not be to a person in need.
Electronics - even gently used resale electronics - are expensive. Many underserved communities are priced out of the electronics market altogether, putting children and adults at a disadvantage at school and in the job market.
So round up those old digital cameras, ancient MacBooks, and box TVs, and find a place to donate them.
They could make all the difference.
Donate Your Electronics Locally
Call2Recycle is one of the biggest electronics donation charities in the U.S.
They accept old electronics, rechargeable batteries, or unused batteries and redistribute them to communities in need across the country.
To find a drop off location, enter your ZIP code on the Call2Recycle website.
2) The Make-A-Wish Foundation
Make-A-Wish accepts used or new computers, gaming consoles, MP3 players, and cellphones. The donated electronics are then given to children receiving care in hospitals to make their hospital stay a bit more comfortable.
With Make-A-Wish, you can ship your items or schedule a drop-off at a local chapter.
Donate Your Electronics Online
1) The World Computer Exchange
The World Computer Exchange is dedicated to closing the technology gap between developing and advanced nations, and promoting the proper use, reuse, and recycling of old electronics.
They give computers, cellphones, and other small gadgets to impoverished communities all over the globe.
You can either drop-off or mail your items to the World Computer Exchange. To find a drop-off location near you, visit their website.
AmericanCellPhoneDrive collects used cell phones - any brand - and refurbishes or resells them. All of the proceeds go directly to a variety of good cases.
Phones that aren’t resold are responsibly recycled.
To get started on your decluttering and donating journey, check out Organizing Tips for Every Room in Your Home.
Know of a great donation organization that we didn’t mention? Tell us about it in the comments!