As we start a new year, somehow we feel the need to clear out things that don’t fit, items no one uses, or just stuff we forgot we had. What’s a good way to go about this seemingly time-consuming project? An excellent rule of thumb to expedite this process is to set up three containers labeled “Consign”, “Donate”, and “Trash” near the space where you’re clearing out items. The containers can be boxes, bags, or plastic bins. The point is that as you pull things out, you touch them once, make a decision as to which category they fall into, and move on. No relooking through the bins– your initial decision to keep or toss is likely the best one.
Now, for the donated items, which organization do you give them to? The more well-known charities come to mind quickly; however, there are smaller charitable organizations that may not be as well-known who deserve consideration, including local non-profits.
Check out these suggestions and visit their websites for more details on how, when, and what items they accept.
- Salvation Army: According to their site, free pick-up may be offered.
- Vietnam Veterans of America: This organization assists all veterans, not just those of the Vietnam era. They offer scheduled pick-up and take clothing, toys, small appliances, and household items – you indicate an approximate number of bags. You can leave the donation on your porch, and they’ll leave a donation receipt if you’re not home.
- GreeNest: This local non-profit group works with agencies to help folks who are basically starting over and need to furnish a small apartment. Pick-up options are somewhat limited; check their website for details. Donations include accessories, furnishings, rugs, kitchen goods, linens, etc. – things that make a house a home.
- Habitat ReStore: Scheduled pick-ups may be possible depending on the amount of furniture being donated. For those remodeling, you can also schedule a Habitat team to remove cabinetry from kitchens or bathrooms to be donated and repurposed. This not only helps others, but can also save money on your remodeling project. ReStore takes household goods, dishes, toys, etc. Check their website for further details.
- The Shalom Project: Donations are accepted weekdays (except for Tuesday), and for large items, scheduled pick-ups may be an option. The Shalom Project accepts clothing, shoes, and accessories, as well as household goods and supplies. The food pantry accepts non-perishable food items and paper goods. Visit their website to learn more, including volunteer opportunities.
These are only a few suggestions for an organization that would gladly take donated items. You may also check Family Services, local churches, service organizations, and civic organizations for donation options.