7 Tips for Donating Your Stuff

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So you want to give back to your community. Good for you! Donating money is one way to go, and donating your time is a fabulous thing to do, too. But how about donating your stuff?

If you haven’t taken stock of your closet in awhile, maybe it’s time. Often we hang onto old sweaters, shoes, purses…long after we’ve stopped using or wearing them. So why not do something good with all those unused and forgotten goods?

Donating your possessions is an easy, helpful, and satisfying way to spend a couple of hours. But there are some things to keep in mind as you clear out your room. Here are some tips to make donating a success:

1: Get creative! Clothes are a GREAT place to start, but think outside the closet, too.  The sky’s the limit. Consider donating books, home decorations, kitchen tools, board games, sports equipment, school or art supplies, and the list goes on and on. If you used it, chances are someone else could use it, too.

2: Think broad. You may have heard of Goodwill or the Salvation Army, which are certainly options, but there are loads more as well. For example, how about Dress for Success, an organization that connects disadvantaged women with professional clothing for the workplace? Or Soles4Souls which gathers and donates gently used shoes to kids in need? This blog post has some great ideas for numerous places that accept donations.

3: Think global and local. There are great organizations around the country and even the world that accept donations, but what about the smaller groups in your own backyard? Maybe a school or Church or daycare could use some of your items?

4: Be aware of the protocol. The Goodwill has a nice list of “Do’s and Don’ts” when it comes to donations. Be sure you’re not donating anything that’s soiled, broken, or a safety hazard. Stick to items someone else could use and appreciate.

5: When it comes to electronics, do your research. Do you have a laptop you don’t use anymore? This isn’t something you can just drop off anywhere, and you shouldn’t throw it in the trash, either. Many cities have special centers where you can donate electronic equipment that they’ll repair and resell, or even just use the parts if it’s damaged or broken.  And even large organizations like Goodwill sometimes have specific computer centers where you can donate those too. For more information on this, go to the EPA’s website. There’s a particularly helpful section if you scroll down regarding large national retailers that have recycling programs for things like TVs and computers.

6: The same goes for cell phones. With the frequency of cell phone upgrades, the chances are you (or a family member) will have more than one hanging around the house. Again, check out the EPA site mentioned above, or do a quick internet search for “where to donate my used cell phone” and add your city name.

And finally…

7: Help someone else donate too! Why stop with your own closet? Maybe your Mom, Dad, sibling, or friend would be willing to donate as well. Help them out by offering to take their stuff along with your own. You may just double or triple your donations.

So, now that you know more about how and what to donate, it’s as easy as…

1. Going through your things, and deciding what you can live without,

2. Checking to see what’s appropriate to donate, based on the tips above, and,

3. Loading it up, and dropping it off!

Happy Donating!

Do you donate things when you’ve outgrown or replaced them? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever donated?

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