Nothing makes clutter clearing easier than knowing your household items, clothes, and shoes are going to a worthy cause. That's why donating is such a wonderful pursuit; it helps other people while freeing you of stuff you don't need any longer.
Below I've highlighted some of the most popular things to donate, three places to donate them to, and tips on what to do before you donate.
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I have a hard timing parting with books, but I have to admit eventually, some of them are not going to be read again and are just eating up valuable storage space. Knowing they will go to a good "home" makes the task of donating books much easier for me.
Places to Donate Books:
- Operation Paperback donate books to troops overseas.
- Access Books collects books for relief shelters (think: victims of hurricanes, floods, etc.).
- Your local library will be glad to take your books.
Before you donate:... Make sure you've removed any notes or small pieces of paper that may have found their way in between pages.
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Again, you could simply recycle your old car by bringing it to a junk yard and be paid for it's price in scrap metal, but why do that when many charities will take your old car and put them to good use? Bonus: You get a tax write-off! Here's more on that from our non profit guide: Car Donation to Charity
Places to Donate Cars:
- America's Car Donation Center accepts donations in all 50 states, and allows you to choose the receiving charity.
- Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program--from the... popular radio show--will allow you to donate to your favorite radio station.
- Trade-in your car towards a new car.
Before you donate: Make sure to search every inch of the car for receipts or papers marked with any identifying information. Give your car a good cleaning, either by hand, or via a car wash.
03 of 10
You could simply recycle your old cell phone, and I find that most people put old cell phones in a box in the basement and forget about their existence until it's time to declutter. Put your cell phone back into use immediately.
Places to Donate Cell Phones:
- ReCellular allows you to donate your phone, or start a charity donation program (for your church, c=school, or other worthy cause).
- American Cell Phone Drive
- Cell Phones for Soldiers
Before you donate: Wipe your phone of any personal... data (numbers, notes, etc).
04 of 10
Knowing that my clothes are going to a worthy cause makes them much, much easier to art with on a daily basis. I keep a donation bag (a shopping bag from Nordstrom) in my closet at all times and I slowly put items in I haven't worn in a while. When it's full I call the Vietnam Veteran's of America to come pick up a bag or two. Not sure you're ready to donate? Here's a guide to when it's time to donate.Places to Donate Clothes:
Before you donate: Clean your clothes!Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
ComputersSome people need to buy computers every year (the "early adopters"), and some people like to rehab old computers. Either way, there a lot of old computer floating around out there that are still in useable condition.
- Your local school system.
- Your local library.
- 10 Places to Donate Computers from our women in business guide.
Before you donate: Wipe the hard drive, removing any identifying or personal information. Do not count on anyone else to do this for you... (i.e. the person taking your donation).
06 of 10
Another great household item to donate is furniture. Only in very, very rare cases would you recycle it, as most furniture will be useful to someone.
Places to donate furniture:
- Salvation Army will pick up your furniture. Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825)
- Operation Homefront lets you choose military families for furniture donation.
- Furniture Banks lets you donate your gently used furniture to persons in need, typically formerly homeless people trying to get back on their feet financially.
Before... you donate: Dust it, clean it and make sure there are no ragged, dangerous edges or nails sticking out that could potentially hurt someone.
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08 of 10
I strongly urge you to organize and declutter your kitchen twice a year to sweep for un-used or no-longer-used kitchen appliances. They take up valuable storage space that may be better used for appliances and foodstuffs you use everyday.
Our Housewares & Appliances Guide has a great guide to donating and recycle old appliances.
Before you donate:Clean and find all of the accouterments like cords and attachments.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
I bet you have a lot of these hanging around. I know I do. The best place to donate used linens are animal shelters. Shelters use your linens for bed lining and to bathe animals.
Before you donate: Obviously, wash the linens, and call ahead to see if your local shelter is accepting donations.
Another option is to donate them with your clothing donation.
10 of 10
This is a big one because many times we buy tools or a tool set for a specific project and then after we're done, the tools collect dust and take up valuable storage space. You can donate old tools to Habitat for Humanity or any other construction-focused local charity.
Before you donate: You don't have to do much except box your tools up. Just make sure you don't have anything dangerous floating around in a box in case some roots around, i.e. small saws, nails, etc. Contain those... items or label them and donate them separately.