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 beautiful pursuit; it helps other people while freeing you of stuff you don't need any longer.
Below we'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.
01 of 10
It's hard to give away beloved books--so don't. Keep them, display them and enjoy them. What about all of those books that you're not reading, though? Donate those. 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.
02 of 10
Again, you could recycle your old car by bringing it to a junkyard and be paid for its 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 nonprofit 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 recycle your old cell phone, and 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, school, or other worthy cause).
- American Cell Phone Drive
- Cell Phones for Soldiers
To recycle your non-cellular phone? Take it to dump day or donate it.
Before You Donate: Wipe your phone of any personal data (numbers, notes, etc.).
04 of 10
Knowing that your clothes are going to a worthy cause makes them much, much easier to art with on a daily basis. Keep a donation bag or box in your closet at all times and slowly put the items you haven't worn in a while. When it's full, call the Vietnam Veterans of America (or your charity of choice) to come to pick up a bag or two.
Places to Donate Clothes
- Goodwill Clothing & Donation Centers
- Vietnam Veterans of Americas
- Salvation Army International
Before You Donate: Clean your clothes!Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Some 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.
Places to Donate Computers
- Your local school system.
- Your local library.
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 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.
07 of 10
08 of 10
It's always a good idea 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 every day.
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
Old and un-used linens hanging around are a staple in most homes. The best place to donate used linens is animal shelters. Shelters use your linens for bed lining and to bathe animals. Another option is to donate them with your clothing donation.
Before You Donate: Wash the linens and call ahead to see if your local shelter is accepting donations.
10 of 10
This is a big one because many times we buy tools or a toolset 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 of someone roots around, i.e., small saws, nails, etc. Contain those items or label them and donate them separately.