Where to Donate Household Items: 12 Local Charities

Did you know that clutter not only clutters your living space but also drains your wallet? The AARP states that clutter takes up extra living space, incurs cleaning expenses, and requires monthly storage fees.

woman donating used items

However, the biggest cost of clutter is time. Time that we could spend cherishing moments with loved ones. This is why an increasing number of Americans are choosing to simplify their lives and eliminate clutter in their homes.

What can you do with all the accumulated items? A meaningful solution is to donate them to charitable organizations, offering aid to those in need.

12 Best Places to Donate Used Items

Now that you’ve gathered the items you’re planning to donate, it’s time to decide where you’re going to donate them. Listed below are some ideas to get you started.

1. Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is dedicated to uplifting individuals in need, whether it’s children, families, veterans, or the homeless. Your gently used furniture, clothing, and household items can make a significant difference through donation.

The Salvation Army transforms your contributions into funding for rehabilitation programs by selling them at thrift stores. You have the option to either visit a nearby location for drop-off or schedule a complimentary pick-up from the comfort of your home. Every contribution counts and goes toward improving the lives of those in need.

2. Goodwill

Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that extends its hand to those in need by accepting donations of gently used clothes, books, electronics, household goods, and furniture. These contributions are then carefully curated and sold, with the proceeds channeled towards providing job training and career advancement opportunities for those seeking to better their lives.

While visiting a local Goodwill donation center to personally donate your items is highly recommended, the organization also provides convenient donation bins emblazoned with the Goodwill logo, allowing for a seamless and effortless donation experience. Your generosity has the power to change lives and shape futures, so consider leaving your gently used items in a Goodwill bin today.

3. Local Shelters

One of the best places to donate used clothing, toys, and other household goods is to a nearby homeless shelter. These shelters provide housing, food, and clothing to individuals in need.

You can contact your local United Way for recommendations on nearby shelters. Just make sure you contact the organization first to find out how they prefer to receive donations.

4. The Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that provides care and resources for families with sick children. They provide them with a safe and supportive home away from home as they receive medical treatment.

Families often must travel far from their homes in search of the necessary care for their child. The Ronald McDonald House ensures that these families can remain close to their hospitalized child.

To sustain their vital work, the organization relies on the generosity of those who donate gently used toys and household essentials, providing comfort and joy to the children who utilize their facilities.

With your help, the Ronald McDonald House can continue to provide the love and support that these families so desperately need.

5. One Warm Coat

If you have old coats to donate, then consider donating these items to One Warm Coat. This organization donates used coats to those in need, so no one has to suffer without a coat during the winter months. You can check the organization’s website to find drop-off locations near you.


SAFE is a volunteer-run nonprofit that accepts stuffed animals, books, children’s clothes, and baby items. These donations are used to support children who have gone through traumatic experiences like a fire, illness, abuse, and homelessness.

With SAFE, none of the donated items are resold. They are always given to children in need.

7. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores

If you have old furniture, appliances, or surplus building materials you’d like to get rid of, consider donating it to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Habitat for Humanity has donation centers, but also provides free donation pickup once a week.

Habitat ReStores are independent reuse stores that are supported by your local Habitat for Humanity.

These stores sell home improvement items at a much lower cost than regular retail stores. The proceeds are used to build and renovate affordable housing for those in need.

8. Cellular Recycler

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) stands as a critical support system for survivors of domestic abuse, tirelessly working to provide the necessary help and resources.

With a simple act of generosity, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by domestic violence by donating your gently used electronics, such as cell phones, laptops, and video game systems. These gifts of technology will directly aid NCADV in their mission to empower and assist survivors on their journey towards healing and restoration.

9. Pick Up Please

Pick Up Please is a charity program run by the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). The program collects used clothing, furniture, and other household items for resale in their thrift stores. All proceeds from the sales of these items then go to helping veterans and their families in need.

Through their easy-to-use online calendar, you can arrange a pickup of your furniture donation within 24 hours. Pack the items and label the box “VVA Donation Pick up.” A driver will come to collect them, and you will receive a tax deduction receipt.


AMVETS (American Veterans) is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and supporting veterans, while also advocating for their rights and benefits.

The organization offers an extensive range of services, including VA benefits assistance, employment services, education programs, and health care.

AMVETS welcomes donations of various items, including clothing for all genders and ages, electronics, small appliances, kitchenware, lamps, curtains and drapes, books, bicycles, bedding, flat-screen TVs, computers, and exercise equipment that is less than 5 years old.

11. The Arc

The Arc assists individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities to become fully included in the community. They provide information, advocacy, and skills to aid them in this endeavor.

The Arc accepts donations of furniture, clothing, shoes, books, toys, kitchen items, electronics, decor, and cars. To see if your local chapter accepts free donation pickups, visit the Arc’s website.

12. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) is a nonprofit committed to empowering children to achieve their fullest potential through community and school-based mentoring programs. They welcome donations of various items, including clothing, books, jewelry, household items, small toys, DVDs, exercise equipment, small musical instruments, collectibles, and kitchenware.

Your contributions go towards generating funds for the organization’s mission. To make a donation, simply schedule a free pickup on their website. If leaving your donations at the door, kindly label each package with “BBBS” to ensure their drivers collect them.

Items You Can Donate

Here are some of the items you can donate:

  • baby items
  • breast pumps
  • books
  • clothes
  • fabric
  • furniture
  • eyeglasses
  • hearing aids
  • magazines
  • mattresses
  • medical equipment
  • old computers
  • old cell phones
  • stuffed animals
  • VHS tapes
  • walkers
  • wedding dresses
  • wheelchairs
  • toys
  • yarn

Benefits of Donating Used Items

Donating your gently used items to a charitable organization has many advantages. One benefit that is often overlooked is the tax deduction.

When you donate to a 501c(3) tax-exempt organization and receive a donation receipt, it may be possible to claim it as a deduction on your taxes. Consult an accountant if you need guidance.

Aside from tax benefits, your donation also helps the environment by reducing waste in landfills. With your items being reused, you play a small but meaningful role in making the world a cleaner and greener place.

However, the most impactful benefit of donating your items is the positive impact it has on your community. Used clothing, furniture, and household items can make a huge difference in the lives of those in need. By donating these items, you’re not only supporting individuals in your community, but also making a difference in the world around you.

Steps to Take Before Donating Your Things

Now that you’re on board with donating your used items, there are a few steps you need to take first. For one thing, you need to determine whether the stuff you want to get rid of are actually useful and worth donating in the first place.

If your belongings are broken, in poor condition, or don’t work anymore aren’t going to do anyone any good. But if you have items that are gently used and still in good condition, it’s likely someone else could benefit from them.

So take some time to sort through all of your items and put them in two separate piles; a “donate” pile and a “throwaway” pile.

If you’re uncertain whether something should be donated, consider whether you could still use that item. If the answer is no, then it’s probably not going to be helpful to anyone else either.

How to Schedule a Donation Pick Up

Donating your gently used furniture and items can be a hassle, but scheduling a free home pickup can make the process a lot easier. Here’s how:

  1. Locate a local organization that offers free furniture donation pickups: You can search online or call one of the companies that offer these services. Be sure to check that the organization is indeed offering free home pickup donations.
  2. Check the organization’s donation policy: Each non-profit organization that accepts furniture donations may have different requirements. Usually, items that are torn, stained, soiled or damaged won’t be accepted. To confirm your items’ eligibility, it’s best to contact the organization directly.
  3. Schedule an appointment: Once you’ve selected an organization, choose a day and time that works best for both you and the organization. Availability may be limited on weekends when most moves occur. Additionally, consider avoiding rainy or windy days, as these conditions may affect the safety of the moving process and the integrity of the items being donated.

For best results, schedule your appointment at least a couple weeks before your moving date. The earlier you schedule, the better.

Final Thoughts

Donating your pre-owned clothing, furniture, and other household items can have a significant impact on the lives of others in need. Rather than discarding them, consider donating to nearby charitable organizations, libraries, shelters for the homeless, or non-profit groups.

These organizations play a pivotal role in serving and uplifting the local community, supporting families, veterans, and homeless individuals. By making a donation, you not only clear up space in your home, but also contribute to the betterment of the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I donate used items near me?

Donating your gently used items can be done at various institutions such as charitable organizations, homeless shelters, schools, thrift stores, non-profit groups, and religious institutions. Your contributions can greatly benefit communities, families, women, and those in need.

Where can I donate furniture?

Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity will all graciously accept your donations. In addition, there are numerous online resources available, including Donation Town, Pick Up Please, and Furniture Bank, where you can easily donate your furniture.

Where is the best place to donate old clothes?

Goodwill and The Salvation Army are two of the most popular organizations for donating used clothing.

Other options for clothing donations include homeless shelters, thrift shops, religious institutions, and organizations serving veterans. And, if you prefer a more convenient option, you can give to online donation platforms like Clothes4Souls and Planet Aid.

Are my donations tax-deductible?

Yes, donations to select organizations can be eligible for tax deductions if you opt for itemized deductions on your tax return. To claim a tax benefit, you must obtain a receipt from the charitable organization you donated to.

Organizations classified as 501(c)(3) typically qualify for tax deductions. However, it’s advisable to consult a tax expert to confirm the tax-deductible status of your specific donation.

Jamie Johnson
Meet the author

Jamie Johnson is a freelance writer who has been featured in publications like InvestorPlace and GOBankingRates. She writes about various personal finance topics including student loans, credit cards, investing, building credit, and more.