Are you clearing out your closet for spring or getting rid of unwanted items before moving or storing them in a self storage unit? If so, you can help others by donating the items you no longer want or need.
Where to Donate
If you have general items to donate, your best option may be to donate to a charity that accepts a wide variety of items. Organizations such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or a local charity of your choice are happy to take your general donations. They resell your donated items and help others by funding various programs in the community.
There are many other organizations that accept specialty items to meet specific needs. It’s nice to know that your best pieces are going where they will be most appreciated. It’s easier to let go of items you don’t need when you know they will have a second life helping someone in need.
Dress for Success
What they do: Dress for Success empowers women and helps them find independence. They provide professional attire and career assistance.
What they take: Suits and other professional clothing. To find a nearby affiliate that accepts donations go here:
Room to Grow
What they do: Room to Grow relies on the generosity of the community for donations of baby items to help families in poverty.
What they take: Baby clothes, books, toys and room accessories that are clean and in excellent condition. You can read the full list of accepted donations on their website.
Soles 4 Souls
What they do: Soles4Souls creates sustainable jobs and distributes shoes and clothing around the world.
What they take: Gently worn shoes. Go to Shoes for Soles to learn how to donate your no longer needed shoes.
Do’s and Don’ts When Donating to Charity
Find the Best Charity for Your Donations
If you have items of higher value, such as expensive clothing, barely used or new baby items, pet supplies or electronics, you may want to take the time to seek out a charity that can use them the most. As you declutter or pack, sort items not bound for general donation into separate boxes to make your decision process easier.
Don’t Forget to Document Your Donation for Tax Purposes
Donating is an act of the heart. However, you may also qualify for a tax deduction on your donated items. In order to claim a deduction, make a list of the items what they are worth based on their condition. Ask a tax specialist what documentation you need when donating items of high value. Make sure you get a donation receipt from the charity to keep as proof of the donation. Keep all donation receipts and reference them when doing your taxes the following year.
Be Mindful When Donating to the Charity
Charities are happy to take your donations, but please be thoughtful about how you drop off items. Never drop off trash or items that are beyond use. Most charities rely on volunteer labor or pay employees to sort items. Be mindful of the time and cost involved on their end. Sort items as well as possible, and make sure you are not dropping off items they do not accept and will just have to add to throw away. If you elect to have your donations picked up by a charity, be sure you are ready for them when they arrive to make the process as easy as possible.