October 14, 2019 Posted in Moving Essentials
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Things to Know When You Need to Donate Unwanted Items Before Moving

The last thing you want when moving to a new home is to bring unnecessary things with you. The best and the noblest way to declutter is to donate unwanted items. This way, you can dispose of many things you don’t need anymore and save a lot of money on packing supplies and transport of your belongings.

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Give away stuff you no longer use

If you have a specific cause that is close to your heart, you can choose a charity according to a particular cause they are oriented to. Many organizations have stores where they sell your donations and divert the profits toward the goal they represent. Some of them redistribute the donated items to the marginalized groups locally or globally. If you don’t know what can you give away and where to do that, here is a useful guide.

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How to Donate Unwanted Items

You made a decision and you told your friends that you are moving. Now the first you should do is, go through your whole home, make a household inventory list, and determine what you don’t need anymore once you pick the best time of the year to move. Your closet, storage, pantry, rooms, attic, garage, etc. There is no point in learning packing tips and tricks for packing furniture, electronics, clothes, or other belongings and leaving them in storage if you are not going to use them anymore or you’re moving to another state alone. Also, having all that stuff will require a lot of packing materials for moving and would make unpacking after the move a tedious and long process/

There is a suitable sorting method for your clothes. It takes some time, but you can adopt it as a habit. When you hang your clothes, line all of your hangers in one direction. After you use them, turn the hangers in the opposite direction and, at the end of the year, you will easily see what you didn’t wear at all. Since this is a project that lasts for a year, what you can do right now is to choose the things that you don’t want, or that don’t fit you anymore and give them away. The best time to do that is when you are moving so make sure to look at some moving day tips that could help you with that.

You will surely have some pieces of furniture that can’t be assembled in your new home, especially if you’re moving into a smaller home. You can give them to one of the many charities that accept furniture donations. Most of them can pick it up for you. You just have to schedule the pick up in advance. It is very important to check the condition of the things you want to give away since not all the items will be accepted if they are damaged, or worn out. Things should generally be in usable condition.

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Create a packing zone to prepare better for relocation

Best Charities to Donate Clothes

Biggest and the most popular charities that will accept garment donations are:

Besides these big organizations, there are usually many local charities, shelters, and church organizations that accept clothing contributions. Most of the time, they distribute them to local marginalized groups and people in need.

Places and Charities That Accept Food Donations

Many big organizations will take food even if it is not their prime donation target item, but there are a few organizations that specialize in food donation and redistribution. Most of them are food banks:

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Most charities accept food donation

Where Can You Donate Cars

When you chose where to move you may realize that you don’t need a car, even if you’re relocating to the suburbs, that’s why you should give it away.  Shipping your car to another state can be costly and learning how car shipping works is pointless if you no longer plan to use it. However, there are still parts that can be used, and they can be sold for recycling. Instead of transporting your car across the country, you can find organizations that will sell your old vehicle and divert the profit towards various causes.

Where to Donate Clothes and Items for Babies and Children

Once your kids grow out of their clothes and shoes and stop using some of their toys, there is really not much use for them in your home anymore. Shipping things that can’t be worn or used anymore is one of the most common moving mistakes. You can give away all of that to charity. It has to be in good condition since it will be redistributed to children in need. These are some of the most popular organizations that accept such contributions:

  • Baby2Baby
  • Big Brother Big Sister Foundation>
  • American Red Cross
  • Goodwill
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You can even give away clothes and toys

Where to Donate Books

Let’s say you and your partner are moving in together and you both have a lot of books that you can not bring with you, or don’t need anymore, don’t throw them, give them away locally. You can always pack books and give them away to a local library, shelter, foster home, or More Than Words organization. Books that you read to your kids when they were younger can be someones’ good-night read once again.

This is the Way to Save Some Money

Besides the fact that you will save money on packing and transport when moving, you will also get a tax deduction at the end of the year. Keep the receipt from your contribution and get a tax return for the things you donated.

Salvation Army

The reason why we singled out this organization is that it is a big charity with many causes that will accept most of the things we mentioned above, most of all furniture. This is an organization that has a significant impact and an extensive network, so you’ll probably find one of their branches in your city. Salvation Army can organize a pick up if you schedule it in advance.

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Go online and check where Salvation Army is settled

Habitat for Humanity

This charity has a significant global impact. They provide decent housing in poor and disaster-hit areas around the world. They usually accept furniture donations, appliances, electronics and building materials.

Other Charities That Accept Furniture

  • Goodwill
  • The Arc
  • Local shelters

Charities That Will Pick up Your Donation

If you don’t have the time or the resources to take your belongings to a charity, you can schedule a pick up at your home. All the big charities (like Goodwill, Salvation Army, AMVET) have a way of picking up your donation. For some of them, you can even leave the box in front of your door, and they will pick it up when they make a run.

Things That You Can Donate

You can give away things like furniture, clothes, electronics like computers, glassware, appliances, bedding, mattresses, shoes, left-over building materials, books, children’s clothes and toys, cars, hygiene supplies, food, etc. It is best to call specific organizations and get more info about the things you want to give away to see if they are accepting them.

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You can give away almost anything

What the Donation Process Looks Like

Find all the items you want to give away from your household and check their condition. They should be in good usable/wearable condition, cleaned and washed. Check the charities in your area for the specific things you want to give away and choose the one that has a cause you support. Try to schedule a pick-up or delivery for your donations. Take the receipt so you can get a tax return at the end of the year.

Providing help to those in need has a dose of personal satisfaction on its own no matter if you are moving during holidays, in summer, or spring. Furthermore, besides doing something right and noble, you can save money and reduce costs when moving which is great if your moving budget isn’t big or you have not found a job before moving to another state.  Also, decluttering will help you get control over the situation and avoid getting anxiety about moving out, moving stress, or relocation depression. If you are hiring a professional moving company, you will pay for the weight and volume of your things and it wouldn’t be the cheapest way to move out of state unless you choose the cheapest time of the year to relocate. That is why you should get rid of the excess and allow someone else a chance for a better life, thanks to your generosity.


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