Moving presents a great opportunity to go through all of your belongings and reduce and reorganize what you own ready for a fresh start in your new home. Rather than tossing all your unwanted items, consider donating anything in good usable condition to charity instead. It can be a convenient way to get moving help by having a large number of items removed from your property at once.
Here, we look at three well-known charities that not only accept a wide range of items you may have lying around, but that will come to your home and pick up any donations you wish to make. That’s one more thing off your to-do list!
Goodwill is one of the most recognized names in the charity space, and having over 3,000 retail locations around the United States probably has something to do with that. Goodwill receives tons upon tons of donations every month and sells them at heavy discounts in the charity's stores.
- TVs, DVD players, VCRs
- Games consoles and games
- Computers and laptops
- Cell phones and tablets
- Power and hand tools
- Antiques, memorabilia, and other giftware
- Pans, utensils, crockery, cutlery, and other kitchenware
- Small kitchen appliances
- Children’s toys, games, and puzzles
- Books, magazines, and periodicals
- Tapes, CDs, and records
- Clothing, boots, shoes, and outerwear
- Sports equipment
How your donation helps: Goodwill’s mission is to "enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families" through a number of community programs that are focused on creating opportunity, removing barriers to work, and helping people through training and education.
How to schedule a Goodwill pickup: Goodwill stores are managed by separate organizations throughout the country, so the availability of home pickup depends on the individual store and the capacity of its staff to make collections. To find out whether your local Goodwill store does home pickups, locate a store here and then call them.
2. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is an internationally recognized organization with millions of volunteers around the world helping with everything from individual offender rehabilitation to large-scale disasters and humanitarian crises. To raise money for these efforts, the Salvation Army sells the donated items through its thousands of retail locations worldwide. There are nearly 8,000 locations in the United States alone!
- Clothing, accessories, boots, and shoes
- Curtains, fabrics, and other linens
- Kitchen items
- Antiques and collectibles
- Books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs
- Toys, puzzles, and games
Some Salvation Army locations will also accept small furniture items, small appliances, and working electrical items.
How your donation helps: The mission of the Salvation Army is to "meet human needs … without discrimination." It achieves that mission through extensive local, national, and international charity programming. The charity's core activities center on addiction dependency, emergency response, family tracing, health, international development, and social work.
How to schedule a Salvation Army pickup: To see whether pickup is available in your location, visit the Salvation Army donation pick up page and enter your zip code. Helpfully, the Salvation Army will even collect items from you when you are not home, provided you leave them in an accessible place and mark them with "Salvation Army" or "SA" so the charity's staff know which items you intend to donate.
3. Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity has been around since the 1970s and is an influential organization in promoting access to adequate housing in more than 70 countries. Its work focuses on helping people build and furnish their homes so they have a safe and comfortable place to live. Habitat for Humanity raises money through its 875 ReStores across the United States.
- Large and small furniture items
- Doors, windows, beams, and other house building items
- Building materials
- Plumbing and electrical supplies
- Power and hand tools
How your donation helps: The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to bring people together to "build homes, communities, and hope." The organization envisions a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Its work focuses on tackling housing as a key part of sustainable development.
How to schedule a Habitat for Humanity pickup: To schedule a donation pickup with Habitat for Humanity, you can either call your local store directly to see if it offers donation pickups, or you can enter your zip code to see a list of the closest stores that offer pick up.
Other Charities That Offer Free Donation Pick Up
If for whatever reason none of the above charities are suitable, or if you would like to make more of a local impact, you do have other options.
Many churches will offer to collect unwanted items for free if you donate them to their charity programs or church sales. Likewise, schools often have charity sales and other events where they receive donations to be sold to raise money for school or community activities. Keep an eye out on community notice boards and social media groups to see when these events are happening, or contact the establishments individually.
For singular or a small number of items, you could also offer items to people for free through an online marketplace (like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace) and ask for the items to be collected.
Best Practices for Working With Charities That Offer Free Donation Pick Up
The convenience of having your unwanted items picked up is a major draw to working with these charities, but you should know that their helpfulness in this respect only goes so far. Here’s what you need to know about working with charities that offer free donation pickup:
- Not everything is accepted. Many charities won’t pick up large items like couches, bed frames, closets, and dining tables because of space concerns. Similarly, many will not accept items like mirrors and glass tables that might break in transit and pose a risk to their staff and volunteers. Some items are near universally rejected by stores, including paints and chemicals, weapons (guns, knives, swords), mattresses, carpets, building materials, and exercise equipment.
- Collection can only be from outside the house. Most charities will not come inside your house to move items, as moving helpers do. Instead, they expect items to be packaged safely (where applicable) and placed outside the home for easy pickup. Note that garages with large opening doors and open porches are usually deemed acceptable locations to store items while they await collection. If you need help moving heavy furniture or other items from your home, it is best to arrange hourly moving help from a professional moving company in your area.
- Quality matters. You might think that someone would be grateful for a usable item no matter the condition, but charities want to ensure they offer the highest quality goods as possible for sale. This means that not everything, even if it is still functioning, will be accepted. Stained clothes, worn shoes, cracked glassware, and toys with missing parts are just a few examples of what charities will reject.
Once your items have been picked up, you can get back to focusing on the rest of your move. Make life easier for yourself by hiring professional moving labor from MovingLabor.com to do the heavy lifting, and don’t forget to arrange your moving containers in time for the big day!