Giving New Life to Your Unwanted Items

By Kendra Miller

Start the new year with less clutter in your mental and physical space. When cleaning or decluttering your house, consider giving new life to your unwanted or unused items by donating them to charity instead of throwing them away. Your donations will help someone in need and it’s better for the environment by reducing landfill space. It’s a win-win! 

Whether the new year has inspired you to get organized and declutter your home, or you’re planning to move and need to downsize, give your unwanted items new life and donate them to someone in need. Ask for a donation receipt so you can include donations in your tax return. 

Clothing donation is common for many people when decluttering or cleaning their homes, but did you know you can donate so much more? 

Below is a list of items you may not be aware can be donated to charitable organizations in your community. 


Charitable organizations like Goodwill, The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity ReStore accept furniture donations to sell in their stores to fund their operations and programs. You can also call around to homeless shelters and women’s shelters in your local community and ask if they need any furniture for their locations. Additionally, animal shelters are sometimes in need of armchairs, ottomans, cots and more. Call your local shelter to see if they need your items. Keep in mind, many organizations do not accept mattresses as donations, so it is best to call ahead to confirm. 


Bedding material is needed in animal shelters due to accidents, chewing and general use. Most shelters accept new and used bedding but ask your local shelter for specific donation requirements. 


If you have an old vehicle sitting around that you would like to get rid of, donating to charity is one option to get it off your hands. Larger charities like Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army offer hotlines and website services to arrange a pickup. Some organizations will give a donated vehicle to someone, use it for operations or sell it at auction. Do a quick search for local organizations that accept car, boat, truck or RV donations. 


As you outgrow your prescription, you may no longer need your eyeglasses or maybe you would just like an upgrade. Don’t toss your old ones! The Lions Club, WalMart, Sam’s Club and Goodwill gladly accept used prescription eyeglasses, non-prescription reading glasses, unopened contact lenses and glasses frames for those in need. 


If you have a bunch of books sitting in the corner taking up space, you can donate them to your local library or school. Some charities have developed literacy programs around the world and your books could be shipped to help a child or adult learn to read. 

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