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How to Donate Household Items to Charity

Senior woman’s hand outstretched with words relating to donating and giving in her palm.

Downsizing can be an important decision to make for you or the senior loved one in your life. There may come a time where you need to have less space for any number of reasons. Perhaps it’s time to move to a smaller place. Or, maybe it’s time to do some deep decluttering and organizing in your home. Whatever the reason is, one challenge with downsizing is trying to figure out what to do with your old and unwanted items. Luckily there’s a good solution: Donate it to charity!

Charity organizations in your area and all around the United States are in constant need of donated items in good condition. Your donated items, once received, can go to another person or family who will benefit from your generosity. And as a bonus, it means more room for you to work with while you’re in the process of downsizing.

3 Tips for Donating Your Stuff

Here are some helpful tips on how to get started with donating your belongings to charity.

1. Do Your Research

When donating to charity, it’s important to learn more about the organization and what they plan to do with your donation. A good place to start is with the charity’s website for information about their mission statement, board of directors and financial reports. The less information provided, the more likely that charity may not be trustworthy.

Watchdogs are continuously evaluating different charities and ranking them based on the above criteria. Certain websites can also point you in the right direction for charities that will properly use your donated items. Consumer Reports is usually a great place to start.

2. Beware of Scams

As tough as it is to hear, there are some fake organizations set up by scammers to take advantage of charitable givers. This holds especially true during tragedies, disasters and major holidays. Verify that the charity is legitimate by checking its name. Some scam organizations create names that are similar to real organizations. The Better Business Bureau can provide useful information on the charity as well.

Also, beware of scammers using technological advances to trick you into donations. Verify any Caller ID number that appears when you receive phone calls. The same goes for social media posts that ask for donations. If a charity gives out vague information, it’s probably a good sign to not donate to them. Always remember, if you’re feeling doubt it doesn’t hurt to wait until you have more information.

3. Search for Causes You Care About

When people donate, they usually do so because the charity has a cause or mission the donator cares about. While doing research on charities, consider any causes you may be passionate about, such as the environment, children’s causes or homeless shelters. Also, check into how much of the donation goes to support their overall mission. Remember, the more information the charity can provide to you, the more likely that charity can be trusted.

Things to Donate to Local Organizations

Let’s Get Seasonal

Depending on the time of year, many charities will have a higher demand for certain seasonal items. For example, in the spring, raincoats and light jackets will be needed. As the colder months approach, heavy coats and boots would be much appreciated. Extra appliances you no longer have a use for are usually good to donate at any time of the year.

Furniture is Always Accepted

National and local charities are always looking for extra furniture to provide to families in need. Some will even offer to come to your home and collect the furniture for you, saving you time, money and stress.  Some charities that will accept furniture are:

  • Goodwill – With locations all over the United States, donated items fund their resale store, and proceeds go to the Goodwill Charity.
  • Vietnam Veterans of America – Donations to VVA fund programs for veterans. They will also pick up donations directly from your house.
  • Domestic and Homeless Shelters – Local shelters provide for struggling families and will accept couches, beds, and tables.
  • Theater Groups – Some groups require furniture for their sets and may take furniture that will not be accepted elsewhere.

Finally, your donated items should be useful to the person that is going to receive them. It may be clutter to you, but it should not be trash to someone else. If the item is damaged beyond repair, it’s probably better to throw it away if you cannot find a charity or someone that can fix it. Also, take your time when sorting through the items you want to donate versus items you want to throw away. You could get carried away and accidentally put trash items in the donate pile.

Worry-Free Senior Living at Peabody

Downsizing your home and sorting through your belongings can be an emotional experience. At Peabody, we offer a downsizing program to support your move to our vibrant senior living community.

You’ll also find a variety of on-campus services and activities for a carefree, enriching lifestyle in your golden years. To learn more about independent living at Peabody, contact us today and donate a little of your time to schedule a personal tour!

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