If you guys are anything like me, you are always finding stuff in your house that you no longer need and looking for a way to donate or recycle it. The problem is…where do you send it? Who do you give it to? And will they want it? While most communities have charity centers and the like, some do not – so you might have to get creative to be able to donate the goods that you no longer want and keep them out of the landfills. No sense in throwing something away if another person can get some use out of it! I have assembled this list of different ways to donate or recycle your unwanted stuff, and if you have anything to add to the list, please do so in the comments as we can all use more tips.
- Prescription or Sun Glasses – As my wife wears glasses, I know just how expensive these can be! So to help out people who maybe cannot afford them by donating to places like OneSight.org, LensCrafters, New Eyes For The Needy, or the local Lion’s Club.
- Art supplies – Can often be donated to schools, churches and day cares for use in student art projects.
- Packing peanuts – Take them all to shipping stores (Mailboxes Etc.,), who will gladly take them off your hands.
- Books – Donate them to the library for used book sales, sell on Amazon.com, Ebay.com or Half.com. You could also offer them on Craigslist.org or Freecycle.org as well.
- Food – Canned goods (say you bought too much) can be donated to homeless shelters or food banks as long as the expiration date has not passed.
- Computers – Schools will oftentimes take used computers, just be sure to call them first. If your local schools don’t want yours, try the National Cristina Foundation or Goodwill.
- Wire clothes hangers – Give to local dry cleaners for reuse.
- Cellphones & Ink Cartridges – Usable cellphones can usually be donated to women’s shelters to be programmed for 911 calls. Ink cartridges and old cellphones can go to some retailers for recycling, or you can put them to even better use by donating them to a program like Cure Recycling, which helps cure childhood cancer.
- Clothing – Along with the usual suspects of Goodwill and the Salvation Army, you might want to consider something like Dress For Success, which assists low-income women looking for employment.
- Excess Building Materials – Check and see if there is a Habitat For Humanity ReStore in your local area, so people like me can buy your excess/used stuff and the money goes to Habitat.
- Furniture – Try local shelters, disabled veterans associations, The Red Cross, the AARP, or local churches.
- Magazines – Instead of your latest copy getting a single read and heading straight for the recycling bin, see if you can give them to schools, hospitals, senior citizen homes, jails, YMCA’s, libraries, or local coffee shops.
- Shoes – Approximately 300 million kids around the world don’t have shoes, so don’t let your slightly used ones go to the dump! Check out Soles4Souls, Shoe4Africa, or The Shoe Bank.
- Sports Equipment – Your kids stopped playing soccer years ago, so why keep their stuff in the garage getting moldy? Instead, donate your sports equipment to Sports Gift.
- Prom or Wedding Dresses – Check out Glass Slipper Project, Prom Spot, Donate My Dress, or Making Memories.
Looking for even more? Check these out see even more ways of donating or recycling your unwanted stuff:
- Excess Access – They link donations of business and household items with the wish-lists of nearby nonprofits that can provide pick-ups or accept drop-offs.
- Dump & Run – They desire to reduce the amount of waste generated at Colleges and Universities by extending the useful life of items no longer needed by the student community at years end.
- Recycle.net – Established to promote the trade of scrap & waste materials
- Throwplace.com – A site where users may list goods they wish to give away to others. Charities, Businesses or Individuals that are registered are able to search the site and make requests for items of interest.
So what did I miss? If you see something missing or an organization that should be listed, please be sure to leave a comment letting everyone know!