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Where do you donate STUFF (books and others)?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Oy vey! I can't even decribe how much clutter I have, and it would be a million times worse if I didn't live with my mother and have her breathing down my neck about it all the time.

I have no problem giving things away, in fact, I love to! But I hate throwing away perfectly useful things in the garbage or recycling. The problem is, I only really know where to drop off clothes to donate.

I have several boxes full of books right now that I want to get rid of, as well as some magazines and art/scrapbooking supplies and toys. I really don't have the time or patience to ebay, freecycle, or even fairy it all away. I thought about dropping it off at one of those ebay selling places and at least making a little money off it, but if there is someplace I can bring it where it will bless other people and do some good, that would be great.

I have no idea where though!! Used book stores are ok, but they frequently don't take donations and this is boxes and boxes of books -- good books, too!! How can I find a goodwill, thrift store, or secondhand store in my area? I really don't know of any. What are the best types of places to give to?

Any help would be appreciated!
post #2 of 22
I would take the books and magazines to the library and donate them there, or you can donate the magazines to a daycare or preschool so they can use them for crafts, along with any craft supplies you have that you won't be using.
post #3 of 22
For me, the bigger part of the clutter battle is getting it out of my HOUSE! I don't know where you donate your clothes, but the place that I take my clothes to also takes household goods (kitchen gadget,s decorating items, ect.) basically anything it can sell. Lately I have been taking to the local women's shelter (kids clothes, toys, maternity things, ect.). If I have household goods, I box them up and take to the other place (an hour away, so I save this stuff up). IT is affiliated w/ the local hospital, and the $$ all goes to cancer research, so it's all good Books and movies all go to the local library (mine SUCKS! I think they could do good w/ any donations they can get!)

As for not throwing stuff away that is still usable, I have this problem, too. Esecially w/ stained kids clothes :P I think in my head "Well, I can still use them on my kids b/c thy are just here at home, play outside, ect., " but I will not give them away b/c I don't think anyone else would put them on their kids. I do have one local lady that I know who is raising her granddaugher, who is a year younger than my oldest, and I know she doens't mind stained stuff, so I give that to her : I also give her nice stuff, too!
post #4 of 22
Call around to churches-a lot of them have thrift shops. I take most of our stuff to the local church thrift shop.

Baby gear & clothes, and stuff for mom I take to the a pregnant/single mom's shelter a friend of ours runs when I'm up to the trip.

Books I take to the thrift shop or library (some libraries will take books to re-sell.

Magazines I recycle or bring them to the doctor's or midwife's office to leave in the waiting room for others to read.
post #5 of 22
i love to freecycle
i've met some great people that way and i love giving someone else something they need that i dont!
post #6 of 22
Check the Swap From the Heart thread and see if maybe you could get some stuff to someone here that really needs it. I usually offer up anything else on the freecycle list, that way I can just stick it on the porch, and later in the day, it's gone, and I didn't have to go anywhere!

You could also check www.bookcrossing.com and check to see if there is a crossing zone in your area. I run a crossing zone, and just had 5 large boxes of books dropped off. Don't worry about registering them if you don't have the time, most zones have pre-printed labels and do it themselves. At least, that's what I do.
post #7 of 22
Our local St. Vincent de Paul has never turned down books I've taken there.
post #8 of 22
Originally Posted by Brinda
Check the Swap From the Heart thread
Where do you find that thread? (Or, how do you find it?)

Library - we have a great library system, so they are a little pickier about what they take magazine-wize. They like current (3 months or less) and they have a list of others they will take all back issues for (usually cooking or home renovation type ones). They sell them for 25 cents each.

Second hand stores take pretty much anything. We had a complete set of enyclopedias in mint shape but they were from the early 80's (I think). They were given to us by retired teachers who were down-sizing to a smaller home, and we did not have room for them. We asked the store first if they wanted them and they were literally thrilled to take them.

There are places that will come to your house and pick stuff up. They are a lot pickier about what they take. Usually only clothing and small kitchen appliances. They are non-profit (our local one is to benefit blind people) and they sell what they pick up to the second hand shops. Maybe some of your neighbors would know the phone number of the local one. We get postcards every 3 weeks or so telling us when they will be coming by if we care to leave anything at the curb. They will also come by for special pickups, I believe.

Stained clothing - I guess it depends on what exactly that means. The thrift shops regularly clean their racks and what does not sell there is sent to third world countries. Many people in these countries are just excited to have clothing, even if there is a small amount of staining on them. It will get that way soon enough, anyway, since washing conditions are not the best. I try to take almost everything to the second hand shops for donations and let them decide. I am really hard on the clothes (thinking "who would want this?"), but that is usually b/c I am tired of looking at it and one small stain seems enough to justify getting rid of it "now I don't like it AND it has a stain!". I have such a hard time throwing away things. I would much rather see it re-purposed.

Well, I better get off to finish decluttering a room. I really don't like sorting it out into piles. I'd love to just take a pile and get rid of it without looking through it...
post #9 of 22
I've done freecycle a few times. Works for me, as I don't have a car to make trips with big loads to a thrift shop or the like. I did 3 posts about 6 weeks ago, and had it all gone within 2 days of posting. Most stuff I could just leave on my front step for folks to pick up. You'd be surprised what people will take on freecycle. One man's trash is another man's treasure!
post #10 of 22
I donate my books to the library. Some of my children's books, I'll donate to schools.

Some of our magazines will go to schools for their art projects. Some of my scrapbooking stuff (like papers, glue, die cuts, paper punches, paints, stamps) can go to schools too.

Toys can go to daycare centers, preschools, goodwill or other thrift stores, or consignment shops. Do you have a Once Upon a Child near you (or something similar)?
post #11 of 22
post #12 of 22
post #13 of 22
goodwill... I don't know how to find one... maybe the phone book? then you could call and find out if there's a donation center nearby. Sometimes they'll even come to your house and pick up a donation from your porch. We didn't give our books to the library because we had tons and tons of them and the library will take a maximum of 2 boxes (not the size boxes we had either!) and they all have to be almost guaranteed to sell for the booksales or be pretty new to join the library shelves.

I'm so bad about getting rid of books... and so good about getting them

love and peace.
post #14 of 22
I donate my stuff to the thrift shop.

I give my SIL Julianna's really nice stuff.

post #15 of 22
i ebay some of our stuff. i also donate to the american kidney fund.... they have a truck that will do pickups, and my dad died from kidney disease, so the cause is special to me
post #16 of 22
Books go to the library for annual book sale.
Magazines go to schools for reading, scrapbooking, pictures, projects, etc., or to the dentist's office
Misc stuff goes to Salvation Army, PTA stores, GoodWill, local thrift stores
Big stuff (furniture/appliances) goes to Habitat for Humanity stores

Or if you have big stuff in good shape you could also advertise on Craigslist (f there's one in your area) and someone may want to come pick it up for free.

Decluttering is so much fun!
post #17 of 22
I know you said freecycle is too much work, but I don't think it has to be. You don't have to separate out every little thing. When we moved last year I decided to let go of a lot of craft supplies and half-finished or never-started projects that had accumulated over time. I put them all in a big cardboard box and described it on freecycle as "large box of scrapbooking, sewing, candle-making, knitting, other craft etc. supplies, some unopened and some partially used, please take entire box." I got several interested emails, picked the one who said they could come soonest and left it out on the porch for them. You could very easily do the same thing with books--"several large boxes of various books, please take all."

A PP mentioned Habitat for Humanity and I wanted to second that, as they take some more unusual items that you might not want to drop off at a thrift store. For example if you do any kind of home improvements you can take the old items you replaced to the Habitat for Humanity resale store. We replaced our range hood with an over-the-range microwave oven (which we got at Habitat for Humanity for a song!) and took the old range hood to H4H so they could re-sell it. We also replaced a plain outdoor light fixture with one that has a motion detector so that it will come on when we pull up in the driveway--took the old fixture to H4H since it still works perfectly fine. H4H is a really great resource for frugal homeowners and especially for landlords who are not looking to put in expensive fixtures, kwim?
post #18 of 22
I donate to Big Sisters every 3 months. They come pick up at my house and will take....clothes, toys, books, small appliances, furniture, pots and pans, bikes...just about anything really!

Once I got on their donation list, they call me when they are going to be in my area. It works great...encourages me to purge on a regular basis!
post #19 of 22
Libraries for books.

Clothing and household stuff goes to whatever organization will pick it up: Kids Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, etc. They call every once in a while when they will be in my neighborhood. This makes it so easy to purge my unwanted stuff on a regular basis.

Maybe an assisted living place would like your craft stuff. I would call around first though. After working for several non-profits/human service agencies, I learned that they just do not have the space or need for everyone's unwanted stuff.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, looks like there's loads of options!!

Wednesday, I didn't even think of doing Freecycle that way, great idea!!
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