Inspired @ Home

Inspired @ Home

4 Things You Should and Should Not Donate

By: Staff Published: July 13, 2018

Moving, spring cleaning, the beginning of the year – almost any time is a perfect occasion to clean out closets and storage spaces.

While the temptation to load up the trunk with all your unwanted items is strong, many donation drop-off sites won’t just accept anything you bring them. So, before you waste a trip, crosscheck your donation haul with this helpful list of things you should and should not donate.



If you’ve recently upgraded your kitchen or furniture items, consider donating the unused toaster or table lamp you’ve been toting since college to organizations like The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Furniture Banks or Habitat for Humanity. Some of these nonprofits will pick up your furniture or other bulky items for free.

Dress Clothes

Whether it no longer fits or simply doesn’t match your current style, donating your old clothes or suits to Dress for Success could help another woman nail the interview for her dream job.

womens closet

If you have work clothes you don’t wear anymore, give your gently worn skirts, dress pants, blouses and suits to help a woman who’s getting back on her feet.

Kids’ Toys

Kids grow out of toys fast, but one child’s hand-me-downs can be another’s new best friend! Donate your child’s unused toys to a local nursery or program like Stuffed Animals for Emergencies.

Non-Perishable Food

There’s likely more than a few canned veggies or other non-perishable food items in your pantry you’ll never eat. Free up much needed storage space and give back by going through your collection. Your local food bank or local branch of Feeding America would appreciate receiving unexpired items you would otherwise toss.

pantry closet

Periodically clean out your pantry and donate any unexpired, unopened food you won’t eat to your local food bank.
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Do Not Donate

Damaged Clothing

Donation sites rarely accept stained or distressed clothing so turn those old t-shirts into cleaning rags or find another creative use for your old clothes.

sewing machine

Give damaged clothing a second life by converting them into something else.

Expired Food Items

It should go without saying that nobody wants expired food. Check the dates first and throw away anything past its prime.

Old TVs and Computers

Old CRT (cathode ray tube) TVs and computer monitors contain toxic chemicals and their second-hand demand is extremely low. To safely dispose of these devices, you can recycle them at electronic stores like Best Buy or search for other local recycling centers on Earth911.

pile of old computers

Recycle old computer equipment and other electronics that aren’t acceptable donations.

Car Seats

Child safety is important, which is why donation sites typically don’t accept used car seats. Instead, check with your state to find a car seat recycling program.

Getting the chance to give back while organizing your home is a great feeling!

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