I like change, and one thing that changes often is my wardrobe. Every month or so I like to purge my closet to make room for new-to-me clothes I pick up at a thrift store or garage sale. Because I like to shop second hand, I’ve also gotten into the habit of donating any clothes I no longer wear. I do this with the kid’s clothes a couple of times a year as well to make room for new clothes as they grow. I’m excited to share my top 6 tips for donating used items!
Instead of just dumping everything into a box and dropping it off at the nearest donation center, I follow some rules when donating things I no longer use. Today I’m going to fill you in on my top 6 tips for donating used items. I hope they will come in handy next time you are ready to donate!
Make Sure Clothes Are Clean.
Know Who You’re Donating To.
My favorite place to donate happens to be my favorite place to shop: my local Salvation Army. They are neat, organized, and very reasonably priced. It’s good to know that the person buying the items I donate is getting a good deal! The Salvation Army also does a lot for the community, and I enjoy knowing my donations help make that possible!
Make Sure Used Items Are In Working Condition.
Always check electronics and other used items to make sure they work before donating them. It takes a lot of time for staff to go through items and throw away anything that doesn’t work. Help save them time and check before you donate! If you know your item no longer works, toss it. You may want to post an ad in Facebook groups or Craigslist for anyone looking for a project if you think it can be repurposed.
Know When Donation Centers are Open
Not all donation centers are open 24/7. Most thrift stores have their donation times posted where it’s easy to see. If your choice of donation centers doesn’t have a sign posted, ask the staff. Dropping off after the center closes allows people to go through the items, stealing or breaking them, and leaving a mess for staff to clean up. This has become such a problem that my Salvation Army now has a “Wall of Shame” for serial after-hours dumpers. How embarrassing!
Some stores have donation centers throughout the city that are accessible overnight. If you must drop off your donation during non-business hours, do some research and find a 24-hour donation spot. I consider this the most important of my top 6 tips for donating used items! It’s all about respect!
Ask What Items They Are In Need Of.
I like to ask my thrift store if they need anything specific. Sometimes they are wanting to restock winter coats, or maybe they are running low on boys’ clothes. I may have items lying around that I hadn’t thought to donate, but when I find out there is a need I realize I can do just that. If you know ahead of time what items they are needing, you can keep that in mind and be on the lookout. Any donation is great, but if you can fill a specific need, that’s even better!
Think Of Alternative Donation Opportunities.
When I’m ready to donate, my first thought is always to go to a thrift store. There are other alternatives if you look hard enough, though. Sometimes a church may be stocking up for a swap-meet, or a school may be collecting shoes or coats for those in need. A local shelter may be able to use some of those old linens you no longer use!
A few weeks ago I cleaned out my three-year old’s room and had a ton of toys I needed to be gone. My Salvation Army doesn’t take toys, so I knew I couldn’t drop them off there. I got a message on Facebook from someone holding a garage sale to raise money for adoption fees, and she asked if I would be willing to donate anything. Not only did all of those toys make their way out of my garage, but they went to a great cause! I’ll be keeping that in mind next time I clear out my son’s room!
I hope these tips come in handy next time you are ready to donate! Please feel free to comment with some tips of your own!
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