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Donating specialty items

I always encourage people not to get to wrapped up in finding the perfect place to donate their items. I see that kind of perfectionism  standing in the way of people getting unwanted items out of their home. That said, I know it’s really a great feeling when you find the just right place to donate a once-loved but no-longer-used item.

Here are some ideas for where you might donate some of the more specialized items.

Trophies: Lamb Awards and Engraving in Maryland has a trophy recycling program. If you have old trophies around the house, you can mail them to Lamb and they’ll be recycled or donated.

Electronics: If you have electronics that work, a resale center like Goodwill Industries will gladly take them. Responsibly disposing of non-working electronics can feel challenging. If you have a Best Buy store in your area, they will accept electronics for recycling (no matter where the item was purchased). Another option is to consult Earth911 for a recycling center near you (for just about any type of item).

Towels: Many animal shelters love to receive donations of towels. Think about how many they must go through! Contact your local animal shelter to see if they take towels and perhaps linens. The ASPCA maintains a searchable directory of animals shelters.

Appliances or building materials: If you’ve done a renovation and have old, but working, appliances you’re ready to part (or old cupboards or excess building material), ReStore, the resale outlets run by Habitat for Humanity, will gladly accept them. They’ll be sold to other renovators with the proceeds going toward Habitat for Humanity’s charity building projects. Visit the ReStore website to find one near you.

I’d also like to share a really wonderful resource that was created by my colleague, Sue Anderson. It’s a nationwide website called The Stuff Stop. A sort of charity-and-donor matchmaking site, it allows you to search listings of charities and their needs to find one near you who needs what you have to give.

The Stuff Stop logo


Janine Adams is a messy professional organizer who loves helping others create order. The co-founder of Declutter Happy Hour, she believes in having as much fun as possible in the organizing process. Check out her web site at Peace of Mind Organizing!

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