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Donate Instead of Trashing Things When Preparing for a Move

Moving can be cathartic: it presents the opportunity for you to get a fresh start and clean out any items you no longer need or use. However, in your hurry to Marie Kondo every inch of your home, make sure you’re donating what you can and approaching this massive clean-out in an eco-friendly, sustainable way. So find a free donation pick-up near you, and let’s get started!

Moving can be cathartic: it presents the opportunity for you to get a fresh start and clean out any items you no longer need or use. 

However, in your hurry to Marie Kondo every inch of your home, make sure you’re donating what you can and approaching this massive clean-out in an eco-friendly, sustainable way. So find a free donation pick-up near you, and let’s get started!

What to Donate and What to Trash

Different organizations have different standards when it comes to what kinds of clothes and other items they’ll accept for donation. 

The general rule is that anything that is in good condition, without any holes or stains, can be donated to an organization near you. Gently used items are the best candidates for resale and donation, whereas anything that is damaged, torn, or stained usually should not be donated. 

Finding the Right Organization to Donate Your Belongings To

Once you’ve cleaned out your belongings and have all the items you’d like to donate, it’s time to find the right home for them. 

Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Vietnam Vets are some of the great organizations that accept donations. Other organizations like Bottomless Closet in New York City focus on giving disadvantaged women gently worn or new professional wear so they can put their best foot forward at a new job or in interviews.

Donations differ for each organization: for example, Bottomless Closet accepts donations by mail or in-person at their location. If you’re looking for something incredibly convenient, Goodwill has locations all over the country, including lots of curbside donation drop-offs where you can drive up and immediately unload the items you wish to donate. 

While it may take a little bit of research to find the right home for your donated goods, it’s worth the time. If you’re super busy, check to see what donation pick-ups happen in your area, or if you church or workplace is running a clothing drive anytime soon. 

The Landfill Isn’t the Only Option for Damaged Clothes

Have clothes that are damaged? Unsure if they’re in good enough shape to donate? Try recycling your clothes!

Certain thrift stores have programs wherein if you can’t sell or donate your items to them, they’ll recycle your fabrics for you. 

The online thrift store ThredUp makes the process even easier: they mail you a bag where you can send back your clothes you wish to donate or resell to them, and they’ll recycle whatever they can’t use. 

Donating Other Items

While stores like Goodwill also accept items like furniture and toys, it can be a bit of a hassle to get larger, bulkier items out of your home. 

If you’re looking for a way to quickly donate items — and have someone pick them up from your home — try listing them on services like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for free with the caveat that the new owner must come and pick them up. This is a quick and easy way to clean out your home and give your unwanted items a new home. 

While you’re going through your checklist of what to give away, make sure you also check off the boxes of things to set up for your new home. If you still don’t have TV and internet services lined up, use SmartMove’s tools to find special offers for your area. Then, you can donate some of your time to catch up on some HGTV!


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