The Best Places to Donate Your Used Goods

The Best Places to Donate Your Used Goods

Donation box overflowing with clothes

When packing for your move, there is a good chance you will find items you no longer want. This raises the question of what should I do with these items? We’re here to help you find the best places to donate various used goods.

Thrift Stores

As you are thinking about where to donate your used goods the first places you are probably going to think of are thrift stores. There are chain thrift stores such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Savers, and many more throughout the United States. All these places are good options if you are looking to donate common household items and are wanting to just quickly drop them off or have your donations picked up.

While there is nothing wrong with thrift stores, we are here to give you a few more options to consider that not everyone thinks of right away.

Where to Donate Used Clothing

Articles of clothing are one of the most common items people find themselves getting rid of when moving. This can be for multiple reasons such as they no longer fit or there is something that makes the piece unwearable. Below are places to donate your clothes in both situations.

Coat Closets

A lot of towns have “coat closets” where people can drop off unwanted clothing. While every one of these closets has its own set of rules, you can typically donate any style or type of gently used clothing. People who are in need then can come and take the clothing they could use.

Coat Closets are typically inside a church or a homeless shelter. This makes them accessible to the general public both for donations and when someone needs clothing.

Planet Aid

If you are looking to donate clothes, even unwearable ones, Planet Aid is a good option. Planet Aid is an organization that recycles used clothes to keep them out of landfills.

Planet Aid has drop box locations where you simply just leave your old clothing in one of the donation boxes. Your clothes are then sold or reused in other countries where recycled clothing is in higher demand. Not only are you helping to stop clothes from going into landfills, but the profits from the sales go to help programs such as Child Aid, Teaching Training, and Farmers’ Clubs in rural communities across the world.

Where to Donate Gently Used Toys

gently used toys going in a donation box

Another item you will often see yourself getting rid of is toys. Whether this is because your child has grown out of using them, or because you need to downsize the playroom, gently used toys can often be donated to a variety of different organizations.

Local Daycares

Local daycares are often always in need of new toys to keep their children entertained. While every daycare has its own guidelines to follow, a lot of locally run daycares will accept donated toys.

Before donating toys to a daycare there are a few things you want to consider. First, you should ensure the daycare accepts gently used toys. You don’t want to have to haul the toys there just to find out they won’t accept them. It’s also important to consider what condition the toys are in. Only donate toys that are still in working condition and that still look fairly new.

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Social Service Centers

When looking for a place to donate used goods you can also look to see if your social service center takes donations. A lot of social service centers accept donations, including gently used toys.

If you are looking to donate your used toys to a social service facility it is best you call them ahead of time. You want to ensure they will accept the donation before making the trip yourself. It is also good to call ahead because for some locations you will need an appointment to drop off a donation.

Toys you donate to social service centers can get used in various ways. Sometimes they will be kept at the centers’ offices so children can play quietly while they are waiting there. They can also be given away to children and families that could use some extra toys in their homes.

Where to Donate Sports Equipment

While cleaning for a move, another used good people often donate is sports equipment. This can include items such as cleats, protective padding, bats, gloves, helmets, and more. While you may not want these items anymore, they tend to be very expensive, so you don’t want to throw them away.

Local Schools

Many schools use sports equipment, whether it be in gym class or on the playground. This is a great place to consider when looking for places to donate your used sports equipment. The best thing to do is call your local school and ask them if they accept donations and if they do tell them which items you want to give them. This allows them to check their supplies and see if they need these items.

When you are donating sporting equipment to a school you want to ensure you are giving them good quality items. This means you want to give them equipment that is still usable and in good condition.

Local Sports Teams

Local sports teams also often accept donations of gently used sports equipment. These teams often don’t have much funding and can use any additional help from the community. By giving a local sports team used gear you are allowing them to use their funding on other items. You are also helping them provide their athletes with equipment they otherwise may not be able to afford.

Before you donate sports equipment to a sports team it is important to check that the equipment is in good condition. These items will most likely be used in actual games, meaning it needs to be reliable.

Where to Donate Used Towels and Linens

Towels and linens, such as bedding, are a luxury a lot of us take for granted. After we have these items for a while we typically just throw them away and buy new ones. What a lot of people don’t realize is that these items can easily be reused and repurposed. There are places to donate these items both if they are in good or bad condition.

Homeless Shelters

Homeless shelters help to provide a safe place for people without homes to sleep. This means they are often in need of linens such as sheets, pillows, and blankets.

Many homeless shelters will accept donations of used goods including gently used linens. In order to give them an extra hand try and wash the blankets, sheets, and pillows before you donate them. This makes them fresh and ready to be used.

Some homeless shelters will use these items within their own building, while others will give them to people to keep. This means they are in constant need of these types of items.

Animal Shelters

Most animal shelters take in donations which normally include towels and linens. These items can be used for many different purposes within an animal shelter.

Old towels typically are just used to clean up, but they can also sometimes be used for bedding for animals to sleep on. Blankets are also often used as bedding and help the animals feel more comfortable during their stay. Items such as sheets are cut into strips and used as bedding for smaller animals to cushion the bottom of their kennels.

What Animal Shelters Also Accept

pet supplies

Animal shelters accept a lot more than just towels and linens. Besides monetary donations, they accept items such as leashes, collars, pet toys, animal food, etc. Any pet care items, both new and used, are accepted by most animal shelters.

This is a great way to get rid of old pet supplies after your own animal has passed away, all while helping animals who are in need.

Where to Donate School Supplies

Every school year children are given a list of school supplies to buy and at the end of the year, they end up taking a good majority of those supplies back home. This leaves people wondering, what should I do with the leftover school supplies? There are multiple options to get rid of unused school supplies all while helping others who are in need.

Local Schools

At the beginning and end of each school year, many schools have school supply drop-off boxes. These boxes are meant to help reuse old school supplies and to help provide items for people in need.

Donating school supplies to your local schools will help give back to people within your own community. These items can be given to both families and teachers to help supply the school district and its members with the items they will need throughout the year.

Develop Africa

When donating used goods such as school supplies, you can make a difference around the world. Organizations, such as Develop Africa, accept school supply donations, both new and used supplies. They then ship these supplies to villages and schools in Africa so the children there can use the supplies to help further their education.

As you are going through old school supplies it is important you check the items to ensure they still work and are usable before you donate them. This ensures you are still donating high-quality goods instead of garbage.


As you are finding used goods you want to donate before your move you will have many different options when it comes to where to donate them. While donating items may be about your own convenience, it is also important to realize what impact your donation will make on others.

Jessica is a students at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in English Education with a creative writing minor. In her free time she loves to read books of every genre, write short stories, and spend time with friends. In the future she hopes to share her love for reading and writing with her future students.