Decluttering? Do This Before You Donate Your Stuff

a woman in a pink sweater holding a stack of boxes that say salvage, donate, swap, sell

Before you drop off that pile of stuff to your local donation center, try to remember to practice conscious decluttering. By being more responsible donors, we can increase the likelihood that our secondhand stuff will get a second life and not end up in a landfill. 

Before you donate your stuff:

Secure shoes with rubber bands so they don’t get lost

Wash your clothes

Test electronics to make sure they still work

Do not leave your items outside of a donation center or thrift store. If the donation center is closed, come back another day. Leaving your items outside will mean your stuff will most likely end up in the trash, especially if they get wet.

Place donations in a recyclable box or reusable tote or bin instead of a plastic bag (ask ahead because of COVID restrictions)

Check to see what your local donation center accepts: Thrift stores receive a lot of stuff that they can’t accept, including hazardous materials and other items that thrift stores have to dispose of, which can be very costly. Take a minute to check with your local donation center to see what they accept before making a donation.

Ask yourself: would I buy this item in this condition? If the answer is no, find an alternative option such as repurposing.

Ask if the donation center / charity accepts unwearable textiles

Some thrift stores like Goodwill Akron will accept “salvaged” items that will be sold to textile recyclers that will turn them into rags or insulation. Not all thrift stores do this, but it’s worth asking.

Separate housewares from textiles so they don’t break

Let’s work together to give secondhand a second life!

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