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Packing Your Home and Donating to Charity

Updated on August 27, 2012

Packing Our House

In the midst of packing our house to move, we realize that we have too much stuff. It is time to donate!
In the midst of packing our house to move, we realize that we have too much stuff. It is time to donate! | Source

Top Four Ways to Donate Locally

  • Friends, neighbors and family
  • Goodwill
  • Freecycle
  • Food pantries

We are attempting to sell our house. Not sure if it will happen, but I know that some necessary purging will. I am amazing at the amount of ‘stuff’ my husband and I have been able to accumulate in the nine years we have been married. Even if the house doesn’t sell, this will be an amazing opportunity to thin out the closets, clean the kids' toy boxes and go through our drawers. But, when it is all said and done, what do you do with all that stuff? We absolutely prefer to donate over throwing anything away.

When selling your house and depleting your house of clutter, what is the best way to donate to charity?

Give To Friends, Family and Neighbors

Our kids enjoyed giving extra toys and clothes to neighbors who can still use them
Our kids enjoyed giving extra toys and clothes to neighbors who can still use them | Source

Donating Friends and Neighbors

Charity is in your backyard. Do you have family, friends or neighbor in need of any of your extras? Instead of a garage sale and looking for a profit, consider giving away some of your excess. Over the years, we have had so many bags of shoes and clothes given to us. Our house became a hand me down house. As a result, when it came time to find new homes for our gently used items, we went local first. We gave a great car seat to a neighbor who just had a baby. My nephew was recently married and could be starting a family soon. A friend from the children’s school is expecting twins so we double checked what she needed as well.

For many of our unused, perfect condition items, we needed to look no further than our backyard to find them a new home.

Donate Extra Clothes and Toys to Your Favorite Charity

Donating to Goodwill is a simple way to give to charity
Donating to Goodwill is a simple way to give to charity | Source

Items Goodwill Will Not Accept

  • Large appliances
  • Items that no longer work
  • Mattresses/box springs
  • Building supplies
  • Furniture that needs repair
  • Building and automotive supplies
  • Large, older style televisions
  • Any item that has been recalled

Donating to Goodwill

So the neighborhood is now set, but you still have more excess from your closet thinning project.

Now what?

We like to give to Goodwill. Goodwill helps the community and is a very simple drop off process. We bag or box up our belongings, making sure to not include items Goodwill will not accept, and drop them off at one of Goodwill’s local and convenient locations. Often, a Goodwill employee helps me unload my car and then offers me a receipt. I thank them and take the receipt.

When I get back in the car, I quickly document what I donated so that I do not forget. Each year when I do our taxes, we have a section on Goodwill donations. Turbo Tax helps estimate the fair market value of your Goodwill donations making the donation/tax write off process even simpler.

Goodwill is a simple way to help your local community with items you are no longer using.

Donating to Freecycle

Freecycle is one of my favorite programs to get rid of items in our house that are no longer needed or used. Check out freecycle to find out how to join and donate in your local community. Freecycle’s goal is to reuse items and not throw them out, cluttering landfills.

Do you have large televisions, mattresses or car seats that no one wants and Goodwill will not accept? Try putting an offer on freecycle and see if a local member is interested in picking it up from your house. Remember, freecycling is free so no money is exchanged and large items you can’t get rid of are being used by someone who will benefit.

Besides giving to a neighbor, freecycling is one of the least labor intensive and most rewarding donation methods.

What is your favorite way to donate extra household items/clothing/toys?

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Donating to Food Pantries

Do you have a food pantry to which you donate? I donate on a regular basis to the food pantry at our church. In addition to food donations, they also accept clothing and toys. I was surprised that our local food pantry opens their doors just after Thanksgiving to all the local families in need allowing them to peruse and chose toys they have accumulated over the year. The food pantry accepts charitable donations of toys all year long and then allows those in need get their Christmas shopping completed early and for free.

Last year a family in our school lost their house to fire. The food pantry provided them with clothes and other household items that they had in stock as well.

I learned quickly that our food pantry was more than just a pantry for food.

Keeping Your Charity Donations Local

We have been given so much generosity over the years. After our second set of twins, we used to find bags of clothes on the front porch with just a note that said, “Best of luck to a beautiful family.” Now that we have reached a point where we no longer need baby clothes, toys and accessories, it is wonderful to give back to the community. What a lovely gesture to give a neighboring family a bag of clothes or donate to a local charity.

My Mom always said, “Do the right things and good things come back to you. All you can do is the best you can do.”

In the midst of packing our house and when I donate, I keep this simple mentality in mind.

Do you?

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    • profile image

      Kenan 2 years ago

      Woah this blog is great i love reading your arltcies. Stay up the great work! You recognize, a lot of people are looking round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      I completely agree, Janis. Stuff has gone crazy all over my house. Packing up our house has been a wonderful learning experience. When a large percentage of our house is packed up, we are still functioning fine....perhaps we don't need that 'stuff' at all. We are doing some purging while packing and I am sure I will continue when we unpack. Thanks for reading, Janis!

    • Janis Goad profile image

      Janis Goad 4 years ago

      I hate throwing things out. the garbage can goes to the landfill, and damages the wildlife, the water table, and the air when the city lights fires in the dump.

      I am always trying to empty closets and move clothes we don't wear to the Goodwill or Thrift Shop. I donate books and CDs to the public library, or sometimes to the used bookstore if they don't have those titles already.

      I am trying to stop buying stuff. If I buy something new, I have to get rid of something old. My life is too full of stuff.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Kashmir! I appreciate the time you take to read and comment!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      These are all great ideas within this well written hub .

      Well done and awesome !

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Joaniebaby! You are always so kind. I appreciate that you continue to read and comment! I will have to check out your latest hubs, too!

    • joaniebaby profile image

      joaniebaby 4 years ago

      Another great Hub twinstimes2. I think you were one of the first Hubbers I read after I joined. And you continue to amaze me with all you do. Voted up and useful and shared.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      When we look back at all the generosity we have received, I couldn't imagine having a garage sale. So much was given to us and making a profit seems unethical. It is so nice to just surprise people with 'new to them' things or know that someone local will benefit. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 4 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      These are great ideas. We've benefited from hand-me-downs over the years as well, so we're in the process of "deaccessioning" our baby things by finding friends who can use them.

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