Decluttering For Good: 10 Charities That Will Give Your Old Things New Life


You probably already donate your clothes to local drop-off centers when you’re cleaning out your closet, but there’s a lot more that you can be doing to help others with the things you no longer want or need. In fact, everything from old electronics to stuffed animals can go to a better home. So the next time you dive into a new decluttering project, keep organizations like these in mind—they’ll give your old, unwanted items new life to help people in need.

What they do: Dress for Success provides clothes and resources to empower women facing poverty to find jobs and thrive in the workforce.

What they take: Suits and other professional attire.

What they do: Room to Grow helps children born into poverty, offering support and resources and material goods for parents from their third trimester of pregnancy and up until their child is 3 years old.

What they take: Baby clothes, books, toys and room accessories that are clean and in excellent condition, as well as some other items. You can read the full list of accepted donations here.

What they do: Soles 4 Souls provides shoes to people living in poverty and helps with disaster relief efforts, providing clothes and shoes to people. They also help create entrepreneurship opportunities for people in need.

What they take: Gently worn shoes and clothing.

What they do: Operation Prom helps low-income students attend prom at little or no cost by providing free dresses and tuxedos.

What they take: Gently worn formal dresses that are appropriate for teenage girls, tuxedos, evening bags and jewelry.

What they do: Wish Upon a Wedding grants weddings and vow renewal ceremonies to married or engaged couples facing serious illness or a life-altering circumstance.

What they take: Wedding dresses in current styles (from 2012 to present).

What they do: Free The Girls helps empower girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking by providing them with resources to sell bras in the second-hand market.

What they take: New and gently used bras that are in good condition.

What they do: VSP Global works to provide people around the world with affordable and high quality eye care and eyewear.

What they take: Gently used prescription glasses, readers, and sunwear.

What they do: SAFE provides comfort to children who have been through traumatic events and emergency situations with stuffed animals, blankets, toys and other child and baby items.

What they take: Clean, gently used stuffed animals, blankets, clothes, and some other toys. You can find more information about donations here.

What they do: Operation Paperback provides books for American troops overseas, as well as veterans and military families in the United States.

What they take: Gently used books—but rather than bring them to a donation center, Operation Paperback will provide you with addresses to send to so you can personalize your shipments.

What they do: HopeLine is a program by Verizon that provides women’s shelters with resources and used cell phones to help domestic violence survivors nationwide.

What they take: Cell phones you’re no longer using, phone batteries, chargers and other mobile accessories in any condition.

Other Items You Can Donate Locally:

Reusable grocery bags: Reusable sturdy grocery bags are helpful for families to bring home items they need, so stop by your local food bank to drop off extra grocery bags you don’t need.

Blankets: Clean blankets are often a welcome donation at most homeless shelters, but check with your local shelter before you bring items by.

Unused cosmetics: If you have unused cosmetics that you don’t want, consider donating them to your local women’s shelter.

Note: If you’re looking specifically to donate to current disaster relief funds to help Houston, Puerto Rico, Mexico and other recently affected areas, keep in mind that a lot of the things you might plan to donate post-decluttering may not be what is actually needed or accepted.

Most donation centers are specifically looking for canned and non-perishable foods, diapers, menstrual products, toiletries, first aid kits, batteries, and paper goods. In some cases, a monetary donation may be the best option for helping people in these areas.

Before you head to a drop-off center with a bunch of items, check with them first to find out what they need.

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