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decluttering leaves you with items to donate
Virginia Wells

Virginia Wells

Where do I donate stuff I don’t want?

A common stumbling block for people decluttering is where to donate or give away the things that you’ve decided you don’t want. There are heaps of options which I’ll step you through. But if you can’t find something suitable from there, then lucky for us we have Google.
 
I’ll go through my standard charities. This list will be very Canberra focused because that’s where I am working from, however a lot of these places exist outside of Canberra. You’ll just need to Google for your local option.
 
First and foremost, when decluttering, I recommend you choose the easiest option for you. Your goal is to get stuff out of the house so your life is easier and less stressful. So, don’t give yourself the added task, time pressure and stress to find the perfect home for everything. When donating, choose the easiest option available to you. This will stop you having to spend lots of time running around bringing it to all the different places. Choose a charity that works best for the types of things that you have.
 

Charity Shops

 
The first go-to spots for me are charity shops. Places like St Vincent de Paul’s and the Salvation Army are really good for your on-stop-shop for donations. The difference between Vinnies and the Salvos, is that some Salvos shops take electronics and rags, whereas Vinnie’s doesn’t. If you have old clothes you want to donate, you could ask your local Salvos if they take rags before you drop them off. Other than these big two charity shops, there are lots of other independent second-hand shops that you could also donate to. To find them, Google it or keep your eyes peeled when your shopping. I see them spotted here and there, and they’re always looking for donations.
 
The most important thing when dropping donations to any of these charities is that the items are in good enough condition. The general rule is, if you were willing to buy it off the shelf again then it’s good enough to donate. Otherwise, throw out or recycle it.
 

Not for profits

 
Other places you can giveaway items is to various not for profits. In Canberra we have a place called Communities at Work. They take clothing to assist people getting back into the workforce to be ready for interviews and their first week at work. So good quality work clothes, suits and the like are perfect to go here. Last I heard, they also support the LGBTI community, helping transgendered people find clothes in a supportive, private environment. Communities at Work have drop off places at the Green Shed (Tip reuse shed – there’s a bin with their name on it), and their office locations. Communities at Work also take pantry donations and (last I checked) things that could be considered gifts (new toys, puzzles books etc).
 
In other states they have something similar called Dressed for Success which is a similar initiative to the Communities at Work program.
 
Zonta International also takes clothing, good linen and towels.
 
The Uplift Project (of which I am the collector in Canberra) take second hand bras, swim wear and new underwear. They also accept bras and breast cancer prosthetics.
 
Roundabout here in Canberra and Karinga House collect children’s clothing and plastic toys. Roundabout I believe take prams and most baby related items.
 
GIVIT is a site you can list what you have or look through requests for items. What I see often on this list is white goods wanted for those getting help getting accommodation.
 
Churches in all areas across Australia or all around the world are generally accepting donations. So you could check with your local church. In Canberra I often bring things to St John’s in Reid and the Anglican Church in Hackett (The Tuckerbox). Both take food donations and I think St John’s also takes clothing and other items.
 

School Fetes, schools, disability groups

 
Local schools are often looking for books and bric-a-brac to sell at school fetes. You could ask your local school when their next fete is, and if they’d like items to sell.
 
There’s also disability groups and childcare centres that will take crafts and fabrics for the art programs. If you have lots of craft stuff (even items that have been opened and partly used), these places would consider these items. Give them a call and ask if they’d be interested in what you have. I’ve given puzzles and educational games to them too.
 

Green Shed aka the Tip’s Resell shop

 
In Canberra we have a shop at the tip called the Green Shed. You can donate almost anything here. They take electronics, garden items, tools, anything. They will tell you if they won’t. A lot of resource management plants in Australia have a resell shop, so check out yours.
 

Friends and family and the community

 
You can also consider friends and family to give things to. Please don’t use them to offload the stuff you’re not comfortable making a decision on. Only offer it to them if you truly believe that they are going to want that item and allow them the option to say no. It’s a common complaint I hear, that people are overloaded with stuff others didn’t want, and now they don’t know what to do with it.
 
You can try Buy Swap Sell Pages, Frecycle and Buy Nothing pages too.
 
If your stuff isn’t good enough to give to any of these charities then it’s time to consider if it can be reused, repurposed, recycled or thrown out.
 
If I haven’t been able to offer something for the type of items that you have then you can Google it, in your local area, and see what comes up. There’s always an answer 😊

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