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Virginia Wells

Where do I donate stuff I don’t want? Donate unwanted clutter!

A common stumbling block for decluttering is where to donate unwanted clutter, and stuff that they’ve decided they don’t want. I’ll go through some great options to consider.

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.

A bonus tip to start out is choose the easiest donation 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 (if you can avoid it, if you have sustainability high on your values that might be hard to do). 

Places to donate unwanted clutter

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 one-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.  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. They don’t want things that need mending or refurbishing.


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 LGBTQI+ community, helping transgendered people find clothes in a supportive, private environment. Communities at Work have drop off places at the Green Shed (the 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.

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 St John’s also takes clothing and other items.

School fetes, schools, groups supporting the disabled

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 groups supporting the disabled 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.

The Green Shed aka the resell shop at the tip

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, Freecycle and Buy Nothing pages too to donate your unwanted clutter.

Other options for unwanted clutter

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. But that’s another blog post!  This is just the start of things.

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! 😊

If you discover a new way to donate unwanted clutter, I’d love for you to share it on Facebook so we can all benefit!

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