Pickup Donations: The Easiest Way to Downsize for Your Next Move
There are dozens of things to do on your moving checklist.
One of the most dreadful steps to moving for many people is downsizing.
Well… Letting go has never been easier.
What if I told you that you could be charitable, do your necessary downsizing, and someone will pick it up from you for free?
That’s exactly what we’re going to get into.
These nonprofit organizations will pick up your donations and help you make your downsizing as easy as can be.
Speaking of making your move easy, use our moving cost calculator for a quick and easy moving estimate.
Why You Should Donate Your Gently-Used Items
Pickup donations make packing your home for moving both convenient and easy. Because many come to your house to pick up the items, you simply have to label the boxes for them.
Once you donate, you’ll have an easier time organizing and packing the rest of your house. It also feels good knowing that you can help those in your community just by giving away household items you don’t need.
The best organizations available to you use your donations to help a variety of different people, so you can choose which one is most meaningful to you.
Donating is also tax-deductible, so it pays to help your community. Simply ask the organization you donate to for a receipt, and present it when you file your taxes.
9 Organizations to Choose From
You may be surprised by the number of pickup donations nearby. Many have locations all over the United States, while some only cater to certain geographical areas. Whichever charity you choose to support, it’s important to learn about them before scheduling a pickup.
One of the most popular donation pickup services is Goodwill. With well over 3,000 stores in North America, they provide job training and employment services in local communities.
When you donate to Goodwill, they resell your items in their stores and online to fund their local job placement services. Goodwill will pick up your donations for free at your home. They accept a wide variety of household goods, including new and gently-used:
Some locations will even accept vehicles, lawnmowers, boats, campers, and RVs, even if they don’t currently run.
Contact your local Goodwill for scheduling and questions.
The Salvation Army is another popular charity that most people have heard of. This organization has been around for over 150 years, and they help people in challenging situations across the globe. To name a few, they help with disaster relief, human trafficking, addiction, poverty, and hunger.
Like Goodwill, you can arrange for free pickup donations through the Salvation Army. They accept almost any item, as long as it’s in good condition. This includes the following items:
- Used cars
However, there are certain items the Salvation Army won’t accept. Due to recalls and government reselling rules, you’ll need to find another way to get rid of baby items, metal desks, particleboard furniture, and TV armoires.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is best known for providing safe and affordable housing for those in need. However, they also provide neighborhood revitalization and disaster relief. They operate in all 50 states in the U.S., and you can find them in 70 other countries.
This charity offers free donation pickups each week, so contact your local center to schedule a time. They then resell your donations in their Habitat ReStores and use the proceeds to help those in need. They’ll accept the following items:
- Building materials
- Recreational vehicles
- Farming equipment
- Construction equipment
Not all charities accept these kinds of donations, so this is a great way to help those in need of a home.
The Furniture Bank uses your furniture donations to furnish the homes of those in need. This includes people that were previously homeless, were unemployed, are escaping domestic abuse, or are immigrants. The Furniture Bank operates in 34 states to give these people furniture so they can live a more normal life.
This charity accepts all types of furniture since most of these people start off with nothing. In addition, you can also donate cars and recreational vehicles, whether they run or not. They’ll come to your home and pick up or tow your donations for free.
Vietnam Veterans of America
If you’d like to support veterans, consider choosing the pickup donations offered by the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).
Called Pick Up Please, the program is flexible with those on a tight schedule. If needed, they can pick up donations within 24 hours of scheduling. Pick Up Please doesn’t serve the entire U.S. yet, but you’re in luck if you live in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.
You can donate almost any item in good condition to the VVA, including the following:
- Small furniture
- Small appliances
The VVA will then privately sell your donations and use the proceeds to fund their national programs.
AMVETS, short for American Veterans, is another organization that supports our veterans. By selling your donations in thrift stores, they are able to provide jobs and services to veterans and their families.
For most donations, you’ll fill out a pickup form, box up your donations, label each box for AMVETS, and leave them outside by your door. It should be outside by 7:30 am on the pickup day. If you’d like to donate large items, contact AMVETS for more information.
Operating in 22 states, you can donate a large variety of items, including the following:
- Small appliances
If you choose to donate electronics like flat-screen TVs and computers, they must be less than five years old.
The Arc is an organization that helps both adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They have over 700 chapters across the United States, and they sell their donations in thrift stores. They then use the earned money to fund their programs.
One of the Arc’s big incentives to encourage donations is that they’ll pick them up at your home for free. Their list of accepted items is similar to most of the other charities:
You can schedule your free donation pick up near you both online and over the phone.
If you’re unsure which items you can donate, GreenDrop can help. Suited for large projects like moving and downsizing, they send a professional concierge to help you sort through and donate items you don’t need. They’ll then transport and sell your donations to local thrift stores for free. The funds will go on to support the American Red Cross, Military Order of the Purple Heart, National Federation of the Blind, and Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Currently, GreenDrop is only available on the east coast in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington D.C., and Virginia. They’ll accept the following items as donations:
California houses a nonprofit, human-I-T, that allows you to donate your old electronics. People throw out thousands of computers every day, but you can help others by donating your technology. human-I-T then gives your donated electronics to low-income people in need.
They offer free pickup and shipping arrangements in all 50 U.S. states for items that meet their guidelines. They accept the following:
- Computer systems
- Computer accessories
- Handheld devices
- Office equipment
- Commercial equipment
Each of those categories includes a wide array of technological devices, so check out human-I-T’s website to see a full list of items they do and don’t accept.
Other Ways to Downsize Before You Move
As you sort through all of your belongings in preparation for moving, you’ll find that some items can’t be donated. Perhaps they’re a bit too used for a charity’s liking. Thankfully, you have other options available.
You can give these items away to family members or friends that would like them. You can also try selling them online. However, you may need to toss certain items in the garbage if it’s too worn out for someone else to enjoy.
As you donate, sell, and throw away items you no longer need, you’ll find that you have less to pack at the end of the day.
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