Donating to Charity
Are you in the process of selling your home? Maybe you are trying to get rid of the clutter that will make your property far more salable? Could it be you are trying to downsize, or perhaps you are trying to clear out some room for things that fit your current lifestyle better? Would you like to donate some of your stuff? Maybe you have some furniture nobody wants that you would love to be picked up?
If you are like most people, moving is a prime time for getting rid of many of the things you don’t want or need anymore.
Either way, you have stuff you need to dispose of, and you want to minimize what you actually throw away – which means it’s time to find a donation center, ideally one that will pick-up your stuff for free.
Over the years, lots of clients have asked me which companies will pick up your donations for free. Besides finding a local storage unit nearby to house items you intend to keep, donating what you don’t need is an excellent way to make your place look show-ready.
Real Estate agents talk all the time about the importance of making your place look exceptional to home buyers. Making donations is one of the best ways to do some low-cost staging of your home. In fact, it is FREE!
Here are a few of the organizations that will pick up your donations:
Places That Pick-Up Donations for Free
When you are moving, your time is filled with prepping, packing, loading, driving, and all the other tasks that go into a move. That is why you need a place that will pick-up your furniture and other donations. The following list is not exhaustive, but you should be able to find one of these organizations in your area to pick-up your donations.
Of course, you can also drop off your things at their locations as well. Doing a Google search for companies that accept donations nearby should do the trick.
1. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army can be found throughout the United States and will take most of the things you are planning to donate – maybe all of them, if none fall under the following list of restricted items
The company cannot accept:
- TV armoires
- Particleboard furniture
- Baby items
- Metal Desks
They can’t take these items because of government regulations on reselling and potential recalls. They will allow everything else you have to offer, though, so you can donate your furniture, clothing, appliances and even automobiles.
Their website offers online services for many areas, but not all. However, if you can’t find online services, you can find a local number where you can call to arrange a pick-up. Along with Goodwill, The Salvation Army is probably one of the most recognizable companies that will accept your donations.
The company was one of the first of its kind starting in 1865 when William and Catherine Booth began work in London. The organization had early beginnings as part of the Christian Church. They have gone on to become one of the largest donation companies in the world, being located in more than one hundred thirty countries. Throughout the companies existence, there have been millions of members helping others around the globe.
You can read all about The Salvation Army’s story here. They are one of the most recognizable charities that pick up donations for free.
Goodwill is another organization that can be found throughout the country, so you should be able to find one to take your donations in your area. They sell your contributions to earn money to support employment opportunities for those in need in the community. They will pick up your furniture donations as well as donations of cars or trucks.
You can find information about pick up options on their website. And if you have other types of donations, like clothing or appliances, you can drop them off at any Goodwill drop-off in the area.
Goodwill accepts clothing, dishes, accessories, boats, RVs, campers, cars, trucks, electronics, and furniture. They even take things like lawnmowers – and the vehicles you donate do not have to be in working condition.
Goodwill was started in Boston, Massachusetts by Reverend Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister. Helms initiated the Goodwill philosophy of “not charity, but a chance” when he gathered used household items and clothing in wealthier areas of the city. He then hired and trained people who were poor to repair the used goods.
These items were then sold or given to the people who repaired them. More than one hundred fifteen years later, the company remains a household name and leading nonprofit provider of workforce-related and educational services.
3. Furniture Bank
There are 34 states with Furniture Banks, so there is a good chance you can find a Furniture Bank location to pick-up your furniture donations. As the name implies, the main focus of Furniture Bank is furniture. However, they also accept recreational vehicles and automobiles in any condition and will pick up and tow your cars if necessary.
The Furniture Bank will sell your donations and use the money to support battered women and children, immigrants, the working poor, the previously homeless, and the unemployed. Rather than having a junk removal company remove things from your home, you can donate your furniture to a company like Furniture Bank.
Those families who are less fortunate will appreciate the fact they can get donations from a company that can supply a bed for their child to sleep in.
Amvets uses gifts to support local veterans. Donations are often given to veterans in need, so Amvet has an ongoing need for clothing as well as small appliances, curtains and drapes, computers, televisions, small devices, kitchenware, books, beddings, bicycles, and other donations.
You can take your donations to specific locations for Amvets, and you can schedule a pick-up for your donations if you prefer. If you do plan a pick-up, you will need to box up your donations and label them for Amvet and put them outside your door by 7:30 am on the day you schedule the pick-up.
If you are donating furniture or other large items and are having them picked up, contact your local Amvet organization and ask them how they would like to arrange the pick-up.
AMVETS (American Veterans) is the countries most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization, representing the interests of twenty million veterans. AMVETS provides services to all who have served in the United States military, including the Reserve and Guard.
With more than two-hundred-fifty thousand members in the US, they are veterans serving veterans.
If you are on the east coast, GreenDrop is probably available in your area. It is a program used by multiple different charitable organizations, including the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the American Red Cross, and the National Federation of the Blind.
These organizations utilize GreenDrop to help raise funds for their work through the collection of donations.
In addition to standard donation pick-up, GreenDrop also offers a Home Clean-Out service that will help you go through your home to identify and donate large amounts of household items and clothing.
You can have them come over before you move and go through your home to find what you want to donate and what they will accept. Once a plan is in place, they will help pack and remove the items you wish to donate.
6. Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity focuses its efforts on building homes for those in need, as well as the repair of homes for those in need. They will accept furniture donations as well as building materials, appliances, and the majority of vehicles, such as trucks, cars, recreational vehicles, boats, farm equipment, construction equipment, motorcycles, and airplanes.
Once they sell your donations, they use the money to support their home building efforts.
They will pick up your donations for free once a week. Search online to find the nearest Habitat For Humanity that will pick up your donations.
7. Pick Up Please
The Vietnam Veterans of America organization is responsible for Pick Up Please. Through Pick Up Please, you can schedule a pick-up for your donations online, and they will often be removed within 24 hours. You only have to box up the items and label them for the organization – VVA Donation Pickup – and they will come to your home, take the boxes and leave you a receipt for your donation. You do not have to be there for them to pick up the donation, either.
Pick Up Please is happy to take your clothing, electronics, household goods, toys, and furniture as long as the furniture is not too large.
Pick Up Please is currently available in Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Colorado, Delaware, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Connecticut, Michigan, and Oregon.
Some of the benefits of Pick Up Please include:
- Convenient online scheduling right from your computer or mobile phone.
- Having quick service within as few as twenty-four hours for most places.
- Getting tax deduction documents sent to your email.
- A wide range of acceptable donations, including clothing, shoes, purses, household items, toys, and other goods.
- Your donations provide benefits to all U.S. Veterans.
8. The Arc
The Arc is another organization that can be found in most locations in the country. The Arc has over 1,000 programs across the country and 600 local chapters. They focus on helping those with developmental or intellectual disabilities. You can find information about their pick-up options on their website.
They will accept clothing, furniture, and other donations.
9. Out of The Closet Thrift Stores
Out of The Closet Thrift Stores is another charitable company that will pick up your donations. By shopping at Out of the Closet Thrift Stores, you are helping those who are living with HIV. 96¢ of every dollar collected by their stores will directly fund AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs and services in the U.S. and abroad. They provide cutting-edge HIV medical care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.
10. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Last but not least is the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Their motto for the last one hundred years has been that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Here is all the information on how to contact them to pick up your donations. They will take donations for the following items:
- Household items
- Office Supplies
- Exercise equipment
One of the best ways of finding companies that will collect donations is to do an online search. Searching Google for something like “companies that pick-up donations for free nearby” should do the trick.
Making Donations – What You Need to Know
Most charities will pick-up your donations free of charge
You can expect most charities to pick-up your donations without charging you for the service. All of these charities listed here will do it for free. However, it never hurts to look at their website and contact the local branch near you to verify that the service is free and find out what the rules are.
Your donations should be tax-deductible
It is a good idea to take advantage of your tax deductions when you can. These charities make it easy to do so by providing you with a receipt upon request for your donations. Make sure you put your documents in a safe place where you will remember to take the deductions allowed.
Your donations should ideally be “gently used”
Since they are trying to resell the items, it helps if they are still desirable – which means they should not be completely worn out when you donate them. Make sure you only provide items that can be used by others.
Why Donate Your Stuff to Charity When Selling a Home
One of the most significant benefits of donating your stuff to charity besides helping someone in need is to de-clutter your home. It is a fact that homes that look their best will sell for the most amount of money. Real Estate agents are always preaching to their clients the need to declutter if they want top-dollar for their property. By making donations to a charity, you’ll clear a significant amount of excess stuff you really don’t need.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a company come to your home and pick up the furniture you don’t want? Furniture donation pick-up services are easy with these companies.
All of the rooms in your house will become far more spacious looking to a buyer. Your closets will seem far less cramped, and your basement will be able to be seen freely without encumbrances. There are tremendous advantages to making your property look more spacious and inviting.
Final Thoughts on Companies That Have Free Donation Pick-Up
Understanding where you can donate items you don’t need in making a move from one house to another is excellent knowledge to have. Not only will you be making your home look a whole lot better, but you’ll also be helping out others who are in need. Something you can certainly feel great about doing.
Other Helpful Moving Resources
- Tips for downsizing your home – see actionable guidance on how to downsize your home. Do you know when you should downsize? Find some tips on that as well.
- Who you should let know your address is changing – when moving, one of the most critical things to do is notify all the people and organizations that should be made aware you’re going elsewhere. See who should know about your address change.
- How to save money on your move – who doesn’t want to save money when they are moving? Get some great tips on how you can bring down the expense of moving.
Use these additional moving articles to help prepare for selling your property and eventual move.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on companies that pick up donations for free was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 33+ years.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate Sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton, and Uxbridge MA.