Are you looking for charity pick up to unload items around your home that you don’t need or want anymore? If so, you are on the right track! When you give your unneeded household items and clothing to a charity pick up, you spread good in more ways than one: You benefit by clearing they clutter out of your home. You also win by getting that sense of warm fuzzies that you are helping families in need, or providing military support, or keeping stray animals off the street, or whatever the cause of the charity pick up you use is. On top of that, when the organization that you make your charity donations to sells them in a thrift store to convert them to cash, the people who get items they need for a fraction of the cost of buying them new. Oh and the environment benefits because your unneeded household items get a second life, instead of filling a landfill. Whew. The take away here is, using a charity pick up to donate your unneeded household items and clothing is a win, win, win, win situation. Do it.
However, there is a right and wrong way to give goods to charity. No one ever talks about it because organizations who accept charity donations don’t want to come off as ungrateful. So color us an unbiased third party who has nothing to gain from your donation. We just want you to do the most good with it. Here are our simple tips for donating goods to charity:
Three Simple Rules for Donating Goods to Charity
- Put like items together.
The volunteers who process your donations get dozens, sometimes hundreds, of bags and boxes of donations to go through on a daily basis. Can you imagine the mayhem that would ensue if every person who dropped of three or four bags put this shoe in this bag and its match in the bag over there that also has one side of the salad tongs but not the other? It would be like trying to solve a one million piece jigsaw puzzle, that might or might not have all the pieces and might have pieces to other puzzles, with no reference picture.
Instead, group the items that you donate in boxes with like items. When you sort through your kitchen, put all of the donations in one box. When you move on to sort through your closet, start a new box. Throw a label on the box so the staff knows what’s in it. When an item has multiple pieces (such as shoes and salad tongs) attach them together with tape or rubber bands. This makes the sorting process far easier, and requires less effort, which results in more good that can be done with your donation.
- Donate items that have more usability in them.
Charities that take your unneeded household item and clothing donations are not a trash service. If you donate clothing with holes and questionable stains, or appliances that are broken, the cause you donate to has to discard them. You pay your trash service to cart away your trash; when you give trash to charity, you’re treating them like a free trash service.
Instead, if your unwanted items are broken beyond repair, recycle them. Or look for an organization that specifically collects broken items to use for another purpose (such as using ruined clothing to soak up oil spills, etc.).
- Pack fragile items with care.
If you throw a vase or a glass in a box all willy nilly and it breaks in transport, it is as good as useless to the organization you donate to. In fact, all of the other items in the same box are likely going to be discarded since they could include broken glass. In fact, it could be a hazard to the staff who reaches into your box without knowing it contains broken glass.
If your unwanted donation is breakable, consider packing it in the way that you would if you were moving. Wrap them in news paper or grocery bags to protect them. Make sure you label “FRAGILE, Handle with care!” on the outside. This protects the people who process your donations and ensures it stays in one piece, to further the cause.
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