Going Clutter-Free for a Cause: Donate Your Unwanted Stuff

While it’s important to be charitable throughout the year, we are quickly approaching the Season of Giving—a time where we express our thanks for all that we have and remember others who aren’t as fortunate.

Whether you’ve just cleaned out your closet in search of a more peaceful morning routine and gotten rid of the clothes that are just a little too small or a season out of style, or you’re organizing your clothes, shoes, bags and accessories to get ready for a new custom closet project, you likely have plenty of things that others could use.

woman cleaning out closet to donate unwanted wardrobe items

The same might apply to other rooms in your house: Have you organized your home office lately or taken another look at your mudroom before winter gear season hits? Have you surveyed your garage to use the space better in advance of the cold weather? Whatever the room, you’ve probably got odds and ends that you no longer want but others could use.

Consider donating it rather than bagging up belongings you no longer need and putting them by the curb. The sweater that’s a size too small but in otherwise fine shape will fit someone else. And the toys your kids have outgrown will make another child happy.

And bonus: You can likely get a tax receipt to claim a charitable donation on your tax return next year.

Here are some local charities that can benefit from your donation.


cardboard donation box with clothes

Cradles to Crayons

If you’re cleaning out your child’s room and find old toys and clothes that they no longer use, Cradles to Crayons may take them. Cradles to Crayons benefits children of all ages, from infants to 12 years by accepting donations of children’s gently worn clothes and shoes, as well as developmental toys and books—especially those for kids 0-2. Learn more about donation guidelines and locations.


You’ve probably heard of Goodwill—it’s a national nonprofit that helps close skills gaps and prepare people for jobs by selling donated goods. Goodwill accepts gently used clothing free of rips and stains and other household items that are in working order and contain all of the pieces and parts. You can easily locate a Goodwill donation center by entering your address in the top bar of their website.

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore

If you’ve got furniture or building materials you no longer need, donate them to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore instead of putting them on your curb for trash pickup. Think large appliances less than 10 years old, cabinets, air conditioner and heating units, bricks, lumber, tile, electrical supplies, lighting, doors, and windows. The profits from selling your donated goods are used to build new homes for people in need. Find a ReStore to donate.

Military Order of the Purple Heart

The Military Order of the Purple Heart works together with GreenDrop, an organization that accepts donations of clothing, household items, electronics (except for TVs and computer monitors), small appliances, games, toys, baby gear, books, CDs and DVDs. GreenDrop sells items to thrift shops and the proceeds benefit the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Donating to the Purple Heart is easy. You can schedule a pickup or find a drop-off location.

Our Closet

If you’ve got clothes that just don’t fit anymore, but are otherwise in great shape, Our Closet will gladly accept them. Our Closet provides clothing to vulnerable Philadelphians with “Pop-up Shops” set up throughout the city that mirror a typical shopping experience. This is the place to donate your unused professional clothing, handbags, jewelry, outerwear, and winter accessories. Get more information on donating here.

Philly AIDS Thrift

Philly AIDS Thrift store donates profits from selling donated goods to charities that help fight HIV and AIDS. The store, located in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia, accepts gently used clothes, shoes, accessories, appliances, electronics, stereo equipment, sporting goods, furniture, and more. They’ll take your donations right at their store. Get more information on donating here.

When donating items, don’t forget to ask about getting a tax receipt to add to next year’s tax return.

In addition to donating your stuff to these worthy charities, there are also volunteer opportunities available at many of them.

Donating your old clothes, kitchen items books and toys is not only a way to clear your house of all the items you no longer use, it’s also a way to feel good. Do your part to give back.

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