The Do’s and Don’ts of Donating Household Items to Charity

Purple heart donations

If you’re thinking about clearing up some space in your closet as preparation for the New Year, you’re kicking off 2016 in a great way. However, there are some guidelines that comes with the donation of household items.


  1. Know what you want out of your donation. Do you want to provide used clothing for the less fortunate? Do you want to aid military families? When it comes down to a matter of where to donate household items, educating yourself on the organizations in your area is the best way to find one that best suites your donations. Many used-clothing organizations are partnered with other organizations in your area to continue their outreach. By aiding them with donations, you can potentially be directly effecting the lives of those who are struggling. Clothing donations often have a ripple effect within the community, starting with the donor.
  2. Plan Ahead. If you want to use your donation as a tax write-off, be sure to ask for a receipt. Donations to charity that are worth more than $250 require a receipt in order to be a proper write-off on your taxes. The value of your charitable donations may have to be appraised if you believe they are worth more than $500.


    Don’t assume. Compared to 20 years ago, the average American buys at least twice as many pieces of clothing. Combined with the fact that many people don’t realize that almost 100% of household textiles are recyclable, this leads to a lot of waste. Every year, 70 pounds of clothing, linens and other textiles are thrown away by the average American. Be sure to double check that an item you’re contemplating tossing isn’t in fact able to be donated.

    Don’t donate trash. This should go without saying, but avoid donating something that isn’t actually a donation. Clothing that isn’t wearable shouldn’t go to a secondhand clothing store.

    How do you choose where to donate household items? How often do you donate? Sound off in the comments below! References.

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