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Spring Cleaning? 7 Tips for Donating Household Items

Posted by Hanna Selman on April 12, 2021
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tips for donating household items

Has massive spring cleaning left you with boxes full of items you no longer want? Before getting rid of gently-used goods, check out these tips for donating household items.

Use common sense.

This may sound simple, but it’s easy to get swept up in decluttering. However, before rushing to the donation drop-off bin, truly look at what you are giving away. Is it something you or your kids would still be able to wear, use, or play with?

Chances are if it is stained, torn, missing pieces or doesn’t work, charities don’t want it either. Recognize what is trash and what is still usable.

Do a little research.

This may be one of the more underrated tips for donating household items. A quick Google search including your zip code and the phrase “household donations” will help you find local organizations that accept donations.

Pick the best charity or group for your items.

Again, this is one of those tips for donating household items that might require a little digging and creativity. For example, a thrift store isn’t going to want your old towels or ripped sheets. But the Humane Society does.

Be sure to get a receipt for tax deductions.

This one is pretty straightforward on the front end. No receipt, no proof. So, when the donation center offers you a receipt, take it. Then it’s up to you to determine the value of the donation. This leads us to the next tip.

Use online resources.

This broad tip covers a lot. From donation value guides to finding the right nonprofit, online resources are essential!

For example, the IRS publishes a guide to help you figure out the fair market value for your items. Click here for the guide. Goodwill and The Salvation Army both have guides to help you calculate the value of items in good condition as well.

Make donations to charities eligible for tax deductions.

The best way to do this is to double check the status as a registered 501(C)(3) nonprofit. Visit the IRS website to do a quick search. Other useful websites include charitywatch.org and charitynavigator.org.

Know what items can be donated.

Certain household items like mattresses, obsolete technology and old appliances can’t be accepted by charities or thrift stores. In these instances, consider recycling the items or selling them for scrap parts.


We hope these tips for donating household items point you in the right direction as you declutter this season! There are so many worthwhile local groups and organizations willing to accept household items in good condition. Doing your homework goes a long way when it comes to many things—from donating to finding a local real estate expert.

Luckily, Ryan is ready to help with the last part! His real estate expertise goes beyond knowing the local Auburn, Opelika and Lake Martin markets. He makes sure his clients find exactly what they are looking for! Contact him if you’re ready to list or look for a home in our area. For more on real estate news, tips and trends, keep reading our blogs.