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Tips for Donating Unwanted Items Before You Move

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When you are preparing to move, donating your unwanted items can be an easy way to save time and money overall. One less box to pack can reduce moving related stress and give you time to do other moving-related tasks. It will also decrease the weight of the overall move which saves you money when using full-service movers.

Donate old clothes before moving

Donating your unwanted items should make you feel good. You have the opportunity to help others as you prepare to move.

TIP: Donating may allow you to receive tax benefits, so ask the charity for the appropriate donation forms.

Choose a reputable charity before you move

There are several charitable organizations that could accept your unwanted items. An efficient approach is to select the organizations that are most familiar to you. For example, The Salvation Army is a well-known charitable group that was established in 1867. The Salvation Army has locations across the country that will make donating convenient. When donating to reputable nonprofit, like The Salvation Army, you can feel safe knowing your items will be donated properly.

If you want to make sure that you are donating to a legitimate charity, the Internal Revenue Service maintains a database of all organizations registered as charities. You can also check with your state's charity regulator to locate who is responsible for policing charities.

Prepare your clothes, kitchenware and furniture for donation

As you prepare your items for donation, adhere to donation guidelines set by the charity. If you are dropping off items at a specified location or donation receptacle, you may need to package your items in a specific way. For example, certain charitable organizations provide their own plastic bags for donated clothes.

  • Clean all clothes prior to donation. This is standard practice for donating clothes and shoes.

  • If you have plans to donate any sharp utensils, it would be a good idea to keep them in the original box or wrap them in bubble wrap. Label box "SHARP" to ensure safe handling.

  • Wrap dishes, pots and pans in newspaper to protect them from breaking. If you have glassware items, you may want to label the box as "FRAGILE GLASS" and pack with plenty of supporting packing materials.

  • Clean your furniture before bringing it to the charitable organization. Many organizations will restore your furniture and make repairs if necessary, but don't forget to include extra pillows or cushions with your donation.

Tips when donating personal items before you move

  • Check if the charity requires any payments for accepting your donation.

  • Contact the organization directly and inquire about policies related to donating your unwanted goods. You don't want to discover that your items have been thrown away or returned to your old address because information was missing.

  • Ask if there are restrictions related to the quality of donated items.

  • For electronics, erase your memory card and delete any personal pictures, email, text messages and personal information stored on your handheld device.

  • If you're donating a computer, provide all necessary accompaniments -- such as documents, disks, cables, keyboard and mouse.

  • Consider donating books directly to schools, libraries or recreation groups.

Call junk removal services for anything you cannot donate

Ideally, it is kind to give away your old furniture to the less fortunate. However, sometimes your items are not in good enough condition, or you simply do not have the time to drop them off. When this is the case, and you cannot easily get rid of your large, unwanted items (such as furniture) through a charity, hire a junk removal service.

Junk removal services specialize in removing anything you don't want -- but for a price. It may cost some money, but not having to be bothered with loading and dropping off large, heavy items may be worth the price. There are pros and cons of unwanted goods disposal, just like anything else, so weigh the advantages against the disadvantages before making a final decision.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on November 29, 2018

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