One of the biggest challenges to getting organized can be what to do with all of the stuff that we no longer want or need.  Here is a list of resources in the Boston area that would welcome the donation of your gently used items.

 

  • Bridesmaid Dresses & Prom Dresses:  Get rid of unwanted tulle at DonateMyDress.org, which distributes prom, Sweet 16, and quinceañera frocks to girls who can’t afford them.
  • Clothing and household items: Plenty of organizations will accept your tired attire, but Vietnam Veterans of America resells it to fund programs for veterans and will pick up your donation.  Are the items in less than ideal condition? Include it anyway – these are sold by the pound and made into rags.
  • Construction Material:  Contact your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. ReStores sell donated goods at discounted prices; the money is used to fund the construction of Habitat homes. Each ReStore is different, so contact one in your area for information on what items they take.
  • Decorative Household Items:  If you’re in the Millis, MA area, you can donate to The Hope Chest.   They accept donations of small furniture, antiques, collective, household items, kitchenware, china, jewelry, books and bric-a-brac.
  • Eyeglasses:   New Eyes for the Needy sends your old eyeglasses abroad, bringing the gift of sight to places like Bolivia, Ghana, and Cambodia.  Did you know that Lions Club International collects prescription glasses   Find a local chapter here.
  • Furniture:
    • Furnishing Hope Massachusetts is an organization that helps folks moving into first homes after homelessness.  Their office is on the outskirts of Harvard Square (relatively easy drop-off), and for furniture they do free pick-up if you have 5 or more items they want.
    • New Life Furniture Bank in Walpole, MA. For furniture and household goods, directly to the people in need at no cost.
    • My Brother’s Keeper in Easton, MA also accepts furniture and will pick up.
  • iPods:  Through Music & Memory, iPods in working condition—as well as donated iTunes gift cards—help lift the spirits of elderly patients with Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
  • Just About Anything:  Freecycle, an eight-million-strong “worldwide gifting movement,” reduces waste by connecting trash-bound household items—bikes, coffee tables, moving boxes, appliances, birthday party decor, and more—with local people who want them. There’s an active group on the South Shore so you know your “gift” will be used locally.
  • Linens and Towels: Animal shelters are always in need of these items for their animal clients.  Scituate Animal Shelter welcomes these items as well as food and other non-perishables.
  • Old Cellphones: The phones are sold to a company that recycles them, and Cell Phones for Soldiers uses the money to buy calling cards for troops stationed abroad so they can phone home for free. Go to Cellphones For Soldiers to print a free prepaid shipping label.
  • Stuffed Animals:  Consider donating these furry friends to Loving Hugs, which offers children in war zones, refugee camps, and orphanages a cuddly new friend.  Another option is to send them to Stuffed Animals for Emergencies, which donates gently used stuffed animals to homeless shelters, hospitals, and emergency aid workers—paramedics often give the soft toys to kids they meet on their calls.  There was also a recent blog post on the Smart Parent Advice site with more great ideas.
  • TechnoTrash:  Recycle these items at Best Buy or Staples. Drop off your chargers, cords and technology items – after you’ve wiped them clean and reset to factory settings.
  • Toiletries:  We all have those travel and sample sizes we’ll never use.  You can donate these to local organizations that serve the homeless in our local communities.  Here are a few options:
  • Toys and Sports Equipment:  Big Brother Big Sister Foundation of Massachusetts Bay accepts books and toys, sports equipment, electronics and most household items and will pick up donations at your location.
  • Women’s Professional Clothing & Accessories:  Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.  There’s a local office on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.  If you can’t get into Boston, Interfaith Social Services in Quincy gladly accepts mens and womens professional clothing.