1. Paper Shopping Bags
Paper shopping bags are a great item to donate. Often, donation centers will use them to organize small items they receive. Donation centers can also simply reuse them as shopping bags. A lot of charities also use paper shopping bags to store or deliver items, such as delivering boxed meals to the homeless.
If you visit a grocery store that still gives out paper bags, you probably have a couple hanging around your home. These paper shopping bags are great to use in your own home to store or carry things, but if you have an overwhelming amount of them, consider donating to a charity.
Have you ever bought a stack of greeting cards and then never used them? Maybe you have a couple boxes full of holiday, birthday, or thank you cards. You probably never thought about donating these items but a lot of non-profit organizations will happily take them off your hands. You may not use paper cards anymore but others still do.
3. Bone Marrow
If you’re someone who is incredibly generous and doesn’t mind undergoing surgery and a stay in the hospital, you could consider donating bone marrow. Bone marrow is the tissue found inside of human bones, contributing to 4% of a person’s total body mass. Bone marrow diseases can be fatal and patients often rely on bone marrow donations.
Plasma is the largest component of human blood. It’s another resource you could donate to help save someone’s life. Plasma patients often suffer from such diseases as blood clotting, immune system deficiencies, hepatitis, liver or lung conditions, or bleeding disorders. This is another epic form of donating. It’s probably not something you would think of when trying to declutter your home.
5. Crutches or Prosthetic Limbs
There are organizations out there that will gladly accept lightly used or unused crutches, braces, wheelchairs, or prosthetic limbs. These are often donated to hospitals, healthcare centers, non-profits, or people who cannot financially afford such items. You might find it unusual to donate a prosthetic limb, but someone who receives it might be incredibly grateful.
6. Cars, Construction Equipment, or Agricultural Equipment
In this economy, most people are trying to sell their old cars or equipment. But if you have some you can’t get rid of that are still in working condition, there are non-profit organizations who will take them off your hands. For instance, Big Brothers Big Sisters has a Cars for Kids’ Sake program, asking for donated vehicles of any kind. Habitat for Humanity also accepts vehicle donations.
7. Coat Hangers
If you ever get your clothing dry-cleaned, you probably have a ton of hangers in your closet. If you have more hangers than clothing, consider donating the hangers. You can send them back to the dry-cleaners or you can offer them to a secondhand clothing store. Stores like that are always in need of coat hangers. Even just a few hangers help.
8. Writing Tools
Do you have a lot of pens, pencils, crayons, or markers lying around your home? Maybe some are leftover from your children or maybe you just have a habit of buying too many writing utensils. We’ve all had a surplus at some point. With the amount of technology we have today, most writing utensils can be donated. If you’re looking to get rid of them, you can donate them to places such as schools, day cares, community centers, or libraries. There are also plenty of charities that accept writing and drawing utensils for lower income communities. Some people may be really grateful.
9. Hotel Toiletries
Have you ever gone on vacation and packed away the small hotel toiletries in your luggage? Those toiletries are the perfect size for traveling. But sometimes you end up taking more of them home than you actually need. If you have a pile of them, donate some to a local shelter. They’ll be more than happy to accept them. Also consider donating fast food items.
10. Bedding and Towels
Do you have a lot of extra sheets or towels stuffed in a closet? Maybe some of them have a tear or are worn down enough that the colors have faded. Maybe the towels aren’t as fluffy as they once were. If they’re still in a decent condition, you can donate them to a homeless shelter. The sheets and towels that are worse off can be donated to an animal shelter. Please make sure that any sheets you donate to a homeless shelter are either new or lightly used, and that if they’re used, they’ve been washed.
Remember when donating to ask yourself, “Would someone else want this?” Don’t ask yourself, “Would I want this given to me?” A lot of people end up throwing stuff away just because they don’t think of things from someone else’s perspective. Another person will want what you don’t.