Making Your Move Easier: Where to Donate Household Items

Are you preparing for a big move? Moving can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, and one of the challenges that often arises is what to do with all the household items you no longer need or want to take with you. Instead of tossing them out or leaving them behind, why not donateCheck these items to those in need? Not only will you be decluttering your home, but you’ll also be helping others in the process. In this blog, we’ll guide you on where to donate household items before your move.

Local Charities and Nonprofits:

 Local charities and nonprofit organizations are a great place to start when looking to donate your household items. These organizations often accept furniture, clothing, kitchenware, and other essential items. They can distribute these donations to individuals and families who may not have the means to afford such things. Some well-known options include Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Vietnam Veterans of America and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Be sure to check their donation guidelines and operating hours before dropping off your items.


Homeless Shelters:

Homeless shelters constantly need essential items like clothing, blankets, toiletries, and non-perishable food. Consider contacting a local homeless shelter in your area to see if they are accepting donations. Some options include Covenant House and Family Promise. These items can make a significant difference in the lives of those currently experiencing homelessness.

Women’s Shelters:

Domestic violence shelters and women’s shelters are always in need of clothing, household items, and toiletries for women and their families who have escaped abusive situations. Your donations can provide comfort and support to those rebuilding their lives. Contact your local women’s shelter for their specific needs and drop-off options.

Schools, Place of Worship and Community Centers:

 Many schools, places of worship and community centers run programs to support families in need. These programs often accept donations of school supplies, children’s clothing, and household items to distribute to families who can’t afford them. Your gently used items could go a long way in helping children and families in your community.

 Food Banks and Pantries:

A great time to sort the pantry items is when you are prepping for a move. You want to dispose of anything expired, but it may not be worth transporting or storing non-perishable food, depending on where you are moving.  There is an easy way to donate non-perishables within expiration to your local food pantry. Luckily, many licensed movers are networked with Move For Hunger, a National non-profit started by a mover in N.J., which uses logistics to transport excess food to those in need. Movers in the Move for Hunger network will take any non-perishables you wish to donate and transport them to the local food pantry on your behalf. It’s a convenient way to pay it forward and scale down the excess in the pantry. 

Furniture Banks: 

Furniture banks are organizations that specifically focus on collecting and distributing furniture to individuals and families in need. If you have furniture items you no longer want, consider donating them to a furniture bank. They can help transform a house into a home for someone starting anew.

 Online Platforms: 

In addition to local options, consider using online platforms and apps to donate items. Websites like Freecycle, Nextdoor, and Craigslist have dedicated sections for free or low-cost item listings. Local Facebook groups or marketplace can be used to broadcast free items.  It’s a convenient way to connect with people in your community who may need the items you no longer want. As a reminder, take safety precautions when arranging direct donations with anyone unknown to you through the internet. Police stations or local municipalities often offer camera-covered and well-lit areas for meet-ups or place the items outside or in your garage and have some company with you.

 Thrift Stores:

 Thrift stores are another option for donating items you no longer need. These stores resell donated items and use the proceeds to support various charitable causes. While you won’t be donating directly to individuals, you’ll still be contributing to the betterment of your community.

Before donating any items, please make sure they are in good, usable condition. Clean and sanitize them if needed, as hygiene and safety are important considerations. It’s also a good practice to call ahead and check with the organizations you plan to donate to regarding their specific requirements and restrictions.

 Some organizations pick up at the curb, some require drop off, a select few may enter the home. This is all depending on the labor resources the donation center has available and what type of work the organization is insured to do. Check with the organization as to their pick up or drop off method. You may need to utilize your mover to carry something to a lower level, to the curb, or make an extra stop to drop an item.

Donating household items before your move lightens your load and provides essential support to those in need. Knowing that you’ve positively impacted your community is a win-win situation that can help you move with a lighter heart. So, as you pack up your belongings and prepare for your new adventure, don’t forget to consider those who could benefit from the items you no longer need. Your generosity can make a world of difference in someone else’s life.

If you have any questions or concerns about your next move, contact the New Jersey Warehouse and Movers Association –  

Blog submission: Tara Dixon, NJWMA Communications Committee and SeaCure Moving, Inc Vice-President.

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