Charities With Local Pickup (List) for Goods Donations as You Clean House

September 7, 2011 | by Kim (email) |

Following along with Jocie’s theme from yesterday, we’re in the process of reclaiming our fourth bedroom this summer.  Due to a house-guest overlap coming in August, we need to convert our office back to a bedroom; and we’re taking this opportunity to purge our home of more of those items we’ve been stashing in every closet or corner “just in case we might want them someday.”  We’d rather be storing only those things we actually use.  Sentimentality, begone!  (within reason, of course)

Editors note: This post originally ran in July of 2008.  We are committed to providing accurate, relevant information and have updated this post with further details and reader feedback.  If you find this post useful, we hope you’ll give it a +1. Conversely, if you see ways we can make it better, we hope you’ll leave a comment.

As I’ve been bagging everything, it occurs to me that a list of charities who will pick up items at your door might be helpful to others of you who are similarly downsizing. If you’re more inclined to haul the donation yourself, see my other post for a list of Charities with Drop Off Locations.  We’ve had good experiences with those listed below, and I’ll add to the list, as we find more.  They pick up from your doorstep and leave a doortag-receipt which you can use for writing off the donations on your taxes.

National Charities with Local Pickup

Local pickup isn’t just for heavy stuff like appliances and furniture. These national services are happy to collect clothing, household goods, books, electronics and more right from your home. Before scheduling a pickup, make sure everything is in good working order. Electronics should function, clothes should be clean and include any manuals if possible. Don’t donate broken or spoiled goods. Some services require the donation to be outside before 8 am and clearly labeled so check the requirements.

Charities with Limited-Location Local Pickup

Limited local pickup is usually reserved for larger donations and high value items. It is often dependent on the quantity and quality of your donation, your location, and the availability to perform the pickup.

In Canada:

The best part about these pickup-charities is that they tend to call back whenever they plan to return to the area.  While I hate getting “junk calls,” I’m glad that THEY call ME every few months, instead of my needing to take the initiative.  It motivates me to scramble about the house and gather together at least one bag of items we’re honestly not using, get a tax write-off in the process, and most importantly, make our unused items available for use by someone who can benefit from purchasing them at a reduced price.

If I’m not sure about an item, I hold onto it till the next call comes.  If I still haven’t used it, out it goes.  And as our children outgrow toys or receive toys as gifts, and I notice toys that are ritually ignored, I can make those relatively-new items available to lower-income families who can be blessed by our being blessed with generous friends and family.  Same thing with their clothes.

We can’t keep everything, and I’ve been convicted more recently that we SHOULDN’T hoard a whole bunch of “stuff,” just to “have” it.  We want to teach our boys that Things are for using, and that People are where we should be making most of our investment.  To be consistent, we need to share what we have – stuff that is JUST STUFF to us – with people who will actually make use of those items.

On a related note, if you do contact the charities above, please do make sure that what you donate is in good condition, so they’re not spending unnecessary overhead sorting through and weeding out items that should have gone into the trash.

And one final word of warning: we’ve found cleaning out to be addicting.  It’s so nice to have a clean, uncluttered house.  While we started out a bit hesitantly (“What if we give this away, and then we want it again?”), we’ve found that we’ve almost never even thought about those things again.  So now we have more of an attitude of “What can we give this time?”  It’s worth the effort getting started, and since we live in an area where we mingle across the socio-economic spectrum, we know some of the people who benefit from the donations made by families like ours.

And, heck, that’s how I afforded “new” clothing as a college student, myself!

What do you think? Do you periodically “clean house” and donate goods to charity?  Is there something in your house that you find yourself hanging onto, even though you don’t know why you do it?  Any good charities I should add to the list above?

35 Responses
  1. Jennifer says:

    Goodpoint about not donating trash… although, it IS to donate ripped and torn clothing to many of those places as they sell those and outdated/unsellable clothes to fiber recyclers.

    Also, try not to donate computers/printers/etc… as they don’t even test them for working. They just ship them off to China to be recycled for a little profit…

    It would be better to sell the computer for $5 or $10 and donate the money to the charity or give it away to someone who can use it. There are people who don’t have any computer, and a 10 year old computer good only for word processing can make a big difference in a child’s ability to do his homework (since much of it is required to be typed now).

    A better place of getting rid of computers/printers AND broken or worn items is craigslist or freecycle… someone wants to fix up your broken item. I give everything a change there… it’s amazing what people want. Gives something a new use, and it keeps it out of the landfill. The above aren’t charities, of course…

    I do try to periodically go through my house for things I don’t need… I tend to freecycle them or donate them to the Habitat Restore in my area.

    • Patty says:

      National Children’s Center resells donated computer equipment and actually reuses some of the donated computer equipment

  2. In Canada, the Canadian Diabetes Association will also do pick-up. 🙂

  3. CALE says:

    The Lupus Foundation left a notice in our mailbox telling us when they’ll be in the neighborhood and asking if we’d like to donate anything. They pick up free of charge, whether you’re home or not, and leave a receipt in your door for tax write-offs.

    I thought this was a great idea and immediately put together several bags of stuff I’ve been meaning to get rid off but procrastinated. I’m sure there are many people who want to donate their stuff but they don’t know how or who to contact and then get frustrated by the whole process. With the charity pick-up notice, I don’t have to do anything except put all the stuff I don’t want outside my house and they’ll come along and take it away for me, no questions asked. It was such a relief to see it all go!

    More charities should definitely do this.

    • Tricia says:

      They are fantastic, unfortunately they don’t pick up in all localities. We used to get a bag to put our donation in from them at our previous home but they don’t collect from our new home.

  4. Kim says:

    Thanks for your comments, Jennifer, ET & CALE! I came back and updated this post and am scheduling a “Charities with Drop-Off Locations” post now.

  5. Claire says:

    Well… actually I’m of the opinion that less charities should do the “we’re going to be in your neighborhood so we put a HUMONGOUS plastic bag on your door to let the crooks know you aren’t home…” thing.

    I put out stuff once which wears me out (being single & doing this alone) and when I got home, the stuff was still there. I found you should call to MAKE SURE the charity knows you are leaving out stuff or else they might not get around to your block.

  6. Kim says:

    @Claire – yes, I’ve had a no-show, once. But only once. I’m on the regularly monthly call list for several charities now, so I pit them against each other. 🙂

    And while I’m not single, I do all the gathering, cataloging and itemizing for taxes, so I do still feel your pain!

  7. BB says:

    Sorry to say, but the Salvation Army does not want donated goods.

    I made arrangements for a pickup through the local number 301-277-7878, because the 800 number does not work in DC. The date was set for today Friday June 4th. I receive a call from the truck driver that a truck showed up at 3 June, that they will revisit tomorrow based on the mistake. On Friday, by mid afternoon, a call to the second number says they were not told to return. A call to the first number basically says “Oh well – that’s the way it goes”. When I suggested maybe donating to another organization – no response or apologies.

    You can be sure I’ll spread the word. The only assumption I can make is that the Salvation Army is satisfied with their current mode of operation. Thanks

    • Tina K. says:

      The Salvation Army is ridicolous in how they conduct business! I have made several calls for over a week, left messages, and never received a return call. I have been online and entered my information and still no response. If they are not interested in donations then why indicate that they are. Poor business and I will not attempt to donate to them, again (at least in the MD area).

  8. Jennifer says:

    I especially like the National Kidney Foundation … they mail out postcards with dates on when they’ll be in my area, and I can leave my items out at the curb for them to pick up. If I’d rather schedule a date (for large items), they come by with their truck.
    My latest items to donate are a two-piece sectional and a big chair … the NKF will pick them up, but not from inside the house. I live alone and can’t do it by myself. Is there any charitable organization that can take my furniture from inside my house?

  9. Kim says:

    @ Jennifer – I don’t know of any that will come inside. But if you find one, please let me know and I’ll add them to this list with a special note!

  10. CeeCee says:

    A Wider Circle will pick up but will take only perfect items: if there’s a scratch on a table it’s not good enough for their clients. Mission of Love will pick up and take just about anything. Salvation Army did show up at a friend’s place but would only pick up what was written on the sheet. Apparently “Miscellaneous” isn’t a specific enough thing.

  11. Sharon Dendy says:

    Salvation Army does come inside and we will put items in the garage to keep out of the elements. But they’ve also come on the 2nd floor of our house to remove furniture. I just called SA today @ 1-800-95-TRUCK but was told the next pick-up won’t be until Feb 2011. 🙁 AMVETS was a no show yesterday so now I’ve got to figure out how to get this stuff to a donation center asap.

  12. Lesley Murphy says:

    Does anyone know of a charity that will accept clothing straight from the closet?

  13. Jerry says:

    I think it all depends on where you live. There are hundreds of charities that take donated “stuff” and they all have different rules. You can try Since there are so many charities that offer donation pick ups, they help you find a local one. The best thing is that they don’t charge the charities or the donors anything for the donation pick up.

  14. Reecy says:

    Does any charity pick up from condos or apartments? was a bust, it refered me to the individual charities 800 numbers.

  15. My wife and I currently have an extra room set up for just charity items. When we hit critical mass we load it in the pickup and take it to the Goodwill. I never realized they do pickup. Thanks for the tip (since I missed it 3 years ago when it ran the first time).

    • Ethan says:

      Glad to help out 🙂 You ever try any other charities? You feel like Goodwill is working hard for your donations?

      • Goodwill is close and we shop there from time to time. I never really thought of them as working for our donations. Convenience is the deciding factor. If the Sal Army was closer we would probably donate there. Either of them seems to do a lot of good in the community.

  16. MissFixIt says:

    I tend to just drop it off at our local Good Will

  17. Eek565 says:

    We use Goodwill all of the time. I hadn’t realized they do pickups though. We like them because it seems they aren’t as picky about what items they’ll take.
    We also found a local place that takes used, but good condition building supplies like doors, cabinets, appliances and such. I’ve been donating all of my builder grade fixtures from our current bath remodel to their trailer at the local landfill. They then either sell them or use them in projects such as Habitat for Humanity.

  18. Donna McBride says:

    Does anyone know of an organization who will pick up a large donation of household items, sm furniture, clothes, etc., from our storage unit in Exton, PA? We moved to South Jersey and cleaned out items but left them in unit but need to be out of unit by Oct 31st. Key is with office manager on site and available 9 to 5 6 days a week. There is an elevator and wheeled cart for ease of moving them. Plus Airconditioning. I’d appreciate any help or organzation contact info..

    • Kim says:

      We don’t know of any. Maybe post it on Craiglist/Freecycle? (if what you’re looking for is a way to get rid of everything asap)

      If you find a charity that does this, in your search, though, please come back and let us know, so we can add them here and let future readers know!

  19. Mary Davis says:

    Trying to find a charity in the western part of Washington state who will pick up funiture.

  20. Nicole R. says:

    I second the remarks about Salvation Army. I have several furniture items to donate and I scheduled a pick-up with them. He asked me what I had to donate and I started listing them… he stopped me on my second item to tell me that’s all they could pick up on that run. Really? Its 2 weeks away….and that’s all you can pick up? They told me they can take ONE dining room table with the buffet only. I have 2 dining room sets, 16×22 oriental rugs, coffee tables, end tables, sewing machines… and you can only take one dining room set? This is out of Prince Georges County Maryland (outside DC). Lets hope Habitat ReStore can pull through…

  21. Global Paint for Charity will pick up all types of paint donation. Their mission is to recycle leftover paint from businesses and residents, and reprocess it and distribute it to vulnerable families in developing countries around the world. Their service is free of charge to businesses or individuals who want to better dispose their unwanted paint. Residents or businesses can file out a request form which can be downloaded from the organization website at, and their local volunteer team will call you to schedule a suitable time to pick up your paint donation. For more details visit or like their facebook page for updates and events at…...

  22. ethel says:

    I live in the Euclid ohio area and need a saturday pickup, does anyone know of one?

  23. Marie Red says:

    I’m finished with donating anything to Salvation Army!!. I called them to pick-up a working Jenn-Air Range a few years ago and when the truck arrived they said they did not take downdraft ranges. I called them last week to pick-up a working dishwasher, the truck arrived Saturday morning and they advised they do not take under the counter dishwashers. I also called Habitate but they said they don’t take dishwashers, I didn’t know they only put new appliances in the homes they build but that’s what the person who answered the phone told me. It’s very frustrating trying to donate a perfectly good (Kenmore) dishwasher and not finding anyone willing to take it.

  24. Darlene says:

    I am trying to donate an apartment size sofa, coffee table and a large guy recliner. All are in good condition. I called Vietnam Vets, they dont service my area. I tried AMVets they dont service my area. I tried Good will and they are not accepting donations from my area. Salvation army said next pick up isn;t till June 14th. I need to unload the furniture by May 30th. I dont want to throw away. Does anyone knoe of a charity here un Queens NY that will take it?

  25. Lucy Smith says:

    I have many pieces of clothing, fabric from other items that are not good enough to donate but I don’t want to put them in the trash because fabric does not easily break-down. What do you do with this items??? Is there a recycling for fabrics??

  26. Debi says:

    If item can not be picked up put the item on craigslist that is free. If the item is not big, let them know on craigslist the item out it front by the street, most times the item will be gone in less than 2 hours. This way no one will come in your home. If the item is big and you can not move it list your phone number for this item on craigslist, and if someone is coming to see it you can have some one you know with you when they come to pick it up. For items left by the street list your address to where they pick this item up but not your phone number or your name.

  27. […] Charities With Local Pickup (List) for Goods Donations … – As I’ve been bagging everything, it occurs to me that a list of charities who will pick up items at your door might be helpful to others of you who are similarly …… […]

  28. Pamela Brant says:

    For years I donated only the best of what I no longer wanted! Now after many years, I find they (goodwill, Purple Heart, and other charities no longer “pickup”i in my neighborhood!! Well aren’t you something…let’s see how long that lasts! I feel hurt and “punished”!

  29. Regina A. Corapi says:

    I am moving next month and have a lot of stuff to be picked up but no one seems to be available in my area. I would appreciate it if someone could get back to me since I have loads of donations.

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