(NEXSTAR) – Spring is the time to start fresh, open the windows and dust out – along with all that other junk you have lying around. What do you do with all the stuff you can’t take anymore, piling up in the back of your closet or in the corner of your garage? Donating is one of the best ways to keep that extra stuff out of the landfill.
But can you really donate a single sock that doesn’t match? What about a battered record? We asked Goodwill what they’d take and what they’d turn down – and it turns out they’ll accept a shocking amount of your stuff.
“We appreciate any donation someone is willing to give us, but there are some items we’re always looking for, particularly clothing, shoes and small home goods,” said Courtney Nelson, Goodwill’s senior director of marketing and communications .
Household appliances, kitchen utensils, utensils, vases and any small decoration are also highly valued at Goodwill, Nelson said.
When it comes to clothing, Goodwill accepts anything and everything. If it has a stain or a tear, that’s fine. They may not display it on the retail floor, but they will try to find a use for it, Nelson said. A garment with a large hole could be sent to a partner company who would repurpose old clothes into rags or insulation, for example. A run-down pair of shoes could be given to a retailer who uses the rubber in their soles to make the material for backyard athletic fields, she said.
Nelson said they even have a way to reuse a single shoe that’s missing its pair.
“We work with a retailer here who finds these shoes, and they actually match shoes that are the same size and have the most similar look,” she said. The retailer then distributes the newly fitted shoes to charities in other countries and gives them to those in need.
About 50% of donated items end up on the store floor, Nelson said. Only about 60% of these items are sold. Anything not resold is taken to a clearance sale where it is sold by the pound. In other cases, the organization will endeavor to salvage or recycle the items.
The only thing Nelson said, the Goodwill branch she works with in Arizona cannot accept toxic waste. Pretty much everything else is fair game.
“We know that when someone chooses to donate their items to Goodwill or to donate to another organization, they make an effort, especially if it’s during spring cleaning. They spent a lot of time going through these articles. These objects once meant something special and dear to them. — So if it doesn’t work out, donate it to Goodwill and we’ll make sure we make the best of it.”
Your local Goodwill locations may have additional restrictions, so be sure to check with the specific store before donating.
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