According to the EPA, the volume of municipal solid waste (MSW)— including bottles and corrugated boxes, food, grass clippings, sofas, computers, tires and refrigerators— reached 292.4 million tons in 2018. That’s a lot of waste!
Donating used goods is an easy way to make a real difference in your community. What’s more, instead of dragging everything to the donation center yourself, you can schedule a pick-up and have the charity come grab your bags, boxes, and larger furniture items right from your front door. For your convenience, we’ve included a list of national organizations that provide free pickup services at the end of this article.
So how can you ensure your items are ready when the truck pulls up? Here are a few tips:
Gather and Organize
Round up items you no longer need that are still in good, working condition. Group similar things together, like clothing, books, linens, and small furniture. This makes it easy for the charity workers to assess what you have to donate and load their truck.
Check Condition and Cleanliness
No one wants to receive dirty or broken hand-me-downs. It’s best if everything is freshly laundered and in good working order. Go through each item and make sure there are no stains, rips, or other damage. Wash or dry clean clothing and linens. Wipe down and dust furniture and electronics.
Prepare Your Stuff for Pickup
Package things in sturdy boxes, bags or bins and label them with the contents for easier handling and sorting on the receiving end. Place all boxes, bags and larger items near the entryway where the truck will park for easy loading. Make sure what you’ve packed is light enough for two people to easily lift.
Get a Receipt
Most charities will give you a receipt you can use to claim a tax deduction. Some charities provide receipts on the spot, while others mail them shortly after pickup. Ask if they issue official receipts with details like the charity’s name, address, your name/address and an estimated value of the goods. Take photos of the donated items for your records.
Please note: We are not tax experts and are not offering tax advice, other than you should consider obtaining additional information and advice from your legal and/or financial advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances.
Charity Organizations That Provide Free Pickup Services
The Arc has been supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1950. Visit their website to register and schedule your pickup. You can also schedule via phone at 1-800-283-2721.
Furniture Bank Network
The Furniture Bank Network helps those who lack the resources to furnish their homes. Visit their website to see whether a participating organization in your area offers free pickups.
Goodwill offers free pickup for clothing, books, toys, and small furniture. You can schedule a pickup on their website or by calling your nearest donation center.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore locations offer free pickup services in many areas for large items like furniture, cabinets, doors, and lighting. Visit their website to schedule a pickup.
PickUpMyDonation.com helps non-profit thrift stores to secure donations. for their needs. Your request will go out to your nearest non-profit thrift store, and if they’re interested and you meet the minimum size requirements, you’ll have a pickup scheduled. Visit pickupmydonation.com to make a donation request. Include a list of items you intend to donate.
Visit their website and enter your ZIP Code to see if they operate in your area. If you aren’t home at your scheduled pickup time, leave the items in bags or boxes outside your home labeled “VVA Donation Pickup.” You can usually schedule a pickup with 24 hours of notice, ideal if you’re moving on a tight timeline.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army offers free pickup services for large furniture like couches, dressers and tables then distributes them to those in need or sells them in their Family Stores. You can schedule a pickup on their website.
Mayflower’s Partnership with Move For Hunger
Mayflower has partnered with Move For Hunger, a national nonprofit organization that has created a sustainable way to reduce food waste and fight hunger. As a customer, you can donate any non-perishable food items you have when you move. Ask your move coordinator whether the agent loading your belongings is taking part in our Move For Hunger initiative.
We hope your journey to Finding Home is smooth and successful. And remember, no matter where you happen to be in the moving process, you can count on Mayflower to be with you Every Step of the Way®.
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