Where to Donate Your Furniture before You Move

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Sometimes it is easier to donate your furniture instead of moving it to your new home. Not only will you be reducing your moving costs, but you can also help someone in need, and it will also allow you to purchase new furnishings that match the personality of your new home.

The Many Ways that Donating your Furniture Helps You

Not only does donating your furniture and other belongings that you seldom use help your bottom line when it comes to moving expenses and taxes, but giving to charity is beneficial to your health. Here are the ways that giving to charities helps you:

•    You can deduct from your taxes the current fair market value of your donated furniture. The Salvation Army has a guide for valuing your donated items. The guide has low and high values, so that you can put together a fair estimate of your furniture’s value when you use the amount as a tax write-off.

•    Many charity organizations will pick up your furniture from your home. This saves you the cost of moving it yourself or hiring a professional to move it for you. Professional moving companies charge by the hour or by the weight of your belongings, and it is fair to say that furniture weighs a lot and takes the most time to move. By donating your old couch or dining room table, you save on moving expenses.

•    Your furniture might not fit the personality of your new home, or fit in spaces as well as it did in your current residence. By donating your furniture, and saving money on your taxes and moving expenses, you can afford to buy new furniture that is perfect for your new place.
•    Study after study show that giving to charity is beneficial to your emotional, mental, and physical health. Health benefits include lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, less depression, lower stress levels, longer life, and greater happiness. Giving creates a “warm glow” because it activates a region in the brain that is associated with pleasure. 

The Ways that Donating your Furniture helps those in Need

Downsizing by donating your furniture and other seldom-used possessions before you move helps the greater good and sets a great example to your children, family, and friends. Here are the ways that donating help those in need:

•    The furniture you donate usually helps the people in the community where you live. 

•    By recycling your used furniture to people who need it, your furnishings are put to good use instead of ending up in a landfill.

•    If your furniture is given to a charitable thrift store, the money generated is used to feed those in need, or provide resources for career training and education.

Donation Guidelines

Charitable organizations accept a wide range of items, but they do not accept broken, stained, or torn items, or hazardous materials. Your donated items will need to be in good shape and work properly without repair. Items that are ripped, stained, or broken need to be permanently evacuated from your life. Possessions that you believe are unusable or cannot be repaired are not usable to anyone. While each charity organization has guidelines for what they will and will not accept, here are general rules for what types of item they need:

•    Furniture: dressers, tables, sofas, and bed frames
•    Electronics: flat-panel monitor and rear-projection HDTVs, computers and hardware, stereos, radios, camcorders, gaming systems, VCRs, and DVD players
•    Housewares: dishes, glassware, utensils, lamps, and small appliances
•    Domestics: linens, curtains, and blankets
•    Hand tools and small power tools
•    Clothing and shoes
•    Books, records, CDs, DVDs, and video tapes
•    Collectables and antiques
•    Games, toys, and sports equipment

The following are items that are typically not accepted:

•    CRT and DLP TVs
•    CRT computer monitors
•    Cribs, car seats, and walkers
•    Household chemicals
•    Large appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, stoves and ovens, washers and dryers, microwaves, and water heaters
•    Personal care items
•    Mattresses, box springs, waterbed mattresses and frames
•    Weapons

National Organizations where you can Donate your Furniture

National charity organizations have hundreds of drop-off locations around the country, and many are willing to pick up large donations and furniture. These organizations will provide you with a receipt if you ask for one, which you will need if you plan to deduct the fair market value of the donated items from your taxes.

Goodwill. By donating your furniture to Goodwill, you help create opportunities for people in your community to build job skills and find jobs. The individuals you are helping include military families, single parents, and homeless people. Goodwill organizations placed 313,000 people into employment positions in the United States and Canada last year. In addition, 34 million people accessed Goodwill education for mentoring, training, education to enhance their skills and assist in finding employment. 

Goodwill accepts items that are in serviceable condition and contain all of their parts and pieces, and are free of tears and stains. They do not accept items that have been recalled or banned, or do not meet safety requirements. Goodwill accepts computers and electronics, vehicles, and mattresses, but they request that you call them before donating to find out if there are any restrictions or rules around them.

Goodwill has a locator page in order to find the center that is closest to you. If you are donating numerous items, give them a call. Many of their donation centers have a pickup service. Goodwill also has donation bins and donation drives at college campuses and retails stores, so there are numerous options for you to donate your belongings to them.

Salvation Army. By donating your furniture to the Salvation Army, you will help support their rehabilitation programs that focus on addiction treatment. The Salvation Army serves the world in many respects, and if you are looking to donate your belongings to a religious-based organization that does not discriminate, they might be the right choice for you. The Salvation Army serves 25 million people Americans annually, but assists people in 128 countries around the world. 

Salvation Army Family Stores accept clothing, furniture, household goods, appliances, and furniture that are in good shape. You can schedule a free pickup or find a drop-off location by visiting their website. 

Habitat for Humanity. Habitat ReStores are home improvement shops that accept both large and small donations of new and gently-used items. They are looking for furniture, appliances, housewares, building materials, and other items. You can donate your belongings in person or contact them for free pickup of large items. Habitat Humanity uses the money they raise at their Habitat ReStores to help families construct well-built and affordable homes. 

National Furniture Bank Association. Each year, the NFBA provides furniture to more than 100,000 struggling families in the United States and Canada. Local centers will pick up your furniture from your house. The National Furniture Bank Association accepts gently-used furniture and other household items including couches, tables and chairs, mattresses, dishes, pots and pans, and utensils. 

Vietnam Veterans of America. The VVA sells donated items to fund programs for veterans at a local, state, and national level. The Vietnam Veterans of America accept furniture and household items, and will pick up your gently-used belongings from your house. You do not even need to be at home when they pick up the items. Just schedule a pick-up and leave it in front of your house. Contact Pickup Please to have your donations picked up within 24 hours.

Donation Town. You can save time by visiting the Donation Town website, which is an internet resource for donating furniture, clothing, and other goods to charity organizations. The website is as an online directory of nonprofit organizations that offer pick up service for your furniture and other donated items. A simple search through their directory will get you the charity organizations closest to you.

Local Organizations here you can Donate your Furniture

There are plenty of options for donating your furniture to a local organization to ensure that your good deed is helping your community. Here are some options for donating locally.

Homeless Shelters. Missions and homeless shelters are typically independent charities that need your donations to operate. Homeless shelters are prominent in urban areas with high rates of homelessness. These organizations provide warm meals and shelter for homeless individuals and struggling families. They normally accept furniture, bedding, and other items. The United Ways provides a list of homeless shelters that are close to you.

Theater Groups. Theater organizations often need donated furniture and appliances to create sets. Contact local theater groups as well as theater departments at high schools and colleges if you want to take this route to donating your furniture.

Thrift Stores. Many of your local thrift stores donate all or a portion of their profits to charity organizations. Double check with the store manager to see if they are a nonprofit organization before you give away your furniture.

Battered Women’s Shelters. These types of shelters assist victims of domestic violence.  Women’s shelters provide a safe haven for women and their children who are looking to escape a bad situation and rebuild their lives. These organizations often accept donations of furniture and household items that are in good condition.

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