Almost always, when you start planning your move, you notice you have items you don’t really require in your new home. Sometimes it comes down to a simple matter of space in the new home or the fact that you already have these items in the new home. These can be rather small items like clothes and shoes to the larger more cumbersome furniture. There are two ways you can get rid of these so-called “extra” things. You can either sell it, or donate it. Lets quickly look over both these options in our guide on where to donate furniture before you move.
Should I Sell My Furniture?
Selling it may sound appealing. The idea of making a few extra bucks off of something you don’t really require anymore, seems logical. You can do this via garage sales or even online through websites like eBay and Craigslist. But this may not sound as easy as you may assume.
Suppose you need to sell your furniture. Let’s assume that you would likely want to do this at the last minute, just before you move, as you would still be using the furniture till moving day. This makes organizing a garage sale troublesome.
You first need to get the word out and plan your move perfectly enough that you can organize the garage sale to be as close as possible to the day or time of the move. No doubt, this organizing and planning has to be done while you are already busy with organizing the move itself. Would you really have the time? What guarantee do you have that your furniture will get sold during this sale? It’s not uncommon for items, especially furniture, to be sold during sales.
Also Read: How To Organize A Garage Sale Before Moving?
Your second option is online sales. Again, you would want to sell as close as possible to your move, because it is nice to have a bed to sleep on and a table to eat at, when you spend your day getting ready for the move. People can try to rip you off online and you will spend a lot of time haggling over the price.
If potential buyers realize you are looking to sell the furniture as quickly as possible, they will use your urgency to their advantage. It’s a common tactic to stall your sale, constantly asking for lower prices, and fixing times and dates to view the furniture beforehand, but not really committing to the purchase. They do this until you basically run out of time and have to sell and will settle for their price. It’s a win for them and a loss for you. And on top of that, you are busy with your move, so where are you going to find the time to distract yourself with these online shenanigans?
More likely than not, many online buyers won’t use your furniture, but will just recycle your sale for a profit. It’s a viable source of extra income.
Also See: Where To Sell Clothes For Cash Online?
Should I Donate My Furniture?
Most obviously, donating is an act of kindness. You give from your plenty to those who have less. When you donate your furniture to a charity or a good cause, you can trust that your furniture will be put to use. Someone out there will be able to make use of it even though you can not. For those of you that believe in karma, donating and charity are reasons for you to have good karma.
If that has not convinced you, then there are other reasons beyond karma worth considering.
Great For The Environment
If you don’t manage to sell your furniture in time, chances are it will end up in a landfill. It’s also possible that if you do sell your furniture, it will still find its way to a dump or a landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that over 12 million tons of furnishings and furniture are discarded every year. So donating your furniture will not only give your furniture a second life and benefit a lucky individual, family or community, but it will also prevent further grief to the environment by adding to the piles of junk and trash lying around in landfills.
Helps With The Taxes
Yup! Donating your furniture does help with your taxes. This does take a bit of work, but if you are thorough, you will be eligible for tax deductions. In fact, if what you are donating to the non profit organization is in fairly decent condition or barely used, then you can receive a tax deduction that year.
Here is what you do. When making a donation to an organization, collect a tax receipt for the donation. Be careful and make sure that the receipt has details like the date, location and a good description of the item you are donating.
Your next step is to make sure that you have a detailed account of your donation. If you are not able to get a tax receipt, then that is even more reason for you to do this step, because you need records as your proof of donation. Make sure to also find and record the free market value of the items you have donated.
Once you have these records and proof of your donation, you will have to look at the official IRS website to know more about your eligibility and also the value of the donated products.
We mentioned this before, but here it is again. Make sure you only donate items that are in decent condition and barely used, as the IRS only provides tax exemption on items that can be reused and in good condition. Basically, don’t donate junk, it’s not cool either.
See Also: How to Donate Your Used Items
Where to Donate Furniture?
So where do you donate your furniture and furniture? In this segment, we will go over some of the charitable and non profit organizations that accept these donations.
This is by far the best choice in this list. This international organization helps people fight hunger, poverty and also assists people in rehab or looking to rehabilitate from alcohol and drugs. Your donations go to furnishing homeless shelters and their rehabilitation centers around the world.
The Salvation Army is one of the organizations that accept large furniture. You can look up their website to find drop off locations or opt for their pick up service. Unlike certain charities that only accept certain items, the Salvation Army is happy to accept any donation as long as they can be used and will benefit people who need it. So it’s not just furniture, feel free to inquire about donating other items you may not require.
Habitat For Humanity
Then there’s also Habitat For Humanity, an international non profit organization. Habitat For Humanity focuses its relief efforts around providing affordable and secure housing for those in need. They use the money they get from donations and from selling new and used things to fund their mission of building these houses.
Habitat For Humanity also has home improvement stores known as Habitat ReStores, where you can donate your furniture and other such items. Be respectful and make sure you only donate items that are in good usable condition. They also offer to collect the items directly from you, so call and book a pick up.
The National Furniture Bank Association
Based in the United States with centers all across the country, The National Furniture Bank Association helps the homeless and vulnerable people, especially children and women that have escaped abusive and hostile situations.
They are only active in about 34 states, so head to their websites and find the closest one near you. They accept gently used furniture so be respectful and don’t attempt to donate your furnishings if they are days away from falling apart.
The National Furniture Bank Association offers donation pickups, so don’t forget to book for this service. In addition to furniture, they also accept vehicles like cars, so if you have any that you are looking to give away, consider this organization.
It is quite likely that you have heard of Goodwill and their endeavors in helping communities. Goodwill is known for assisting people who are unemployed to find stable work and income. They are one of the first places that comes to people’s mind when they look to donate items, especially clothes.
Though not all Goodwill stores and centers offer furniture pick up, they do accept furniture. So don’t be misled. Go on their website or call them and have a word and they can arrange for someone to come and pick up the furnishings that you want to donate.
Not many have heard of GreenDrop. One reason for this could be the fact that they mainly only operate on the east coast. But that does not mean it is not well known among other nonprofits and charitable organisations. They work closely with the National Federation of Blind, Red Cross, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Military Order of the Purple Heart.
The donations that you make to GreenDrop will be sold at thrift stores for a fraction of the cost and these funds are then used to aid the organisations mentioned above, in their endeavours.
Greendrop also offers a service called Home Clean-Out where they help you sort out items and clothing that you can donate. This makes it the perfect service to request when you are looking to move to a new house as it will help you streamline the process of selecting and donating items. You can also get free home pick up for the donations you want to make, so feel free to get in touch with them and request a pick up.
An organization that is spread across the country and focuses their resources towards providing aid and assistance to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. What’s great is that the Arc also sells the donated items in thrift stores for a fraction of the value and the proceeds go towards supporting its programs. Apart from furniture, they accept clothing, shoes, books, toys, cars and other items that have potential resale value.
The Arc also provides free home pick up. So go on the website, find the location closest to you and give them a call.
There are many more organizations that you can donate your furniture to. Although we can not cover each one in our list, here are a few more.
- Pick Up Please
- Vietnam Veterans of America.
Donate Your Furniture Locally
You do not have to donate only to these larger well known organizations. If you prefer to contribute to your local community, you can always donate locally.
A quick Google search can point you in the direction of local establishments like shelters, and nonprofits that you can donate your furniture to. We would also advise contacting local thrift stores to see if any of them donate a part of their profits to non profit organizations. If they do, coordinate with them to donate your furniture and furnishings.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you give away household items?
Your household items can be given away to charities and non profit organizations. They are happy to receive donations, although some of them may only accept certain items and not others. DonationTown.org is a great website for you to locate establishments near you that you can donate to.
What items does the Salvation Army not take?
There are some items that the Salvation Army will not accept like built in units and kerosene appliances. They will also say no to automobile parts, television sets, large stereos and also pollutant and possibly dangerous items like paint and other chemicals.
How do you get rid of furniture without a fire label?
Furniture comes with a fire safety label. It is understandable that over time this label has come off and isn’t there on the furniture anymore. The chances of this are usually low as these labels are sewn into the fabric or attached in difficult to disturb places like under the cushions. On the off chance that your furniture doesn’t have this label, it is best to contact the charity you are donating to and enquire with them if they will still accept the item.
Donating that which you do not need is a great way to give back to the community and help someone even if you are not directly involved. So consider this as an option before you decide on selling these items. We would urge you to be considerate when you donate items. Do not donate anything that can not be used, or is broken and beyond repair. Your donations will be used for the betterment of a person’s life. So do not give them your junk.