Whether you’re moving or simply decluttering, there is nothing more frustrating than looking at piles of stuff that you don’t want or need anymore. It is extremely tempting to fill the dumpster with your unwanted items: Problem solved, stuff gone, and in a very timely manner! There are many reasons why you shouldn’t do this, however. Aside from the environmental implications of continuing to load up our landfills, wouldn’t it make you feel better to give your unwanted stuff to somebody else who needs it? In a city the size of New York, the needs are extreme and, fortunately for you, there are plenty of organizations ready, willing, and able to take your junk off your hands. So, step away from the trash can and donate your unwanted items to these places instead. You may be able to get a nice tax deduction along the way!
- Baby Buggy: Babies and kids grow up too fast, and you’re going to blast through a ton of clothing and equipment that is perfectly usable once you’re done with it. Don’t need that stroller anymore? Head to Baby Buggy in Midtown West and donate clothes and equipment your kids no longer use.
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters: The Long Island chapter of this wonderful organization accepts donated furniture to give to other Long Islanders in need. Rather than throw your back out trying to lift the old couch into the dumpster, donate it instead.
- Bowery Mission: Lower East Side residents are likely familiar with this organization that accepts clothing, linens, and bedding for the NYC residents in desperate need of bath towels, pillows, and, most importantly in the wintertime, coats, scarves, gloves, and hats.
- Furniture Distribution Program: This wonderful city-run service is for all five NYC boroughs and addresses the needs of those recovering from a disaster or domestic violence, or anyone else that requires shelter. Donate your furniture and give someone in need a fresh start.
- Goodwill: This organization also services all five NYC boroughs and accepts gently used clothing for men, women, and children, and takes in the used toys that your kids are no longer playing with. Just make sure the toys have all the parts necessary for play, please.
- Housing Works: You’ll see Housing Works thrift stores throughout New York City, and proceeds from the sales of donated goods help those suffering from HIV/AIDS. This organization accepts clothing, household goods, jewelry, and even used books, CDs/DVDs, and LPs for its bookstores.
- J-CAP: This unique Queens organization accepts window air conditioning units for those at-risk people who are in desperate need of a cool-down during NYC’s hot and humid summers. J-CAP will also take in your old bedroom set provided it’s in usable condition.
- Room to Grow: Located in Chelsea, Room to Grow accepts donations for babies from infancy to three years old. This organization supports and monitors children born into poverty and accepts your used clothing, baby gear, toys, and other essentials.
- Salvation Army: These thrift stores support Adult Rehab Centers located in all five NYC boroughs, and the good news is that the Salvation Army will take just about anything, including your used appliances and furniture. Even better, they will sometimes even pick up your unwanted items for you.
- St. Francis Thrift Shop: Located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, St. Francis supports needy children by accepting your gently used clothes, toys, and even the books your kids don’t read anymore.
- St. Luke’s Thrift Shop: Greenwich Village’s St. Luke’s Thrift Shop focuses on the homeless, and one of the greatest things it provides is job interview clothing for those seeking to change their unfortunate situation. Don’t wear that old business suit anymore? Donate it to St. Luke’s.
This is just a small list of the organizations located throughout New York City that will accept the items you’re likely to give a dumpster burial. With so many options that do good within your community, there really is no excuse to throw things like clothing and furniture away, unless of course, they are completely unusable. Rather than litter our already overfilled landfills, donate your unwanted items. You’ll help someone else in need, and that just makes you feel great, doesn’t it?