Tips For Making Your Thrift Store Donation Count

Woman preparing used clothes for clothing swap.

Donating items to thrift stores is an excellent way to organize your home and help people in need. However, there are a few things you need to know before donating. Use these tips to make your thrift store donations count.

Donate In-demand Items

Before heading to the local thrift store, make another sweep of your home to see if you have any in-demand items to donate. For example, thrift stores often need more men’s clothing and high-quality housewares. These items tend to sell quickly, and thrift stores rarely have enough in stock to accommodate shoppers.

Along with these in-demand items, thrift stores often appreciate books, CDs, electronics, handbags, and books. Also, children’s and women’s clothing sell quickly, and furniture is also a hit. However, some stores don’t take mattresses. Thus, if you have a mattress to donate, check with the store first.

Don’t Bring Items on the “Do Not Donate” List

You also need to look through your donation pile to ensure you don’t have any items that thrift stores typically don’t accept. These include broken items, expired helmets and car seats, food, large appliances, and products with hazardous chemicals.

Also, most thrift stores don’t accept weapons, including knives. Plus, they don’t want merchandise that is unsanitary. For example, if some of your clothing got wet and have mold, don’t donate these items to a thrift store. The mold could spread to other items, forcing the thrift store to discard the merchandise.

Organize Your Items

You can make things easier on the staff by separating your items before donating them. Group the items by type or category. For instance, create one group for men’s clothes and another for women’s. Then, if you have housewares, create a third group for those items.

Clean the Clothes

It’s also a good idea to wash clothing before donating it. Your local thrift store likely won’t have the time to do this, so people will buy the items as-is. You want people who purchase your clothing to be able to wear it immediately, so washing it is important.

If you have the time, take the extra step and fold the clothing as well. Then, the employees can price it and put it out immediately.

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Make Sure Boxes and Bags Aren’t Too Heavy

If you have lots of items to donate, don’t stuff them all in one box or bag. If the bags or boxes are too heavy, employees can hurt themselves when lifting and moving them. Put some items in a box or bag and see if it’s easy to lift. If it is, then you know employees can move it around without getting injured.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be a hit at your local thrift store. Also, remember to contact the store ahead of time if you have any additional questions about what you should or shouldn’t donate.

Disclaimer: The stock image is being used for illustrative purposes only, and it is not a direct representation of the business, recipe, or activity listed. Any person depicted in the stock image is a model.