Here are 9 items to consider donating as you de-clutter
When you think of donating items, you probably think of clothes, furniture, and household items. There are many things outside of the usual list that nonprofits need to serve our communities everyday that you might not be aware of.
#1 Toilet Paper
Many organizations collect toilet paper and other basic necessities to help people who may be financially struggling. Programs like Eastside Elders appreciate these common items that can be expensive for people on a limited income. Search here to find a non-profit near you that is in need of extra basics you might have laying around.
#2 Car Seats
You might not realize the benefit a car seat can be to a parent or guardian taking care of babies and young children! Consider donating car seats, strollers, etc to a safety-net program for families like Sharing and Caring Hands. Before you donate items that another family will rely on, be sure they are still safe and double-check the organization's current requests and details for accepting donations.
#3 Small Travel Size Toiletries
So many people travel and typically pick up small toiletries, which then end up sitting for months or years on your shelf and then end up in the trash. Instead of letting those travel size toiletries sit or throwing them out, consider donating them to a shelter for youth like Youth Link MN or other shelters near you. For hygiene sake, donate only the new, unopened ones that still look fresh (not separated, leaking, etc)
When your car is no longer serving your needs don't just get send it to the junkyard! Many organizations need vehicles to transport those in need or to give a leg-up to someone who needs it. Consider donating vehicles to an organization like Newgate School where they train youth, and their “Wheels for Women” transportation assistance program awards complimentary rebuilt cars to promising single moms struggling to become self-supporting. Or donate to other organizations like SEWA. Most car donations you come across use resale or junk fees to fund programs and can be a great way to donate truly unusable cars.
#5 Bedding and Sheets
Bedding and blankets are important in a disaster, emergency, and people in need. This is true year-round, and especially during the colder months.
Consider donating bedding, sheets, linens, and blankets with lots of life still in them to transitional housing programs like Haven Housing, emergency programs like STEP (Saint Louis Park Emergency Program), or programs serving new neighbors like MORE.
#6 Clean Plastic Shopping Bags
So many people just throw away plastics bags, but you can use them to help pets! Not only can you provide resources for animals, when you donate them to this Animal Humane Society, you also can help keep plastic out of landfills and the ocean.
If you can't find a place to donate them near you (note: in most cities you cannot include them with regular recycling), stores throughout the US will collect & recycle them like Target, Cub and also Goodwill. Find a convenient drop-off near you HERE.
Footwear is essential for those living in Minnesota! We rely on these not only in everyday life and especially in winter! When your shoes no longer serve their purpose in your life consider donating them to the Shoe Away Hunger program where they can be given a new life (drop off sites at all Schuler Shoes), or nonprofit resellers such as The Arc where profit from the sale of your items helps individuals with developmental and intellectual differences.
#8 Baby Formula
If you have gotten free formula in a brand that you don't use, or find you have extra once your little one no longer needs it, consider donating it (unopened and not expired). Formula can be expensive and it is such a basic item for many babies, it is truly appreciated by places serving mothers and children like North Side Life Care Center.
If you get a newspaper to read or just delivered to your home, you can do better than just tossing them when you are done. Animal shelters and rescues, like MN Pocket Pet Rescue, will appreciate your old newspapers to use as bedding for cuddly critters.