After the Spring Clean: Where to Donate Household Items and Other “Stuff”

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Spring Cleaning 2

My husband and I started our spring cleaning early this year and recently completed “Operation Park the Cars in the Garage.” After declaring victory over the clutter, we found ourselves with FOUR carloads of items that we no longer needed. Ya, we had a lot of stuff! Especially baby items, kids toys, and items from my pre-SAHM mom life that were still in good condition and that someone could continue to get use out of. I decided to find organizations that sought the specific items that I was ready to give away to ensure my donated goods would directly benefit someone who needed them.

Call it your New Year’s resolution, spring cleaning, or Kando-ing… whatever it is, once you’ve de-cluttered and are standing in front of bags, boxes, or  perhaps a garage full of stuff that you’re ready to say goodbye to, use this helpful list to find the perfect organization for all of your things.

Where to Donate

Sojourner Center
The Sojourner Center provides shelter and support to victims of domestic violence. Survivors of abuse not only have to leave quickly, but they also have to leave most (and sometimes all) of their possessions behind.
Great for: All types of women’s and children’s clothing and shoes (from work attire to school clothes to casual comfort), household items, baby items, pet items, personal hygiene items (remember that unused bottle of lotion you received in a gift bag?). The organization keeps a list of urgent needs, but welcomes all donations.
Learn more:  www.sojournercenter.org or click here for the donation page

UMOM New Day Centers
UMOM is Arizona’s largest shelter for homeless families providing both housing and support for the entire family unit. Families are kept together and given the resources they need to get back on their feet and into affordable, permanent housing.
Great for: All types of clothing and shoes (men, women, children), baby items (Your baby outgrew his/her diapers? UMOM needs them!), personal hygiene items, household items, pet items. The organization keeps an urgent list of needs, but welcomes all donations.
Learn more: www.umom.org or click here for the donation page

Maggie’s Place
Each of the Valley’s Maggie’s Place houses provides a place to stay and support for pregnant women. Women can stay at the residence until their baby is six months old.
Great for: Baby items, maternity items, new mom items (calling all breastfeeding pillows!), personal hygiene items, household items. Each house keeps a needs list, but welcomes all donations.
Learn more: www.maggiesplace.org or click here for the donation page

Phoenix & Scottsdale Public Libraries
The local public libraries accept material donations (including all of those baby board books) to add to their collections or to sell at the used book shops within their locations. 
Great for: Books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and video games that are in good condition.
Learn more: Click here for the Phoenix Public Library donation page. Find the Scottsdale Public Library’s donation page here.

Your vet or favorite animal rescue organization
Many veterinary practices take in strays or pets that an owner can no longer keep. Both veterinary practices and animal rescue organizations rely on donated items to care for the animals while they’re waiting for their forever home.
Great for: Pet items (think beds, blankets, leashes, food, treats, grooming items, and toys), and animal rescues may need household items as well.
Learn more: Contact your favorite animal rescue organization for their list of needs. You can also contact your vet to see if they accept donations or can recommend a rescue to donate to.

But what do I with used and/or expired car seats?
I wondered this same thing as I stared at the expired Chicco Keyfit 30 that I lugged around during the precious infant years (earning me some “mom muscles”). I found that most charitable organizations do not accept used car seats for safety and liability reasons, but I did find a few options for those ready to say goodbye:

  • Arizona Department of Health Services Seat Donation Program
    A partnership between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico allows Arizonans to donate their gently used car seats to be given to families in need in Mexico. All car seats are inspected to ensure they provide proper protection before being sent to their new homes.
    Learn more: Visit the ADHS Office of Injury Prevention’s web page for more information, car seat eligibility, and drop off locations.
  • Keep Our Planet Neat- Recycle Your Car Seat Event
    Keep your old car seat our of the landfill and drop it off to be recycled. Kids Ride Safe, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Safe Kids Maricopa County partner with other sponsors for this yearly event that coincides with Earth Day where volunteers dismantle and recycle ALL parts of the car seat.
    Learn more: The official 2016 event date is April 22, but sponsor locations around the Valley generally accept car seats the week prior. Check Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Community section of their website for updates. PCH also accepts car seat drop offs at any time throughout the year if you can’t wait until April to say goodbye.
  • Babies R Us & Toys R Us The Great Trade-In Event
    Happening NOW through February 29
    , The Great Trade-In Event allows you to “trade in” your old baby gear in exchange for 25% off a new baby item. Although not a charitable donation, the promotion will get your old, recalled, or expired baby gear out of circulation and is a great way to save on big ticket items.
    Learn more: Click here for the direct link to The Great Trade-In Event.

Have any charitable organizations to add? Leave them in the comment section below! 

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