Originally published September 2017, updated in October 2019.
Holding onto stuff you don’t need or want because you’re sure there’s another, better place for it…but you just haven’t found it yet?
As a Home Stager I see this every day. Here’s a starter list of my favorite ways and places to donate, and dispose of unwanted items in Westchester County. Be sure to contact them first for latest info on hours, and confirm your donation can be accepted.
Books: Donate your books, maybe even CDs and DVDs to your local library. Funds raised from their book sales and on-site book stores support library programs. (There is no demand for VCR tapes, just toss those). Here’s contact info for all 36 member libraries.
Eyeglasses: Lions Club International collects, sorts and distributes unneeded eyeglasses. Each chapter maintains their own collection sites, find your local chapter here, or mail them to your local recycling center.
Flags or Military Clothing: Flag disposal etiquette from VFW, also WP Main Post Office has a flag drop receptacle outside (pictured), check with your local post offices. Thanks to Jocelyn Kenner of See Your Way Clear for sharing the Veterans Museum in Katonah is accepting donations of veteran’s clothing.
General Household Goods: It’s important to remember that charities are run by volunteers, and donated goods are given to others to use, or sold to raise funds for their causes. In other words, please remember some things have a useful life cycle; worn or damaged goods may not be accepted. Also, pick up service is not a cheap clean out service.
- Moderate amounts of clothes or miscellaneous household goods can be dropped off at a number of Goodwill Stores and Salvation Army Family Stores in our area, as well as White Plains’ Green Drop and Yorktown’s Love in Action. Many houses of worship have thrift shops as well-just google your closest towns and see what pops up.
- Jocelyn also knows places for gently-used bras
- ZAPPOS for Good sends postage paid boxes to members for pickup on a variety of things; DSW promotes Soles4Souls, and has in-store dropoff boxes for unwanted shoes.
- Mt. Kisco’s The Benefit Shop Foundation sells donated higher-end goods via online auctions
- Furniture Sharehouse accepts gently used basic furniture (including mattresses), re-distributing it free of charge to clients of several dozen Westchester County Member Agencies. (Furniture Bank Association of North America lists other furniture banks around the country).
- Freecycle isn’t a charity, but a free, and safe online swap with almost 10K chapters nationwide. The Westchester chapter has almost 16,000 members…sign up and you can post offerings or ask for stuff. I’ve been a happy member myself for nearly 8 years.
Medications: Never, ever flush medications down the toilet. Here are Westchester County guidelines for disposing of medications yourself, or scroll down for info on secure drop offs.
Miscellaneous Household Waste: Westchester County guidelines for disposing of special household waste, everything from appliances, batteries, paint, electronics, CFLs and such.
Musical Instruments: There are quite a few online donation resources, google and see what works for you.
Personal Care products: A number of houses of worship accept unwanted personal care and grooming supplies that get redistributed to local shelters, or to programs like Midnight Run. White Plains Presbyterian Church Office is one, but again, google around.
Sports Equipment: Linking Handlebars repairs bikes, and donates them to those in need, complete with with helmets. Go to Let’s Play it Forward site even if you don’t have anything to donate. I’m teary, and heartened!
Again, before you load up the car, always always call to confirm hours, items that can be accepted! Consider this list a starting point, and feel free to share any suggestions or finds.