You’ve edited and purged your home or let’s be honest, at least part of it. Bravo! Now, what are you supposed to do with all that stuff that no longer serves you? At Let Laura we are committed to minimizing what ends up in the landfill and are passionate about finding ideal second homes. Over the years, I’ve seen first-hand that it’s easier for people to part with items if they know it is going to a purposeful place and if they have someone to help them. So, in keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving and giving back, we hope this guide helps you let go of what no longer serves you and create sustainable systems that do!
1. ALMOST ANYTHING
Housing Works, Goodwill and Salvation Army accept most things and will be your easiest all-in-one drop-off. They all accept clothing, books and housewares. The latter two also accept used swimsuits and some electronics. Salvation Army is the only one that will accept linens and most kids’ items including toys and used stuffed animals. You can schedule a Salvation Army Pick Up which books about a month in advance.
Also, consider your Local Buy Nothing Group. The Buy Nothing Project offers people a way to give and receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies.
New Yorkers throw out thousands of tons of clothing and textiles every year. Clothing is not trash! Donate your bras to Free the Girls and while the Clothing Collections that take place as part of GrowNYC’s Recycling Program have mostly suspended their services during COVID-19, their partners at Wearable Collections are continuing to serve NYC through Contactless Home Pickups for a $20 fee and minimum pickup amount. You can also drop your less than desirable clothing at retailers such as H&M or The Northface who will reuse or recycle clothing (these retailers have temporarily paused their collection during COVID-19).
The Thrifty Hog is an upscale resale boutique where all proceeds benefit Hearts of Gold, an organization empowering homeless mothers and their children. Drop off the below needed and freshly laundered items with appointments on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
- Men’s clothing size 28-33 (no suits please), all footwear and accessories
- Women’s dresses, shoes and belts
- Kids clothing and shoes size 2T & up
- Coats, Winter hats, Scarves & Gloves
- Unopened Toys
Give Back Box and Pickup Please make it easy to donate all kid and adult clothing and shoes. The latter also accepts accessories. Both provide a free shipping label and you can reuse a cardboard box to send in your items.
The RealReal is a turnkey solution to consign designer and contemporary items. Check out the link for a list of brands they accept (they also take home items)! Thred Up is a great resource that accepts all brands in good condition. Both will donate or recycle the items not accepted. Due to increased volume and reduced staff, Thred Up has temporarily paused their Cleanout Kit.
3. EVERYTHING KIDS
Little Essentials is offering curbside drop-offs by appointment only. This organization is one of the few that accepts car seats! Alternatively, you can schedule a messenger pickup for a fee, a contactless drop off at their 30th street or South Bronx location, or mail in your donations to Room to Grow [currently on pause due to COVID-19]. And in case you didn’t know, you can donate Legos via Give Back Box. NYC Mammas also accepts almost everything for kids.
NYC made it illegal for New Yorkers to trash their electronics in 2015. Apple, Best Buy, Staples and the LES Ecology Center all have free recycling programs. Be sure to check the links for any restrictions and to securely erase all personal information from your electronic devices before donating or recycling. For a fee, you can schedule your electronics to be picked up and recycled by 4THBIN. As noted above, Goodwill, Salvation Army and Materials for the Arts are other viable options to donate electronics.
5. FURNITURE AND LARGE HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Habitat NYC's ReStore accepts gently used furniture, appliances, cabinetry, building materials and other household items. Check the list of Accepted Items and email photos of what you’d like to donate to confirm approval. Housing Works also accepts and will pick up furniture in excellent condition. Due to COVID-19, they are currently accepting about 1 of every 10 submitted furniture applications.
It’s worth noting that Goodwill will accept small furniture items such as nightstands. And traditionally, Salvation Army has accepted furniture but has suspended this service for the time being.
6. ALMOST EVERYTHING ELSE
Art and office supplies, AV equipment, digital cameras, fabric rolls, musical instruments, and power tools are all things that Materials for the Arts list as their most wanted items. Big Reuse will accept most things if you have access to transporting items to Brooklyn. Both have pick-up services you can request for large items or truckload-sized donations.
Animal shelters like Animal Haven will accept used towels, cleaning supplies and wee-wee pads.
If you still have item(s) left to donate visit Donate NYC for additional resources.
Happy donating and enjoy the freedom the new normal you have created brings! We know you'll feel so much better knowing your items are going to a great second home while positively impacting the environment.
*This list has been written to best reflect donations being accepted during COVID-19. Donation drop off times change and different locations accept different items. Avoid overburdening these organizations during the crisis and please call before you donate your laundered and/or dry-cleaned items.
Let Laura’s mission is to help create purposeful places for the important things in your life, opening up space and time to focus on living the life you love. Their clients want to make their lifestyle and physical spaces more efficient, less chaotic and overall better. The Company shares your desire to keep things practical and pretty. Their systems will help you create a life that is simple, stylish and sustainable.
Laura has been called fun, detailed, creative, genuine and optimistic. She has always believed the more positive your outlook, the more positive your outcome. When she is not solving space challenges or alleviating the stress of the moving process for clients, you can find her hanging out with her husband and daughter, traveling the world (she has been to forty-two countries and counting!), playing at the water’s edge or cooking up something delicious at home.
Macaroni KID Lower Manhattan is the family fun go-to source for the latest and most comprehensive information in our area. Subscribe for FREE today.