How to Avoid Donation Frustration

Whether going through a downsize or declutter, we all feel a tinge of guilt about throwing things away. We may have things with tags still on, still in unopened packages, or never used. Some times we are reminded of the huge sums of money we splurged on a luxury item only to have it waste away in the cupboard. Not to mention there’s the guilt of adding to the already overflowing landfill problem! So when it comes to disposing of our goods, the less guilty option is of course to donate these things. It is easier to feel less guilty when you are giving to those less fortunate.

Donation is a wonderful option for disposing of your unwanted goods that have little to no resale value. However, not all charities operate the same and not all charities accept the same types of goods. It is important to do some research prior to dropping things off.

First, it is important to note that charities are already overflowing with surplus goods. There is only so much stock they can store and sell. And with “fast-fashion” taking over the way we shop, the second-hand stores are filled with clothes. This has resulted in charities becoming slightly more picky with what they will accept in donations, simply because they do not have any where else to put stuff!

Secondly, electrical goods and white goods can be tough to donate. While you may have a perfectly good working fridge, toaster, or vacuum cleaner, unfortunately your good word that it works is not enough. Many charities will not sell electrical goods because they cannot test them to ensure they work. More importantly, they cannot test for faults. They can end up liable for selling a dodgy toaster if a house burns down! If you want to donate white goods or electrical goods, it is a good idea to call ahead and check if they have a tester on-site. If they do not, they will usually be able to recommend another charity to donate to.

There are plenty of different charities to give your things to – it is just a matter of knowing where to take what. Some charities refuse to take old bedding; however, the Lost Dog’s Home (or other animal shelters) will take it off your hands. Unopened food is usually a no-no to most charities; however, Food Bank is happy to have it. Knowing where to take your goods is very important.

It may seem easier to throw your hands in the air and say “Fine! If they don’t want it, I’ll just throw it out!” But it really is worthwhile making the effort to donate goods where possible. With landfill at an all-time high, you can help the less fortunate and lessen your impact on the environment by donating. It just takes a little bit of coordinating and planning to ensure you donate the right things to the right place.