Spring cleaning? Here’s what Goodwill actually wants you to donate

(NEXSTAR) – Spring is the time to start fresh, open the windows and clean up the dust – along with all the other trash you’re dragging around. What do you do with all the stuff you can’t stand to see piled up in the back of your closet or in the corner of your garage? Donating is one of the best ways to keep those extra things out of the landfill.

But can you really donate a single sock that has no match? And a chipped plate? We asked Goodwill what they’d take and what they wouldn’t – and it turns out they’ll take a shocking amount of your stuff.

“We appreciate any donation anyone is willing to give us, but there are some things we’re always looking for, especially clothing, shoes and small household items,” said Courtney Nelson, senior director of marketing and communications at Goodwill.

Appliances, kitchen gadgets, utensils, vases, any small decor are also popular at Goodwill, Nelson said.

When it comes to clothing, Goodwill accepts anything and everything. If there is a stain or a tear, it does not matter. They may not put it on the sales floor, but they will try to find a use for it, Nelson said. A garment with a large hole could be sent to a partner company that reuses old clothing to make rags or insulation, for example. A pair of dilapidated shoes could be given to a dealer who will use the rubber from their soles to make the material for backyard sports courts, she said.

Nelson said they even had a way to reuse a single shoe missing its pair.

“We work with a dealer here who finds these shoes, and they actually match shoes that are the same size and have the most similar look,” she said. The retailer then distributes the restocked shoes to charities in other countries, donating them to people in need.

About 50% of donated items end up on the sales floor, Nelson said. Of these items, only about 60% end up being sold. Anything that is not resold is brought to a point of sale where it is sold by the pound. In other cases, the organization makes efforts to recover or recycle the items.

The one thing Nelson said the Goodwill branch she works with in Arizona can’t accept is toxic waste. Almost everything else is fair game.

“We know that when someone chooses to donate their items to Goodwill or donate to any organization, they’re making an effort, especially if it’s during spring cleaning. They spent a lot of time going through these elements. These items once meant something special and dear to them. – So if it doesn’t work, you donate it to Goodwill, and we’ll make sure we make the most of it.

Your local Goodwill stores may have additional restrictions, so be sure to check with the individual store before donating.

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