If your home is anything like mine, you're about to take in an influx of items and gifts around the holiday season. So what do you do to prepare? You put together some boxes or totes of items to donate to area thrift stores, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. I've helped haul several loads of items this month already. And while these stores are more than happy to take your unwanted items, there are some things that you can NOT donate.

First, let's start with Goodwill. They'll take most of your household items including clothing, toys, household electronics, books, and more. But, according to Goodwill of the Heartland, they will NOT accept;

  • Any item needing repair, except computers
  • Ammunition, weapons, including replicas
  • Automotive parts, including tires, batteries, motors
  • Baby gear, including furniture, car seats, strollers, high chairs, etc.
  • Box springs and mattresses
  • Bowling balls
  • Building materials: glass, doors, window frames, scrap lumber, metal, etc.
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Fireworks
  • Hazardous materials, including liquid cleaners, paints, detergents, fertilizers, weed killers, chemicals, motor oil, etc.
  • Helmets (bicycle, motorcycle, etc.)
  • Industrial copiers
  • Large appliances, including refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, humidifiers/dehumidifiers, microwaves, dishwashers, trash compactors, console stereos, water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces
  • Large metal desks and other office equipment
  • Lawn mowers
  • Miscellaneous outdoor equipment and grills
  • Pianos (Acoustic) & Organs
  • Plumbing fixtures: sinks, shower stalls, toilets
  • Sleeper furniture, hide-a-beds
  • Televisions of any kind
  • Waterbeds
  • Wheelchairs
  • Worn furniture of any kind in poor condition or with any stains

Next, we'll cover thrift stores. The corridor has many to choose from. But they won't accept just any old item you roll out of your car. According to MoneyTalkNews, items you shouldn't take to a thrift store include;

  • Older model TVs
  • Mattresses
  • Sleeper sofas
  • Cribs and car seats
  • Car parts
  • Large appliances
  • Building and construction materials
  • Torn or stained clothing
  • Magazines
  • Firearms, ammunition, or fireworks
  • Recalled items
  • Anything damaged beyond repair
Christine Glade
Christine Glade

Finally, another popular place to donate items in the corridor is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They actually take many items that Goodwill and thrift stores won't including items like shingles and other construction items. Here are the things that you can NOT bring to the Habitat ReStore.

    • Basketball hoops
    • Blinds
    • Children’s items
      • Cribs
      • High chairs
      • Playpens
      • Safety gates
      • Strollers
      • Toy chests
    • Clothing and shoes
    • Colored sinks and toilets
    • Crutches
    • Drapes, fabrics, traverse rods
    • Dishwashers
    • Electronics
    • Firearms and ammunition
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Fluorescent light bulbs/fixtures
    • Garage doors and openers
    • Gas appliances
    • Glass/mirrors without frames
Unsplash - Giorgio Trovato
Unsplash - Giorgio Trovato
  • Hazardous materials
  • Hot water heaters
  • Household Cleaners
  • Humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers
  • Light bulbs (except LEDs)
  • Liquids or powders in unlabeled containers, bottles or cans
  • Mattresses
  • Office partitions
  • Paint, varnish, and stain
  • Pianos and organs
  • Pool equipment
  • Recessed can lights
  • Shower doors
  • Smoke alarms
  • Sofa beds
  • Televisions, speakers, etc.
  • Toilet seats
  • Toxic or flammable chemicals
  • Unbagged insulation
  • Vinyl siding
  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs

I know the lists look long, but despite the regulations these stores will take most items you are looking to donate. Other items might be able to be recycled or need to be taken to a local landfill for disposal.

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