I try to sort through and purge some of our belongings at least once a season, and I make a special point of doing a serious pre-holiday purge. If you’re like me, Goodwill and The Salvation Army are your go-to thrift stores when it’s time to clear out some space, but there are several other organizations (most of them local) that will help you put your donations to good use. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it could be a good starting place if you’re looking for new places to unload that pile of clutter that’s currently filling the back of your minivan (please tell me I’m not the only one).
- Gaia Movement: Look for Gaia’s green and white boxes to drop off your used clothing, shoes, and linens. The organization will sort your donations and decide whether to sell or recycle them. Proceeds benefit environmental programs here and abroad.
- Community Warehouse: Accepting household goods, linens, and furniture (including clean mattresses), the locations in Portland and Tualatin help people in need set up “more comfortable, stable homes.” You can drop off donations or schedule a pickup for $30.
- Mother & Child Education Center: Your used bras, baby carriers, maternity clothing, and baby clothing and equipment help the organization fulfill its mission of “building a community of competent and confident mothers.”
- One Warm Coat: Your new or gently-used coats will “provide anyone in need with a warm coat, free of charge.”
- PDX Diaper Bank: The diaper bank accepts disposable diapers (opened packages are okay), cloth diapers and covers, adult incontinence supplies, and diaper wipes to help families in need.
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Donate used furniture, household goods, and building materials (including paint). Proceeds from sales help Habitat for Humanity help low-income families “realize the dream of owning their own home.” If you can’t drop off your donation, you can schedule a residential pickup for $20.
- Cat Adoption Team: The CAT thrift store in Raleigh Hills accepts used, new, and collectible items and sells them to support the organizations cat-only shelter.
- Raphael House: Your donations will help local families escape domestic violence situations. Current urgent needs include personal care supplies, baby items, and new or gently used TVs, CD players, and DVD players.
- Northwest Children’s Outreach: Most children’s items are accepted by this organization, including newborn to teen clothing, toys, books, and safety items. In addition, they accept hygiene products for infants and new moms, breastfeeding products, and unopened infant formula.
- Foster Parents Closet: Foster parents shop for free from your donations of new and gently used kids items, new car seats, and new toys for the children in their care.
- William Temple House: You can donate clothing for men, women, and children, household items, furniture, and antiques to support William Temple House’s mission of providing mental health support to community members who need it. Can’t drop it off? You can schedule a pick up for $10.
- Art supplies/School Supplies: Your local school, the Maker Studio at the Foster Parents Closet, and SCRAP PDX will gladly accept gently used art supplies, magazines, and craft materials. Schoolhouse Supplies provides public school teachers and students with free school supplies and backpacks.
- Adult/Teen Clothing: Dress for Success collects women’s professional clothing. The Portland Council PTA Clothing Center collects clothing in good and new condition for PPS families in need.
- Books: Friends of Multnomah County Library collects new and gently used books and sells them through community book sales, the Friends Bookstore, and Title Wave Bookstore to support libraries and events. You can also donate books to your nearest Little Free Library or The Children’s Book Bank.
- Electronics: Donate your fixable or reusable electronics to Free Geek. Recycle unusable electronics any time through the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality or watch for a community e-cycle event near you.
- Miscellaneous Items: Find a Buy Nothing group or a Portland Free Box near you or join the giving communities at the Portland Rooster or Nextdoor.com.
Hopefully, these worthy organizations will help you purge and clear some space to make room in your home for the new year (and maybe a few new presents as well)!