After decluttering your home or office space, you may have bags of clothes to hand down, rubbish to recycle, and library books to return. But what about the expensive old rug worn on one side, or the monitor, keyboard and mouse sitting under your desk? You may have double ups of toasters and ironing boards from previous relationships. Selling online can be arduous and time consuming and you definitely don't want to junk items in the rubbish bin. So what's the next option? Below are some places you may have never heard of or even considered giving to.
IT, computer, & household electronic equipment.
Substation33 is a Brisbane based electronic waste recycling centre which gives back to the community by providing a training and employment opportunities through the recycling of electronic waste. Televisions, kettles, and keyboards Substation33 accept all electronic and household appliances even if it doesn't work. They also offer a free collection.
Tech Collect is a not for profit e-waste recycling service supported by local councils, retailers and waste management organisations where you can drop off unwanted computers, computer accessories and televisions for free. Locations for Tech Collect vary across Australia but include Harvey Norman, Officeworks and council waste management facilities. Check out the Tech collect website for more information.
These bulky items are an eyesore and take up alot of room where ever they are discarded or stored. When purchasing a new mattress, the retailer may be able to take away the old one for a small fee.
Mattress Recyclers offer a collection service to households in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney for a fee of $50-$60. They use a 5 step process to re-furbish the mattresses ready for re-use.
Soft Landing is a mattress collection and recycling service operating across NSW, ACT, VIC and WA. They also help create jobs for people experiencing barriers to employment. They have drop off points and offer a collection service too.
Clean rugs, doonas, linen, and blankets. Second hand pet items.
The RSPCA, accept donations of linen and blankets for their animal shelters, but they must be clean and have no marks on them. Smaller animal and welfare shelters are less choosy, so ripped towels/sheets or hair dye stains will be accepted as long as the material is clean. It is best to call your local shelter for a drop off point. Have a look at Pet Rescue
Old pet cages, cat towers, excess petfood, plastic paddling pool clam shells and pet toys are appreciated by animal shelters because all of the rescuers are volunteers who are in urgent need of these items to transport and house animals temporarily.
Baby clothes, furniture and toys.
All of these donations must be in reasonable condition. Broken and damaged toys, pose a safety risk. Unclean donations are a hazard too.
"If you wouldn't give it to a friend - don't donate it."
Baby Give Back believes that every baby deserves an equal start. They support families via social service agencies to provide baby goods in impeccable condition. They have donation lists and drop off points throughout Brisbane. This September their goal is to collect 300 car seats. Wash and sanitise before you donate - children put everything in their mouths!
Givit connects those who have, with those who need. The donation process is simplified using its free online giving portal, enabling everyday Australians to see exactly what items are required by vulnerable members of their local community. Think trampolines, air conditioning units - you name it. An organised drop off for goods can be arranged or sent via courier depending on the item and size of it.
Nappies, baby wipes and toiletries.
When your children have reached the milestones of the next size nappy and toilet training, many of us still have opened and unopened boxes and bags of nappies and /or baby wipes. Priceless House in Brisbane, supports expectant ladies with unexpected pregnancies through counselling and practical support. They also offer toiletry packs for mums recovery in hospital, so if you have unopened hair, skin or hygiene products, or too many toiletry/makeup bags, then Priceless House is a great option.
Dress suits, handbags, shoes and leather belts.
If you're like me you have heaps of corporate wear in your wardrobe, that due to a career change, you don't use anymore. At the height of a previous career you may have bought the best suits and shirts money could buy (especially if you're in sales - dress to impress!). Give your corporate best another life through Suited To Success. Based in Fortitude Valley this not-for-profit help men and women from all works of life gain employment with confidence with the help of volunteer counsellors, human resource professionals and stylists. All clothes must be in great condition - if you wouldn't wear it to a job interview, don't donate it.
Books, magazines, DVD's, CD's.
The Cystic Fibrosis QLD Bookshop accepts all books including children's books, board books as well as CD's and DVD's. Pop into their store at Nundah with your box full of books. Your local Hairdresser and Doctor surgeries are great places to donate current magazines in good condition. If you have feature magazines, the local Primary School may be interested in them too. Second hand bookshops are a great option for your fiction novels and cookbooks you haven't touched. Search and call local bookstores before donating to confirm they are interested in books.
Running shoes, sneakers and joggers.
Children out grow shoes so quickly it's a crime to chuck them out. Shoes for planet earth was created by runners who wanted to give back to adults and children in less fortunate communities. Shoes are donated worldwide to poverty and disaster recovery areas. A national non for profit, you can donate across Australia at particular retail outlets and Podiatrists. Check out their website for the 6 step Guide For Shoe Preparation to see if your joggers are worthy.
Women's hygiene products, makeup and sanitary items.
Many bathroom and en suite drawers are overloaded with excess lipsticks, moisturisers, sample products and airline toiletries from various trips. Where to put them?!
Share with Dignity not only help families fleeing violence across Australia, but also help restore women's dignity through donations of period products, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, roll-on deodorant which go towards an 'In the Bag' campaign. Bunnings (nationally) are the drop off points for these items throughout November.
Another national charity Every Little Bit Helps redistributes unwanted hotel toiletries, in flight amenity kits, cosmetic and make-up samples to those in need including the homeless, asylum seekers and victims of domestic violence. They have various drop off points throughout Australia.
Furniture, clothes and general household items.
Creating and living in a safe home with all the basics is the heart of what Friends With Dignity do for families starting a new chapter after domestic violence. Linen, crockery, working electrical items, laundry and bathroom products can be dropped off to a nearby co-coordinator or request a pick up via email. Required furniture is posted on their Facebook page. Similarly, RizeUp is a national charity who also create havens requiring hard and soft furnishings. With high standards they have a list of what's acceptable and what isn't.
If you are are lover of IKEA and have pre-loved IKEA goods check out their buy back scheme. What goes around comes around.
Industrial discards. Paper, cards and stationery. Rubber, foam and plastics.
Early Childhood teachers rejoice! Reverse Garbage is the place where a menagerie of craft materials are found for Pre-school and Kindergarten classrooms. Reverse Garbage is a great place to visit as they have an assortment of recycled materials ready to be repurposed or up-cycled. Their strict requirement is all donations must be clean and depending on their busy schedule, they may be able to pick up too.
Donation Do's and Don'ts.
As a rule of thumb, don't donate clothes you wouldn't give a friend. If it is ripped, worn, stained or has pieces missing, consider using them as rags, or offering it to the local mechanic. Don't donate dirty clothes, or mismatched shoes. If the shoes have a hole in it - get them repaired, don't give them away. Lingerie is very personal - would you wear someone else's intimate apparel? Before donating call the charity to confirm drop off times and locations. In many instances you may need to email pictures of the various donations.
Know any other donation spots? Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.