Ian Mark Sirota spent months preparing to move out of the Cherry Hill, New Jersey, home where he had lived for two decades. Sirota, 57, went through each room, picking through closets and cupboards and deciding what to donate.
He focused on being practical and “not overly sentimental” but admitted it wasn’t an easy process.
One of the biggest challenges was figuring out where to take all the unwanted clothing, books, electronics, furniture and other items he no longer needed.
Sirota has donated clothing in drop boxes and called AMVETS, a veterans service organization that accepts donations to sell in thrift stores, to pick up boxes filled with books, games and sporting gear, and bulkier pieces of furniture.
In the process of decluttering, Sirota tossed items that were broken, stained or missing pieces. Although it was tempting to make a single donation pile, Sirota learned many organizations don’t accept outdated televisions, computers or exercise equipment.
If decluttering is among your 2023 resolutions, here are some of the best places to donate your unwanted items:
Old textbooks, encyclopedias and outdated travel guides should go straight into the recycling bin, according to Libby Kinkead, organization specialist at Potomac Concierge, which works in the Washington area. For other books in good condition, she suggests calling your local chapter of Friends of the Library.
Amanda Jefferson, founder of Indigo Organizing, recommends Better World Books, a nonprofit that supports global literacy and has drop boxes for book donations in several states. You can also donate books to your local thrift store or re-home your books through a Little Free Library.