Learn all the ways you can discard your items in an eco-friendly way!
Why These Guides?
Melinda Grace Organizing (MGO) compiled this list out of my own need and desire to know exactly where I could donate, recycle or sell in order to perpetuate the circular economy and keep our discarded items out of the landfills and oceans. Originally, only for clients, MGO now offers three guides free to anyone passionate about finding new homes for their unwanted things. These lists include 1) Donation Guide 2) Recycle Guide 3) Sell Guide. The list is ever growing and changing, so if you have an organization to add or something is outdated, please send me a message!
Los Angeles Donation Locations
Anything & Everything
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of over 4,500 groups with 7 million members worldwide. It’s a FREE, non-profit movement of people who are giving and receiving goods for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. Their mission is to reuse and keep good items out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer. How to sign up: Find your community via their website and sign up.
Local Los Angeles Buy Nothing Group
Same concept as Freecycle, the purpose is to regift items you no longer need to a local nearby neighbor. They ask that you join only one Buy Nothing group where you live, so that you can literally “give where you live.” This builds resilient community connections that see people through all of life’s challenges. As a professional organizer, I’m obsessed with my local Buy Nothing group.
They request that the books you donate are in excellent condition and of “high-interest” for elementary school students. They have a specific list of what they will and won’t accept. Check their website for details and drop-off locations.
The Los Angeles Public Library
My personal favorite, the local library! I ALWAYS donate my books here because I remember a time when I was broke, needed books to learn, grow and change my circumstances.Whether it was the NYC Public Library or the LAPL — they’ve both been amazing to me! They say to call your local branch to make sure they are accepting donations at this time. If they don’t need your book in their collection, they will sell at a book sale and all proceeds benefit that library.
Agoura Hills Library, The Book Cellar
As an Agoura Hills Professional Organizer, this is my local favorite!
– accepts gently used books, DVDs & CDs
– funds go to the library and they send items to the military
– Saturdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
This free community service is provided by The Last Bookstore to ensure no books end up in landfills. They also provide low-cost books and raise funds for local libraries, charities, hospitals and schools. Your donation also helps preserve one of the last remaining independent bookstores in LA through resale. They offer FREE donation pick up in LA county of boxes of 4 or more. They do not accept: magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, law libraries, scholarly journals, textbooks older than 5 years, VHS tapes, and library books. How to donate: Simply schedule a pickup online via the link above.
Children’s Books Recycling Center
As a professional organizer, I donated here recently and they were so nice! They accept new and gently used children’s books that they then give to local literacy programs. Drop-off located in the back with some parking available. 10580 ½ W. Pico Blvd, 90064, 310-559-2665
American Cancer Society
For over 50 years, they have owned and operated Discovery Shops across California to help fight cancer by selling high-quality, gently used donated merchandise. They accept clothing, accessories, jewelry, artwork, antiques, collectibles, furniture, and other household items. How to donate: 1) Locate the nearest Los Angeles Discover Shop to you 2) Drop-off items at the shop! Drop-offs are welcome every day. Pickups can be scheduled for larger furniture that is in VERY GOOD condition.
Bridge Thrift Store
Their mission is to invest in the local community through supporting local charities and hosting neighborhood events. They accept donations at their stores. Check their website or call for updates to the store hours. 323-739-6478 3516 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90042
Downtown Women’s Center
This LA shelter focuses exclusively on serving homeless women. It was the 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year. due to COVID-19, check their website for updates on what they are accepting by appointment only.
This artist community focused co-working space accepts women’s gently used clothes for fundraising clothing swaps. Check their website for their upcoming events.
Goodwill accepts new or gently used items — clothing, appliances, furniture — and sells them in their well-known Goodwill retail stores. With more than 80 Goodwill donation locations in Southern California, your donations help fund job training and other career services in your community. For exact neighborhoods & locations, please refer to their website.
The Good Shepherd Shelter
BThis domestic violence shelter “provides a safe, nurturing environment in which mothers and their children can heal, reawaken their dignity and self confidence, and learn the skills that will help them stop the cycle of domestic violence.” They accept clothes, furniture, bed linens, bath linens, kitchen/dining items, household items, garden items, nursery items, and more! Items can be dropped-off Monday – Friday: 9am – 4pm. Check out their website for more info.
The National Council of Jewish Women
A LA local favorite, The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families through safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Donations they accept are good-condition used furniture, clothing & accessories, kitchen appliances, home goods, CDs, DVDs, walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, they are not accepting items that need cleaning, reupholstering, painting, or repairs, baby items or medical items. Please disassemble items that need it BEFORE donating. Click the link above to view their L.A. Donation and Store Locations. They also offer pick-up services.
Out of the Closet
Donating or shopping at Out of the Closet Thrift Stores directly helps people living with HIV & AIDS. Ninety-six cents of every dollar collected at their stores goes to fund AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs & their new housing services, that also includes on-site pharmacies & free HIV testing. For exact neighborhoods & locations, please refer to their website for the latest information.
Donating your unwanted items and goods to the Salvation Army helps fund their Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where those struggling with drugs and alcohol find help, hope, and a second chance at life. Commonly donated items include clothing, furniture, automobiles, household goods, and appliances. Donations are tax-deductible. You can drop-off at the nearest Los Angeles location or schedule a free pickup. As a professional organizer, my favorite location for my clients is the Granada Hills store because they accept large quantity donations and smaller items of furniture. Located at 10158 Balboa Blvd Granada Hills, CA 91344 818-360-5887.
Vietnam Veterans of America
As the only national Vietnam veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families, their main goal is to promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans and their families. They offer free pick up. Steps to Donate: 1) Pick one of the sites above and schedule a pickup 2) Gather your unwanted clothes or household goods 3) Label Boxes “VVA” and leave out front for them to pick up.
Lions In Sight (LIS)
LIS collects eyeglasses and then recycles and repurposes them for clinics in developing nations. They also accept hearing aids, printer cartridges and cell phones. Check out their website for local Los Angeles Metro area locations.
Home Improvement Goods
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
These non-profit, home improvement thrift stores sell gently used and new items to support Habitat for Humanity’s mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. They accept: HVAC units, appliances, cabinets, carpet, counter tops, dishwashers, doors, exercise equipment, flooring, furniture, garage doors, hardware, home decor, dishes, and glassware, hot water heaters, plumbing, lumber, toilets, windows, trim & molding, etc. How to donate: 1) Schedule a pickup online or over the phone or 2) Drop-off at your nearest ReStore location.
Lately, from my professional organizing experience they have an abundance of supplies and have become very picky in what they will accept and are not afraid to turn items away. You, however, can pay them to come pick up your items and the cost is significantly cheaper than a normal junk hauler.
L.A. Shares gives your donated items to local Los Angeles under-funded schools and nonprofits organizations. They have specific needs. This would be a good fit for a local business to donate their old office furniture and office items. Check their website for a list of what they accept and don’t accept. firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-485-1097.
Calabasas Donation Locations
Clothing Donation box benefiting local police. Located in the Erewhon parking lot off of Agoura Road.
Pasadena Donation Locations
ACTS Thrift Store
They take anything & everything except furniture – even cassette tapes, DVD’s, kids toys, clothing, etc. As a professional organizer, my experience has been fantastic when dropping off items for my clients. They are always super nice and extremely grateful for your donations. 1311 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, CA 91104, email@example.com.
Pasadena Recycle Locations
The Pasadena location: Glendale S.A.F.E. Center Sat/Sun: 9am – 3pm 4600 Colorado Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039
They recycle harmful items such as: paints, batteries, fluorescent tubes/bulbs, cleaning products, used motor oil and filters, anti-freeze, car batteries, unused medicine, and e-waste. See their guidelines for more detailed lists of what to drop-off and when.
Ventura County Donation Locations
Hope the Mission – Simi Valley Location
Rescue Mission Alliance – Ventura County
Check their website for your local location: https://vcrescuemission.org/thrift/
The easiest is to schedule a FREE pickup: https://erescuemission.org/giving/schedule-a-donation-pickup/
Goodwill – Ventura & Santa Baraba Counties
Salvation Army SoCal
Check their website for your local location: https://socal.salvationarmy.org/southern-california/
The Arc Foundation
Ventura, 2 thrift stores, supports intellectual & developmental disabilities
Assistance League of Conejo Valley Thrift Shop & Donations
Coalition for Family Harmony
They are in particular need of the following new or gently used items: Mini TV/VCR combo for children, DVD player for living room, 3 high chairs, Small children’s couch, Children’s and Family DVD’s, Medium shelving unit for DVDs, VHS, and books – preferably with doors, Durable silverware, Baby plastic bowls, spoons, and sippy-cups; Plastic drinking cups, Craft and art supplies for play therapy, Twin size bed sheet sets, Blankets or throws, 12 hypoallergenic pillows, Sweat shirts and pants in Small, Medium, and Large; Socks in Small, Medium, and Large; Board games, Spanish children’s books, Spanish young adult novels, Clipboards Folders with inner pockets for client’s to organize their documents, Notebooks for journaling. If you are interested in donating any of those items to The Coalition’s Domestic Violence Shelter, please contact Noel Stalcup at 805.654.1111.
Lions In Sight
Mad Attic Thrift Store
A popular resale store in Simi Valley, they use donations to raise money to help victims of human trafficking. Nicely curated. They accept and appreciate vintage items. As a professional organizer, I really enjoyed working with them when I needed to find an organization that would take a smaller vintage furniture item. When others would not take it, they accepted it with grateful hearts realizing the value of this cool vintage piece.
National Donation Locations
African Library Project
Better World Books
Donated books are sold online to help raise funds for non-profit literacy organizations. All books that are in GOOD condition are welcome to be donated. They accept books by mail. Mail your gently used books to: Attention: Donations Better World Books 55740 Currant Road Mishawaka, IN 46545.
Books For Africa
Books For Africa helps children who would not otherwise attend school by supplying educational materials to reduce or eliminate education costs. They are always accepting gently used books that are relevant to the African reader. They have guidelines for books they accept and don’t accept on their website. How to donate books: 1) Mail your gently used children’s books to (no more than 50 lbs): Books for Africa Warehouse – Atlanta 3655 Atlanta Industrial Dr, Bldg 250 Atlanta, GA 30331 2) Email firstname.lastname@example.org so they can email you a tax receipt for your records.
Books Through Bars
Kids Need to Read
This organization provides inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries, and literacy programs across the US. They are always accepting “like new” (aka not scribbled on or visibly damaged) books. Mail in only and they do not cover the cost of shipping. A tax donation receipt will be provided. Mail your gently used children’s books to: Kids Need to Read 2450 West Broadway Road, Ste 110 Mesa, AZ 85202.
Reader to Reader
Blue Jeans Go Green
The website offers several different ways to recycle your denim and also get rewards from major denim manufacturers. One of the easiest ways is to box up your old denim (make sure it’s 90% cotton or greater and doesn’t have hangers, tags, stickers or plastic attached), create or log in to a Zappos or your Amazon account, print the shipping label, and drop off at local UPS store.
Dress for Success
Dress for Success’ mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools. They are an international nonprofit organization that provides each Dress for Success client 1 suit for a current job interview and a 2nd suit or separates when the client accepts their new job position. They only accept professional women’s attire, purses, and handbags. If you would not wear it to an interview, another place is probably better to donate too. Check their website to see if there’s a location near you.
The Bra Recyclers
Although they are located in AZ, they have drop off locations around the US. Simply search your zip code, print off the form and drop off. Or you can mail it yourself. As a professional organizer, I tried one of their locations and they were not offering this service anymore. Their website is not up to date and I recommend calling the location before driving there to drop off bras.
Free The Girls
They “exist to help girls rescued from sex trafficking to live a life of true freedom.” They accept bra donations and then ship them to their programs in El Salvador, Mozambique, and Costa Rica. The women then sell them in the market to make a safe and sustainable income. Although they are located in IN, they have drop off locations around the US. Simply search your zip code, print off the form and drop off; or mail it yourself.
Kenneth Cole + Give Back Box
This retail brand is working with Give Back Box to reduce waste and donate items to those in need. Here’s how it works 1) Open your recent purchase and unpack your new Kenneth Cole merchandise 2) Fill the empty package with clothings, shoes, or other household goods you no longer need 3) Print your pre-paid shipping label. Attach the label to the package, and ship it for free.
One World Running
They take your used crayons and recycle them, creating new crayons for children in the hospital. They accept used crayons in all conditions via mail at the cost of the shipper. They encourage doing your own drives as school fundraisers or as a service project for kid’s clubs or community groups.
Dare to Care for the Homeless
Your donation of unwanted keys to Dare to Care for the Homeless helps them provide work for people experiencing homelessness by turning your old keys into inspirational art. Mail your keys to: Dare to Care for the Homeless 4508 Atlantic Ave, #186 Long Beach, CA 90807. As a professional organizer, I’ve mailed discarded keys in several times.