So you’ve cleaned out your house? Now what?
You have the bags upon bags of items piled up by your door, in your garage, or if you’re ambitious, in your car. You’re ready to donate them so that they can spark joy in someone else’s life, or if the items have lived their lives, you may be ready to recycle them so that way they can benefit us all in some other way. The question, then, begins: where do I take all of this stuff? I’ve compiled a list of both Houston and national sites where you can donate and/or clothes, shoes, household goods, electronics, and any other items you’ve decided to get rid of. My hope is that you can use this as a resource now and in the future!
Remember to balance your time, energy, and what is in alignment with your values with the goal of continuing the process of bringing joy into your life while also striving to benefit your communities, and our planet, as well.
Disclaimer: It’s important to keep in mind what can be donated or recycled, and what’s trash. Some things might just need to be thrown away, and it’s up to you to make that judgement. But also remember, more can be recycled than you might think!
H&M has a clothing recycling drop off. Take your items to any store and ask for the garment drop box (their website says it’s usually by the register). You’ll receive a voucher!
Best Buy: Variety of electronics (can also inquire about trade in or recycle recycles electronic).
Target Recycling at front of stores: mp3 players, cell phones, and ink cartridges
Goodwill E-cycle: electronics recycling and refurbishment
The North Face: Bring any brand of apparel or shoes to a North Face store or outlet and receive a discount on your next purchase.
Nike: Their Reuse-A-Shoe program recycles athletic shoes at the end of their life, giving them a new life through Nike Grind. They make it easy for materials to live on from one product to the next—just drop your used shoes at a Nike retail store.
Standard recycling: There’s some items in your home that are plastic, paper, or glass. In this case, just go ahead and take it to the curb if you have recycling pick-up at home, or to your closest recycling center. Houston has many centers scattered throughout.
Metal hangers: These can get tricky. You can either confirm with your recycling program that they accept these hangers, or try and donate them to a local dry cleaner’s.
Dell Reconnect: Technology recycling in partnership with Goodwill. Put in your zip code for location-based information.
With this option, make sure to go to each website and look at the hours they accept donations and the items that they do and don’t accept. All of them are very thorough in the information they provide. If you’re unsure, feel free to call ahead.
The Cottage Shop in Montrose: Accept donations Monday-Saturday, 10-3. They have other locations, as well.
MAMs (Memorial Assistance Ministries) : Donate Monday-Saturday, 10-5:30. You can schedule a larger item pick up by calling or emailing them.
Assistance League: Accepts donations 10-3 on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Charity Guild: They have a comprehensive list of items they do not accept. This is a consignment shop, so you might make a little money, too.
Vincent’s Resale Shop in Bellaire: You can either drop off at the store or at bins located throughout the city. They also accept vehicle donations.
The Blue Bird Circle: Donations received daily. They also offer some consignment options.
Houston Furniture Bank: Donate furniture (large or small). They’ll pick up your items (though they request a small donation). They also provide mattress recycling!
Half Price Books: Okay, so this is technically selling. But they’ll take most of the books you have (as long as they’re in good condition), and there’s a few locations scattered around the city. What they don’t buy from you, they will donate.
Magnificat Houses: They accept clothes and other household goods, and they’ll even pick up your larger items! There’s locations scattered throughout the city.
Pavement: Located in the Montrose. Open everyday for those of you who only have Sundays free.
Goodwill: The classic. Almost all stores have drop-off areas, and there are multiple drop-off only locations scattered around.
ThredUp: Sell, donate, or recycle your clothes with this online store. They’ll send you a bag, you pack it up, and send it back. It’s super simple!
Your local library: Do you have some books you no longer need or want that are still in good condition? Consider heading over to your local library.
Salvation Army: Another classic. Donate clothes at their multiple locations, or schedule a free pick-up. They also accept vehicle donations.
Family Thrift Center: This store isn’t in every state, but it’s in enough locations to count as national. This mega thrift store will accept clothes, books, toys, and small furniture pieces.
Books for Africa: Though you’ll have to mail these in (unless you’re in the Atlanta or Twin Cities area), this non-profit sends books to the African continent to help with literacy movements. They have a list of types of books they’ll accept on their website.
Out of the Closet: A thrift store with a focus on LGBT+, which also provides free HIV testing. There are locations around the US, though the closest one to Houston is in Dallas.
Local shelters for youth: If you have any toys, consider finding a local youth shelter near you that accepts gently-used toy donations.
Give Back Box: If you don’t want to do the thinking, order a box from this organization, and they’ll send the items to a charity (though they also have a list you can choose from!)
Purple Heart Pickup: You can send items in or request a pick-up from this well known group. These items will support those who were injured in combat, as well as their families.
Read this article for suggestions on where to donate (or re-sell) used beauty products/make up. This can obviously be bit trickier, but there’s still some good places!
Check out The Freecycle Network, where people post items for free for others to use. Items are listed by your geographical area, so you will only see things listed in your community.
Pen Guy Art: Pens are a weird item that sometimes we just find we have in excess. If you have extra pens or markers (that aren’t trash) maybe consider sending them here! Address and directions on website.
CDs: If you’re like most of us, you’ve switched over to streaming for your music. After going through your CDs, check out this website! It has info based on your state.
Dress for Success: An international organization that gives clothes to women in order to economically empower them. Donate your suits or other work clothes at one of their many locations.
I hope this list was comprehensive! There are even more options out there than listed, so always Google to see if there’s an organization that either closely aligns with your values or fits your needs. I’m also happy to add to this page, so feel free to pass on any recommendations you have! xoxo - Ash