10 Items you should donate before 2016

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
December 28, 2015

End of year donations can serve multiple purposes. Whether you donate money or material goods, it’s a great break on your taxes. If you just received some awesome new gifts for Christmas, it’s a great way to make space for the new stuff. And if you’re looking to start 2016 fresh, it’s a great way to unload some of the previous years’… stuff. Your donated stuff = free job training and education programs!

Start 2016 with some more space, less clutter, and maybe even a solid tax break by donating these items by New Year’s Eve:

1. Donate your unused electronics.
Do you have that old mp3 player lying around, even though you’ve been storing music on your smartphone for years now? Or maybe you got a new computer or mobile phone for Christmas, and need to unload the old one—but aren’t sure how to do it in the right way. Depending on the type of electronic, when you bring it to Goodwill, we’ll make the most of it. Some electronics can be wiped and resold, others are disposed of via E-Cycle Washington. Whether it’s your iPod from 5 years ago, the remote to your last DVD player, or your tablet from last week, your donation can make a difference in the lives of people right here in our community.

2. Donate your old TV.
Did you get a new TV for Christmas? We can take all shapes and sizes of TVs—and like other electronics, if we can’t sell it in our stores, we’ll make sure it’s properly recycled via E-Cycle Washington which ensures that toxic materials stay out of landfills.

3. Donate your old music and movies.
As our media libraries go digital, and more and more content is stored on hard drives, a lot of people are left with space-taking collections of VHS, DVDs, CDs, and more. We can take all of that—and turn it into funding for job training and education programs!4. Donate your kids’ old spring/summer wardrobe.
Do you have a quickly growing youngster? Now is an excellent time to purge their closet and dresser of 2015’s warm weather ware—especially if it’s clear they’ve already outgrown it. From shoes to clothes to athletic gear—if they’re done with it, another kid might love it!

5. Donate your linens.
How’s your linen closet looking? Clean and organized? Or cluttered and confusing? Take some time to go through the linen closet, separate the things you have duplicates of—or even sets that are worn out. We participate in King County & Seattle Public Utility’s program ThreadCycle. That means even linens that are worn out and less-than-useful will be recycled in an earth-friendly way.

6. Donate toys.
If you celebrate Christmas and have kids, it’s likely your home just saw a serious influx of toys. Now is a great time to have your kids help you choose some items to donate—and explain how their donations help other local families not only through helping other children have affordable toys, but by providing education opportunities for their parents!7. Donate any clothes or shoes you haven’t worn in 2015.
Take the time to look through your shoes, wardrobe, dresser, and coat closet and identify items you haven’t worn anytime recently. Odds are, if you haven’t worn it in the last 12 months, you won’t wear it again. Give it new life by donating it!8. Donate your car.
Yup—we said it. Donate your car. No matter what the condition, we can accept your car donation through V-DAC. Your donation is tax deductible—and in many cases that equals more than what you might get for trade-in or direct sale.

9. Donate tools.
Tools are popular gifts for Dads—and more often than not, it’s an updated or new version of something that functions similarly. If your new tool is replacing one you already own, bring in the old one.

10. Donate the odd gifts.
Every Christmas, you’re bound to get 1-2 gifts or stocking stuffers that just wind up collecting dust for months, maybe even years. Maybe it was a gag gift—or a White Elephant win—but either way, you know it’s just going to wind up in the junk drawer. Bring it on down. We’ll take it, and turn it into new opportunities for our students.And no matter what you donate—be sure to grab your receipt so you can deduct it on your taxes! 


Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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