11 charities that offer free donation pick-up

author avatar Written by Aaron Steed

Whether you’re moving to a new home, or you’re just now realizing that you should probably downsize because there are so many things in your possession, one of the best ways to declutter your home and give back at the same time, is by donating your clothes, furniture, and anything else you simply don’t use or need anymore. When looking at the easiest way to go about doing this, you would simply need to research charities that offer free donation pick up.

What charities are there? Would they accept everything I need to get rid of?

These questions and more, answered shortly. Keep reading to find out.

Why should I donate to charity?

No matter how you slice it, moving is a huge endeavor. The amount of time it takes to prepare, plan, and execute a move can take several weeks or even months.

The time needed also depends on how much stuff needs to be hauled away. The more items that need to be moved, the greater the costs out of your pocket.

These costs can add up due to the need for additional boxes and moving accessories. Additionally, having more clutter to deal with can add more stress. The new living arrangement also comes into play. Is your new residence smaller than your previous one? Will everything fit? These are some questions to consider.

If you do end up needing high-quality moving supplies including boxes, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, tape, and much more, Meathead Movers has what you need.

TIP: Don’t forget to download our moving checklist for the best tips and how to stay organized during the moving process.

Even if you’re not moving and are looking to get rid of some things, donating can help your living situation significantly. This is because donating can free up space, make your home look more appealing and organized due to the lack of clutter, and promote a sense of clearer thinking and a better environment due to having fewer things to worry about.

Donating before you move is a great option because not only do you give back to the community and help extend the life of those particular items, but it helps you save money and space in the process.

Charitable contributions are also tax-deductible. According to the IRS, Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, there are special rules for certain items that are donated. Familiarizing yourself with how much you may be able to get back is a key element of donating.

The next thing to consider is which items to part ways with.

What items should I donate?

When preparing to donate things you no longer need, there are many things to consider. Here are some of the most commonly donated items and reasons why you may want to donate them.

1. Clothes

A general rule of thumb is that if they haven’t been worn for over a year, then it’s usually time to get rid of it. This may not apply to all clothing items, because perhaps some clothes have been handed down to you and are considered heirlooms or a memory of the past.

Also, it’s time to donate if clothes don’t fit anymore. Conversely, if you have some articles of clothing that you wish to wear again despite changes to the body, then keep it! Sometimes having clothes that you wish to fit in again can evoke feelings of motivation and goal setting.

This also applies to shoes. If you have shoes that no longer fit, or are just deciding to get rid of them for whatever reason and are still in good condition, donating them is a great way to give back by providing someone what they need.

2. Furniture

Parting ways with furniture is not always an easy task, because in most cases you had to spend money to acquire it unless it was handed down from friends or family. Also, a certain piece of furniture may hold a special place in your heart and you may not want to say goodbye.

When it comes to donating furniture, ask yourself why you’re donating it in the first place. If it’s for reasons of needing to be replaced due to wear and tear or just being old, then getting rid of it usually isn’t a problem.

If it’s for reasons of space but it’s furniture you really want to keep, one method may be to house it in a storage unit until you decide what you want to do with it. Meathead Movers has a self-storage facility in San Luis Obispo and Ventura County for customers who need to safely and conveniently store their belongings.

3. Books, toys & games

Before deciding to throw away things that are still in good condition and may bring joy to other people and children, donate them! This includes books that you wish to get rid of, toys for young kids, board games, electronics, coloring books, anything that may be of value to someone else.

4. Sporting goods

Instead of throwing away sporting equipment that’s still in good condition, donate it! Sporting equipment is not always cheap to come by. These can include balls for any sport, cleats, accessories, equipment, anything sports-related. Whatever kind of item it is, it will be sure to bring the next person who uses it joy and happiness.

5. Kitchenware

These types of items include plates, bowls, silverware, cups, pots, pans, and anything else usually stored in the kitchen.

Whether you’re replacing your old kitchenware with new items, or just don’t want to possess something anymore, these are great items to donate.

6. Art & antiques

Art pieces and other artistic objects can be donated as well. If you are in possession of a piece that you feel can benefit the livelihood of someone else, or are just no longer looking to hold onto a certain item, give it away.

What you personally feel may not be valuable may be the opposing mindset to someone else. Art or antiques, no matter what it is, will always be things that are valued and demanded.

7. Automobiles, other forms of transportation

Looking to donate your car or another form of transportation to a charity? That’s great! Many charities offer vehicle pick-up free of charge and are also tax-deductible.

With now knowing which items you need to donate, the next step is to pack everything up safely and securely, so nothing breaks. For clothes or anything soft, you can use heavy-duty trash bags or boxes. For more fragile items, secure the box with bubble wrap to ensure the items you are donating remain in great condition.

Once you have everything packed up, including your furniture, it’s time to find a charity that offers free donation pick up. Luckily, there are plenty of them around the United States.

Where should I donate to? Charities that offer free donation pick-up

Here is a list of organizations and charities that will pick up your donations at no cost to you:

  • The Salvation Army
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Goodwill
  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • The Furniture Bank Network
  • AMVETS National Service Foundation
  • The Arc
  • Greendrop
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Patriots and Paws
  • Domestic Shelters

1. The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army logo









The Salvation Army is an international charitable organization that started in 1865, with headquarters located in London, United Kingdom. They currently serve in 130 countries around the world. Its mission is to meet the necessary needs of humans and help create positive change. They are one of the largest charities that offer free donation pick-up.

This organization has a plethora of services including food pantries, disaster relief, homeless shelters, solutions to human trafficking, child sponsor programs, after-school programs, and of course, donation.

Is it available near me?
Find a drop-off location or schedule a free pick-up, and find out where their thrift stores are.

What donations does The Salvation Army accept?
The Salvation Army accepts items including vehicles, clothing, furniture, appliances, and household goods. Check out their handy donation value guide to help determine an average value of your items.

What donations does The Salvation Army not accept?
Some of the items they do not accept include:

  • Built-in appliances and other large-sized appliances with mechanical issues
  • Paint or chemicals
  • Televisions that are older than 5 years
  • Gas heaters
  • Tires, car batteries, wheels, or other auto parts

How your donation makes a difference
When donations are made, the items are then sold at their thrift stores and the proceeds are used to fund their programs, including their Adult Rehabilitation Centers.

2. Habitat for Humanity


Habitat for Humanity, or Habitat, is a nonprofit and non-governmental organization that was founded in 1976 with headquarters in Atlanta, GA. This organization’s vision is of “a world where everyone has a decent place to live”

They work to address housing needs by volunteers helping build affordable housing for individuals and families in need. They also work to repair homes with their disaster response team after natural disasters.

Is it available near me?
Enter your ZIP code into their website to find the nearest Habitat ReStore. Contact them to arrange the best method for donation dropoff, including free pick up.

What donation does Habitat for Humanity accept?
The most common items they accept include vehicles, new and like-new appliances, household items, furniture including couches and chairs, and building supplies to help their efforts of building homes.

Some locations may only accept certain items, so contact them to be sure they can take your donations.

What donations does Habitat for Humanity not accept?
They do not accept mattresses, electronics that are greater than 5 years old, rear-projection televisions, items including lighting, lamps, doors, and windows that are broken or cracked, and more. For a complete list of items, they do not accept, consult their handy guide.

How your donation makes a difference
After your items are donated, they are sold in their ReStore. Proceeds from sales help to build new homes for those in need.

3. Goodwill


Goodwill Industries International, or Goodwill, is an American nonprofit organization that was founded in 1902 by Reverend Edgar J. Helms, with headquarters in Rockville, MD.

Goodwill’s mission is to “enhance people’s dignity and quality of life by strengthening their communities, eliminating their barriers to opportunity, and helping them reach their full potential through learning and the power of work”

They have helped tens of millions of people throughout the world get jobs and assist with services including language training and access to transportation.

Is it available near me?
Find a donation center online or contact your local Goodwill to see if they have pick up services.

What donations does Goodwill accept?
Goodwill accepts most items that are new or in good condition, including small appliances, bed frames, cars, electronics, furniture, clothes, shoes, sports equipment, tools, and much more.

What donations does Goodwill not accept?
They are unable to accept items including air conditioners, firearms, automobile parts, chemicals, anything flammable, broken or damaged furniture, recalled items, copiers, and debris.

Like many other charities that offer free donation pick up, what is able to be picked up and not may vary in different locations.

How your donation makes a difference
When items are donated, Goodwill sells them in their local stores. The proceeds from the sales help provide many people with job training and placement services.

4. Vietnam Veterans of America

Vietnam Veterans of America logo

Vietnam Veterans of America is a national nonprofit organization that was founded in 1978 with headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

This organization offers services including outreach programs, government relations, veteran services including job placement, and financial advising. Their mission is to “promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change the public perception of Vietnam veterans.”

Is it available near me?
While not available in every state, check out their interactive map and find a location nearest you to schedule a donation pick up.

What donations does Vietnam Veterans of America accept?
They accept items including all types and sizes of clothing and clothing accessories, shoes, house and kitchenware, small appliances, bedding, jewelry, vehicles, and much more. Check out their complete list of items that they are able to accept.

What donations does Vietnam Veterans of America not accept?
Large furniture including couches, sofas, and mattresses, large appliances including washers, dryers, and refrigerators, automobile parts, large televisions, chemicals, or anything flammable.

How your donation makes a difference
Donated items are sold at their various thrift stores, and the proceeds go to support and fund their programs.

5. The Furniture Bank Network

Furniture Bank Network logo

The Furniture Bank Network is a network of registered charities across the US and Canada that provides furniture, either new or like new, to families and individuals in need with little to no cost.

These individuals and families include those that are victims of natural disasters, immigrants, previously homeless, those with physical disabilities, and more. A network of agencies make sure that only qualified people in true need are able to get the furniture. They also let these families pick out the furniture they want, rather than giving them something they have no say in.

Is it available near me?
View their interactive map to see if a location is near you. Contact the location closest to you and find out about their donation pick up information.

What donations does The Furniture Bank Network accept?
They accept most types of furniture for the home that are in good condition including couches, mattresses, chairs, tables, kitchenware, and more.

What donations does The Furniture Bank Network not accept?
Any furniture that is broken, stained, or is heavily damaged would prevent someone from using it to its potential.

How your donation makes a difference
The furniture donations help hundreds of thousands of individuals and families around the US and Canada.

6. AMVETS National Service Foundation

American Veterans National Service Foundation logo

AMVETS National Service Foundation is an inclusive, national nonprofit organization that was founded in 1948, that provides counsel and representation to veterans who are trying to obtain compensation and benefits from the VA.

They also provide services including scholarship programs for veterans who are looking to further their education, youth programs, and more.

AMVETS, much like other charitable organizations, have thrift stores that individuals can buy things from that have been donated.

Is it available near me?
Schedule a donation pick up online, and find out more information about their store locations.

What donation does AMVETS National Service Foundation accept?
Some of what they are able to accept our new and used clothing, household goods, and toys. AMVETS is available in different states across the country, and each has its own regulations when it comes to what they are able to accept. Reference their thrift store guide and contact the one closest to you to find out what they accept for donations.

What donations does AMVETS National Service Foundation not accept?
The same applies to what they do accept. Reference their thrift store guide and contact the one closest to you to find out what they don’t accept for donations.

How your donation makes a difference
When donations are made, they are then sold in their various thrift stores. Proceeds go to providing services to veterans.

7. The Arc

The Arc logo

The Arc is an organization that was founded in 1950, which aims to add fulfillment to millions of lives of people with disabilities.

According to their website, The Arc is the “largest national community-based organization advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and serving them and their families.”

They have over 600 state and local chapters nationwide and over 1,000 national and community programs while working hard to build and foster the growth of the disability rights movement.

Is it available near me?
The Arc is a charity that offers free donation pick up, as well as drop off. Browse their list of local chapters for donation dropoff. Click for free donation pick up and more information.

What donations does The Arc accept?
Some of the accepted donations include clothes, household goods, kitchenware, linens, decor, and more.

What donations does The Arc not accept?
Each chapter and location may vary in regards to what cannot be accepted. Contact your local chapter to find out more.

How your donation makes a difference
The profits and proceeds made to The Arc end up going toward promoting awareness and advocacy for the disabled community.

8. Greendrop

Greendrop charity logo

Greendrop is a charitable organization that provides fast and efficient donation pick up and drop-off services. They’re known for their green vans and friendly staff that pick up the items.

They have been able to donate millions of dollars of charity proceeds to partnered organizations.

Another service that Greendop offers is house cleanouts, where members of their concierge service come to your home and are able to remove large quantities of items. This service is available to families that are experiencing life events such as a death in the family, transitions to assisted living facilities, preparing for a move, downsizing, and more.

Is it available near me?
Greendrop is based in Philadelphia, PA. Check out their list of brick and mortar locations for donation dropoff, as well as utilizing their donation pick up from one of their friendly staff.

What donations does Greendrop accept?
They are able to accept clothes, both new and lightly used, tools, small electronics, sporting goods, instruments, and more. Check out their complete list of acceptable items and read more about their guidelines and regulations.

What donations does Greendrop not accept?
Some of the items they are able to accept include tube televisions or tube computer monitors, various household items, baby items, and more. Check out their list of items they do not accept.

How your donation makes a difference
Their mission is to help provide the donations they receive to assist programs including the American Red Cross, National Federation of the Blind, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and others.

9. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America logo

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, according to their website, is considered “the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network.” Their mission is to guide and assist children with taking charge of their futures and realizing their full potential with community-based mentoring, school-based mentoring, children of prisoner mentoring, and many more.

This non-profit organization was founded in 1904 by Ernest Kent Coulter, with headquarters based in Tampa, FL. They work to provide and foster mentoring relationships between a leader and youth, with leaders between the years of 18 and 34, and youth typically under the age of 18.

This organization is great for those who want to give back by being able to influence the lives of young individuals. The children in this program are not without parents, but who could benefit from the presence of another role model in their lives.

Is it available near me?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has offices all over the country. Check out their list of locations and schedule a free donation pick up.

What donations does Big Brothers Big Sisters of America accept?
Clothing, jewelry, common household items, exercise equipment, kitchenware.

What donations do Big Brothers Big Sisters not accept?
They do not accept furniture including cribs, playpens, mattresses or box springs, medical items, oversized toys, anything broken or heavily damaged.

How your donation makes a difference
The proceeds from the sale of donations help fund their various programs.

10. Patriots and Paws

Patriots & Paws logo


Patriots and Paws is a nonprofit organization and charity that offers free donation pick up that aims to provide home furnishings including furniture, kitchenware, tables, and much more to military veterans, those who are active, and reservists who move into new residences and can’t afford these basic necessities.

This organization was initially funded from the founder’s family inheritance and has helped thousands of families throughout their years of existence.

The “Paws” meaning comes from providing a healthy rescue animal to those who are serving and who have served in the military, for companionship and improved quality of life.

Is it available near me?
Patriots and Paws serve areas from Fresno, CA, all the way down to the border of Mexico, and to the Arizona border. For pick up, they are located in Orange County. Find out how to donate items in person, and schedule an in-person donation pick up. Pick ups are usually scheduled 3 days a week.

What donations do Patriots and Paws accept?
They accept most items you use to furnish a home including kitchen appliances, refrigerators, washers and dryers, gas ranges, mattresses and box springs, furniture, rugs, and houseware. Check out their complete list.

What donations do Patriots and Paws not accept?
They do not accept clothes, baby items, exercise equipment. garden & lawn tools, desks, musical instruments, and more. Check out their complete list of items they do not accept.

How your donation makes a difference
Your donations are given directly to families in need.

11. Domestic Shelters

Domestic Shelters logo

Domesticshelters.org is an amazing resource that allows individuals and victims of domestic abuse the ability to search for verified domestic violence shelters around their area across the United States.

They also have resources including in-depth articles, videos, online forums and chats, webinars and events, statistics, books, and much more.

When it comes to donations, however, they do things a bit differently. Instead of calling them to pick up your donations or even dropping them off at a brick-and-mortar location, the shelters have what are called wishlists where you purchase new items and then are delivered to the shelters.

After you plug in a ZIP Code into the shelter finder, you can search by local shelters, and then their individual wishlists are presented.

Is it available near me?
Since they work with shelters across the country and your purchases are delivered, all you have to do is go online and search for a shelter to donate to.

What donations does Domestic Shelters accept?
They have an online catalog of items that can be purchased and delivered to shelters.

What donations does Domestic Shelters accept?
Anything other than what’s not on the wishlist.

How your donation makes a difference
Your donations support victims of domestic violence directly by providing them much-needed items.

Additional resources

Included here is some additional information regarding other programs and charities.

These resources may not offer free donation pick-up but are worth considering when thinking about donating in other ways. Meathead Movers have worked with these and dozens of other charities over the years to help advance and progress causes, and support the individuals that are involved with these charities.

  • Meathead Mover’s Move to End Domestic Violence

Move to End Domestic Violence logo









Meathead Movers has been a proud supporter of helping victims of domestic abuse and has partnered with local shelters across California for nearly 20 years.

Our Move to End Domestic Violence program was created as a movement to inspire other businesses & individuals to help raise awareness, support the cause, and donate to shelters.

With your generosity, we can continue to provide those in need with basic necessities and resources.

The United Way is a nonprofit organization that, according to their website, “advances the common good in communities across the world. Our focus is on education, income, and health—the building blocks for a good quality of life.”

They accept monetary donations which you can use to support the United Way Worldwide, a U.S. community in need, or a global community in need.

  • Local food banks

Food banks are non-profit organizations that distribute food to those who cannot afford food and are in need. You can donate canned foods and goods, pasta, rice, and anything nonperishable.

There are many local food banks around the United States. You can search for food banks in California, or online wherever you are in the nation.


  • Educational foundations

Educational foundations help improve student success, help teachers, and grow communities by providing better education and resources.

There are plenty of schools and foundations to donate to, including The NEA Foundation, which supports public education.


Whether you’re planning a big move, or you’re just needing to downsize your current living situation, donating the items you don’t need or use anymore is a great option to do. Not only are you giving back to the community and supporting those in need, but you’re contributing to helping various nonprofit programs stay funded and open to assist others in need.

Aside from this list, there may be more charities that offer free donation pick-up in your area. Make sure to conduct some additional research and see if your items are fit for donating to great causes.

Meathead Movers is also the go-to source for nonprofits who need labor and trucks. Contact one of our friendly representatives to find out more information.

Looking for a professional moving company around your area? Meathead Movers is a athlete moving company with several locations across California. With award-winning services including local moving, long-distance moving, commercial moving, and senior moving, our team of dedicated professionals can handle anything you need. Contact us over the phone or online for a free quote and see how we can help.

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