8 Great Places to Dump Your Junk

  • The Best Places to Donate or Trade in Used Goods

    If you’re planning to do some spring cleaning in the coming weeks, don’t just kick your leftovers to the curb when you’re done. There are countless organizations where one can either donate or trade in their spring cleaning surplus to benefit others and the environment—and occasionally get a little extra cash. Websites like NetworkforGood and VolunteerGuide make it easy for consumers to find information about nonprofits based on their location or primary focus, while other sites like Freecyle let users search from thousands of groups across the country that accept donations and also give out free stuff to those who need it. Still, all these options can make it that much harder to figure out where to give your belongings, so MainStreet has cherry-picked eight of our favorite businesses, groups and websites that make it easy to get rid of everything, from pants to cars. If we missed any of your favorite places, tell us about them in the comments section! Photo Credit: Mike Miley
    Dress for Success
  • Dress for Success

    Dress for Success is one of the more ingenious and well-focused charities out there. The nonprofit has one primary goal: help underprivileged women succeed in the career of their choice. The group offers career coaches to help women hone their job skills, and perhaps most importantly, it also provides needy women with business attire that has been donated to the organization so these women can look and feel confident in their careers. For any women reading this who have just finished cleaning out their closet, consider contacting one of the dozens of Dress for Success affiliates around the country to donate some of your dresses. Photo Credit: Dressforsuccess.org
    Soles4Souls
  • Soles4Souls

    Let’s be honest: Your shoes probably got a little scuffed up in the winter, and you probably don’t think they’re quite as spiffy now as you used to anyway. But they could still be incredibly useful to someone else. Soles4Souls is an excellent nonprofit that originally launched in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to hand out donated shoes to needy New Orleans residents. Since then, the group has given out nearly 14 million shoes to other needy areas, including regions impacted by the tsunami in Indonesia several years ago. Photo Credit: Soles4souls.org
    ThredUp
  • ThredUp

    ThredUp isn’t a traditional donation service, and functions instead as a way to swap children’s products. All users have to do is create a free account on the site so they can advertise boxes of children’s clothes and products that they’d like to give away. Other members on the site can then search through descriptions to determine which box they’d like to have for their family. Neither party pays for the transaction, except for a $5 flat fee to ship the box. It’s a quick and simple way to get a few boxes of kids’ stuff out of your attic this year and give it to a family who actually needs it. Photo Credit: ThredUp.com
    The Reading Tree
  • The Reading Tree

    I’ll be the first to admit I have more books than I know what to do with, and am pretty sure I acquire twice as many during the winter. If this sounds like your situation, you might consider donating some of the books you know you won’t read again to the Reading Tree, a nonprofit that delivers books to families, schools and libraries around the country that are low on literature. Photo Credit: thereadingtree.org
    Best Buy
  • Best Buy

    Best Buy may not be a charity, but it does offer a nice trade-in program for electronics, even if those products haven’t been purchased at one of its stores. Consumers can trade in their old video games, laptops and portable music players in exchange for gift cards to redeem in stores. And if Best Buy doesn’t accept the particular gadget you want to trade in, you can also use Ecosquid.com to enter in the product and find other organizations that will pay you for it or help you recycle it properly. Photo Credit: Bestbuy.com
    National Kidney Foundation
  • National Kidney Foundation

    No, we’re not suggesting that part of your spring cleaning entails getting rid of your kidney. The National Kidney Foundation accepts donations of cars, trucks and even boats, which it uses to raise money to save lives. It’s a good cause for a well-known foundation, and as with any donation, you can get a substantial tax deduction for donating your vehicle. But if you have some strange vendetta against kidneys, you can also donate your car to veterans associations around the country as well as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Photo Credit: kidney.org
    Goodwill and Salvation Army
  • Goodwill and Salvation Army

    For those looking to get rid of appliances, furniture, or just general clothing items and accessories, there’s no better place to donate than these two venerable nonprofit organizations, which have locations all across the country. Just be careful: Once you’re there, you may feel inclined to shop their thrift stores and stock up the shelves you’ve just finished cleaning out for spring. Photo Credit: SalvationArmy.org
    Snapgoods
  • Snapgoods

    If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of some of your stuff outright, you can always rent it out for short periods of time. Snapgoods lets users rent out everything, from cameras to power tools that may be gathering dust in the attic. This way, the items don’t go to waste and you can make a few extra bucks. At the same time, this service can stop you from having to buy more stuff you won’t need. Rather than buy an expensive video camera that you’ll only use once, you can rent one out on Snapgoods for less than $100 a day. Who knows, if you use this site enough, maybe you won’t even have to do a spring cleaning next year. Photo Credit: Snapgoods.com
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