Our society has an abundance of material goods. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them end up in a landfill. Many people believe that by donating to a thrift store, these items are guaranteed to end up being used by someone else who is in need. Keep in mind that the majority of the items given to thrift stores are sorted before the end up on the floor. In the back of the store, there are massive dumpsters, and many of these items mentioned above go directly into the trash.
If you donate somewhere like Goodwill, they got so much stuff, that many overflow items end up going to places like the Goodwill Outlet where they are sold off for a dollar per pound before they are all sent to the dump. So, if you are doing spring cleaning, and you are not sure what to do with your old stuff, these are the 10 items you are better off tossing or bringing to the local recycling center.
10. Anything Broken, Stained, or Full of Holes
If you are trying to donate something to the thrift store because it’s broken, no one else will want it, either. Some people have the good-natured mindset of thinking that someone else may want to put in the effort to fix it, but it’s usually not true. Same goes with clothes. There are so many clothes that are donated on a daily basis, anything with holes or staines gets thrown out immediately.
9. Mattresses and Box Springs
You may believe that your old mattresses are “still good”, but thrift stores have no idea if they may contain bed bugs. So they will flat-out refuse to take them. They are also large, bulky, and often gotten rid of for a good reason. If you need to get rid of a mattress, you will have to arrange for a special trash pickup, or deliver it to a local dump.
Large appliances are valuable, but they are incredibly large, bulky, and difficult to move. And if you are getting rid of them, there is probably a good reason why you are doing so. Most thrift stores will refuse to take them. You should try to offer them up on Craigslist instead, and someone will more than likely come over to buy or take it away for free.
For some reason, a lot of people tend to hoard small collections of free items from hotels or marketing promotions. Later, they will decide to donate these things to the thrift store when they are doing their spring cleaning. Unfortunately, if you can get it for free, so can most other people. Instead of donating it to the thrift stores, ask your local homeless and women’s shelters if they would be willing to take the toiletries instead.
6. Children’s Cribs, Car Seats, Etc.
Every few years, baby cribs and car seats will undergo safety recalls, because a flaw was found in the manufacturing. They are no longer safe to sell to parents. So for a thrift shop owner, selling used baby items could potentially become a liability. On top of that, most people usually get these items for free from friends and family during their baby shower. Most thrift stores will refuse to take these donations. You could contact a local women’s shelter to see if they need any of these items instead, or ask your friends if they need anything.
5. Item That Could Potentially Have Mold
When your old items sit around for long enough, you may be unwittingly growing mold in your home. This happens with anything that becomes wet, especially humidifiers. Whenever a thrift store receives something like this, it goes straight in the trash, because they do not want to take any chances.
4. Your Garage Sale Leftovers
People love a good garage sale. At the end of the day, you will be left with a few boxes full of knick-knacks that you will want to take to your local thrift store. More often than not, those items will get thrown away anyway, because they are not very valuable for resale. Consider offering up the leftovers on Freecycle or Craigslist instead.
3. Outdated Electronics
Lots of people have their collection of old cellphones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets lying around the house. You may want to donate these to the thrift store, but they are likely going to be thrown away. The most responsible thing you can do with these items is to do some research to see if your local area has electronics recycling program. This is especially important if the items have a lithium ion battery.
2. Vulgar or Offensive Items
A lot of people got some funny or vulgar gift items at parties, or as a joke in college. Then, they never want to wear them in public. Keep in mind that thrift stores have a lot of families with children who are going to browse the aisles. So they will always throw these things away when they receive them.
1. Huge Items
Thrift stores have limited space to store their items. So even if something is considered valuable, they often have to be turned away. This happens most often with items like pool tables, hot tubs, etc. If you are trying to get rid of something like this, post it on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace instead.