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The Things Thrift Stores Don’t Want

For many homeowners, spring-like weather awakens the desire to breathe new life into their surroundings by getting rid of unwanted items. You can do so easily by donating gently used goods to your local thrift store. But before you do, take note of some items many won’t accept.

Anything Toxic – You’d be surprised how many people try to donate household cleaners, old tires, and other toxic, chemical-packed products. Contact your town for proper disposal.

Appliances – Most thrift stores won’t take large appliances as they are cumbersome to handle.


Mattresses – If your mattress is in good condition and free of bedbugs, you might be able to donate it to Habitat for Humanity or the Salvation Army. However, your neighborhood thrift store will usually turn it down.

Pillows and Bedding – Even those in good condition probably won’t be accepted.  A good alternative might be a local animal shelter for use in crates.

Strollers, Cribs, and Car Seats – Most thrift stores don’t have the time or resources to keep up with recalls and child safety recommendations.

Walkers – Because thrift stores don’t know the history of medical devises such as walkers and wheelchairs, they will often turn them away. Contact your local medical charity to see if they have a need.

Old-Style TVs – Television technology changes fast and most people won’t buy outdated electronics. If you have an old-style TV, call your town recycling center to learn how to dispose of it properly.

Pet-Loved Furnishings – Before donating your sofa and love seat, get them professionally cleaned to remove any pet hair and odors.

Prescription Eyeglasses – Look into organizations that offer an eyeglass recycling program. For example, Goodwill often teams up with nonprofits that provide glasses to those in need.

Musical Instruments – Contact your local school, house of worship, or music charity to see if they have an instrument donation program for that violin, piano, or tuba that no one plays anymore.

What does that leave you to donate? All kinds of things, like gently used clothing, toys, small appliances, and so much more.  Helping someone in need is the point, and we hope you’ll keep that in mind.

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