Donate winter gear you’re not using to those in need

Now that the winter months are in full swing, this is a great time to sort through some of your winter gear. There’s likely to be a few items that you use a lot along with others that you hardly use anymore. Get everyone who lives in your home involved (if possible) so that they can select their favorites and identify items that can be donated to charity.

As you go through each area of you home, remember to look inside closets, under bed storage bins, the attic, the basement, your garage or shed, and any other areas that the following items may be hiding:

  • Coats and jackets. Chances are, you reach for the same one or two pieces of outerwear all the time. And, that’s okay. We all have our favorites. Consider donating the ones that no longer fit (or that you don’t like) to One Warm Coat or a local homeless shelter or another charity wanting outerwear. Winter is the best time to donate these items so they can be used.
  • Hats, scarves, and gloves. If they don’t fit you anymore (whether in size or style), it’s time to pass on your hats and other winter accessories to others who will put them to good use. Check for winter clothing drives hosted by schools, community centers, or houses of worship in your neighborhood.
  • Footwear. Consider donating the boots you no longer wear to Goodwill or Soles4Souls. Both organizations will accept shoes that are new or gently worn. If you have athletic shoes that are in disrepair, send them off to the Nike ReUse a Shoe program to be recycled.
  • Sporting gear. If you have winter sports gear that you no longer want, participate in a ski swap to let go of your old winter sport gear (contact the ski resort you go to or local sporting goods shop). Your skis, sleds, snow boards, goggles, helmets, and other winter sport stuff that you no longer use can also be repurposed or recylced. Check out the recycling program at Snow Sport Industries of America, where items are disassembled and repurposed by other industries. Or, you can let Green Mountain Ski Furniture help you transform your old skis into something new, like tables, adirondack chairs, coat racks, and more. This might be a good option for junior skis.
  • Blankets and sheets. You probably have a few blankets and flannel sheets that don’t fit the beds in your home that you can donate to a homeless, family, or pet shelter. Art for Humanity, located in Virginia, will allow you to drop off or mail used sheets (as well as towels and shoes) that are in good condition.
  • Pet gear. Does your dog really love wearing that winter coat and matching boots? And, do you have enough room to store them? Check with your local veterinarian, SPCA, or animal rescue to see if they have a need for those items and other unused pet supplies.

4 Comments for “Donate winter gear you’re not using to those in need”

  1. posted by Mary Ann on

    This is great advice. I am going through a big de-cluttering project (posting updates on my blog to keep me motivated), and knowing that someone else will be blessed gives me more energy to keep going with the clean out.

  2. posted by tba on

    There is another thing that needs to be kept in mind when you’re de-cluttering and donating. As long as the items are clean and in wearable condition, there really is no need to ponder whether something is “appropriate” for donation.
    There are not only homeless people in the need for donated clothes, it’s also unemployed people or people who might have enough money for their food but for little else. They could do with your old business outfit – maybe it’s their chance to be well dressed at an interview. A poor teenager who wants to go out with their friends once might put good use to your glitter mini skirt. Please understand that is not up to you to decide what is decent or practical enough clothing for those who cannot afford to shop till they drop.

  3. posted by Jodi on

    It may be implied, but also please don’t donate clothing that is better off as rags to a thrift store. Taking a bag of stained, torn, or otherwise damaged clothing is not a helpful donation – worth uncluttering for sure! But find maybe a animal shelter or auto shop that can use those items for rags instead.

  4. posted by Green on

    Thanks so much for that great info on where our stuff can get a second life.
    If its not here (God! did I miss it!?!), could you also please add a list of appropriate places to dispose (or reuse/recycle) things like batteries, medicines, pesticides, ink cartridges or such items that need special care?

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