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Donations: What to Give + Where to Donate

new york city professional organizer explains what to give and where to donate unwanted household items

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! If you followed along in my stories, you saw I had a house full of family - just the way I like it. As a professional organizer, I get to give + donate year round for my clients. The holiday season brings charity top of mind to so many, so it's the perfect opportunity to round up my favorite charities and non-profits in New York City and beyond that you can donate your new or gently used housewares to.

First, let's discuss how to decide what items to give. When working with my New York organization clients, I have them focus on one key question: "Would you buy this again today?" From clothing, to books, to toys, and even household decor, this question can instantly help decide what items stay or go. If you're holding on to things that you don't value enough to purchase again today, they are creating clutter in your life. Donate those items to someone who needs that item today. For more tips on minimizing, simplifying and organizing, click here to read my recent post on how to transform a spare room to an office.

After deciding which items you're ready to part with, it's time to inspect their condition to decipher where the items should be donated, recycled or thrown away. Look for signs of hard wear and age: shoes that need to be resoled, broken heels, mangled zippers or items with missing parts often are too worn to be used again. Set those items aside to be thrown away or recycled. Non-profits have to sift through all donations and purge items in poor condition. Help save precious time for these charities and inspect your own items carefully.

Now it's time to donate. Since my business is built around helping people clear clutter and take control of their lives, I've had extensive experience with different non-profits accepting donations here in New York. Here are my favorites:

  • Housing Works - This is a favorite stop for furniture, clothes and shoes. Housing Works is a fantastic mission based project that fights for funding and legislation to assist all people living with HIV/AIDS. I love the convenient Upper West Side locations at Broadway + 96th or Columbus + 74th.

  • Dress for Success - All your women's business attire and accessories (including office appropriate shoes) should be donated here. Not only are you helping to clothe women, you're helping them to become financially independent as they interview for jobs in your donated items. The Manhattan location accepts donations the third Saturday of each month.

  • Local Libraries - Any unwanted books are welcomed at your local public libraries. Many branches around the country use donated books in their catalog, but they also host resale days - which can be a major fundraiser for them.

  • iHug Foundation - Childrens toy and clothing donations are welcomed by the incredible non-profit, helping to increases access to education for vulnerable children in Uganda to accelerate their path out of poverty. If you're looking for a year round charitable donation, you can even sponsor a child for an entire year for less than $400.

There are countless other ways to turn your unwanted housewares and clothing into a charitable cause in your city - these are just a few of my favorites here in New York. Take two hours this holiday weekend to ask yourself "Would I buy this again today?" and give yourself control over your home again. If you're looking for a little assistance, I'm always here to help. Simply contact me here and we'll get started making more room for the things you love and saving you precious time.


The Aesthetic Organizer is a professional, personal organizer that helps New York City residents organize their homes, simplify their lives and maximize their precious space. You deserve a beautiful, well-thought out home. Curated closets, organized bathrooms, cheerful children’s play areas and functionally spaced kitchens are only the beginning. Contact me here to experience the benefits that come with Aesthetic Organization.

Organization Specialist Small Space Home

As a professional organizer in New York City, I believe in celebrating the things in life that make you happy and serve you well. I provide creative solutions to organizing small spaces (like New York apartments) that are both intuitive and simple to maintain. Look around for some inspiration! - Wendy

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