What to Do with Unwanted Items from Your Storage Unit

Digging through your storage unit one sunny Saturday, you realize – I have way too much stuff! Toys your children have outgrown, clothes that are no longer in style, the furniture you just can’t see in your new home…the list goes on. If hauling it all home and hosting a Yard Sale is not high on your list of weekend plans, you may be thinking, “What am I going to do with it all?” Luckily, there are lots of great options out there! With just a short drive, a phone call or a few quick clicks, your old stuff can find a new home and a new purpose. Here are some of the great ones, both local and national organizations, who want your old stuff.


Goodwill Industries International, Inc. accepts clothing, toys, and most household items. Donating is easy. Just load up your car and find a nearby location. Some Goodwill stores even offer to pick up services. You’ll receive a receipt from the Donation Attendant, as your donation is tax-deductible! They have locations all over the country, so chances are there is one close to you.

The Salvation Army

We all know about those Red Kettles outside every store during the holidays, but the Salvation Army is so much more than that. They accept donations of appliances, automobiles, clothing, furniture and household goods. You can use their website to find a nearby drop off location or schedule a pick up for those larger items. They can give you a receipt for your donations, which is tax deductible.

There are a few items they will not accept, such as stuffed animals or child car seats, due to certain risk factors and recall possibilities. So be sure to check out their Donation Value Guide or give your location branch a call before you load it all up to take to them. This guide will tell you what you can donate and how much value is assigned to each item for tax purposes.

Purple Heart Foundation

Purple Heart Foundation raises funds through the sale of your contributions of clothing and household items. The funds raised are used to help support Purple Heart Service Foundation programs and services that aid all veterans and their families.

You likely have received a postcard in the mail from them with future pick up dates in your neighborhood. You simply contact them and tell them you have items you wish to donate, and they will schedule your house (or storage unit) for a pickup. You can also schedule a pick up through their website.

York Rescue Mission

The York Rescue Mission began in 1962 with the objective to offer food, clothing, shelter and spiritual guidance for the poor and needy of York County. You can make donations at their Economy Store where they are offered free to those in need through a voucher program and for sale to shoppers from the community.

Water Street Mission

Water Street Mission has been in Lancaster since 1905, where they have since expanded to provide food, shelter, worship and community outreach for those in need in Lancaster County. You can make donations of clothing and everyday essentials at their Collection Center or in any Community Aid donation bin, whom they partner with for clothing donations.

Animal Shelters

Check with your local Humane Society or Animal Rescue Center. Most will accept donations of blankets and bath, beach or kitchen towels.

The Landfill

Let’s be honest, sometimes your items are broken or beyond repair and not suitable for donation. You can take them home and put them curbside for your local pick up or you might have to haul them to “The Dump”. You may want to check with your local agency first and see if there are residency requirements or any fees involved.

And remember, you can’t just toss that old computer or TV any more. There are certain regulations on how to dispose of these items properly. Your local trash company can most likely provide you with some drop off locations for these items.

And, if you aren’t sure you want to get rid of your extra stuff yet, just keep it in storage! Or, maybe one of your parents just passed away and now you have a house full of stuff you need to go through, but can’t bear to do it yet, and you don’t want to just blindly donate it all. Maybe you know your kids will want some of it down the road, or you plan to donate at least some of it but can’t part with it just yet…you can always move to a larger storage unit or rent an additional storage unit to keep it safe until you are ready to tackle it.