Wondering what to do with your decluttered items? Below is a list of resources to help you clear your clutter with good conscience. Click on the logos and links to check individual websites for more details on location, items accepted, opening hours and collection and drop off availability.
The best way to donate is to give what you have to someone who needs it. That’s where the GIVIT website comes in so handy. They’re the eyes and ears of charities and support agencies on the ground, and they update their website all the time with requests for what people need today, in the hopes of matching it with someone willing to donate it. It also works in reverse, so you can search for someone in need of what you have to donate. GIVIT is always a great place to start!
Each one will vary so check before you attend, however most will appreciate items such as treats, food, toys, treat puzzles and cat litter. Shelters use lots of blankets and towels and are usually very grateful for secondhand items in good condition. Other items that some shelters may accept include feeding items, newspapers, empty egg cartons, outdoor mats (for cats to scratch), rubber outdoor mats (with holes in them to make snuffle mats), new fleece fabric off cuts, muffin trays, balls, pipe cleaners, chicken/beef stock or stock cubes, ice cube trays, and bubble blowers!
Local playgroups, kinders, schools and childcare centres will often accept art & craft supplies. Many these days will not accept anything that is a hygiene or allergen risk (e.g. toilet rolls or egg cartons). Call to check prior to donating.
- Reverse Art Truck in Ringwood and Narre Warren North (Melbourne)
- Reverse Garbage in Marrickville NSW. Check out their website for a HUGE list of items they love to accept or contact them first to see if they can accept your specific items. Pickup and drop off available
- Progress Pikinini has drop-off locations for goods in the Riverina, NSW and a pick up service in Melbourne. If you want to donate items in those or other areas, please contact them via their contact page using the link above and they’ll get in touch.
Most batteries contain hazardous materials and must never be put in your recycling or waste bin. They can cause fires in garbage trucks and waste facilities and pollute the environment when disposed of in landfills or thrown out elsewhere. Materials like lead, cadmium and mercury can poison people and animals and contaminate soil and water, and they stay in the environment for a long time.
Sending batteries to landfill is also a huge waste of valuable resources. If recycled, 95% of the components of a battery can be turned into new batteries or used in other industries.
Find your nearest battery drop off point using the search function on the B-cycle website. Not all sites accept all types of batteries, so check before you go. Most will accept household batteries, but not all accept cell and lithium batteries and even less vehicle and industrial batteries. Partners include Aldi, Battery World, Bunnings, Officeworks and Woolworths. Oh and it’s recommended you tape your batteries as shown in the image above before recycling to reduce the risk of fire.
Find collection bins in Aldi stores after you go through the check-outs. ALDI accepts household batteries only (AA, AAA, C, D and 9V).
Battery World accepts most types of batteries at most stores.
Bunnings have battery recycling units at the front entrance of every store. They accept household single use and rechargeable batteries, such as AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, 6V, power tool batteries, button cell batteries and other handheld sized batteries that fit into the collection unit slot. They don’t accept lead acid batteries, car batteries or products with embedded batteries.
Officeworks accepts a whole range of items for recycling, including household, laptop and mobile phone batteries. Check what your local store will take using the store locator function, as it can vary between stores. Other items they’ll often take include e-waste, printer cartridges, mobile phones, cables and chargers, computer accessories, pens, markers and data storage.
Woolworths have partnered with Ecobatt and MobileMuster to trial a household battery and mobile take-back scheme. The Recycling Units at the front of the stores accept all handheld batteries, mobile phones, chargers and accessories, mobile wireless modems and wearable technology such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Donate at any Bicycle Superstore. Check their website for your nearest location.
BLANKETS & TOWELS
Your local animal shelter will almost always welcome these along with newspapers and other pet needs such as food and litter.
The whole world is a library when you release your books into the wild… go on, have some fun!
Offer a free collection service throughout greater Melbourne for larger donations (8-25 boxes of books). To book a collection call 1300 DONATE (1300 366 283). For small donations, drop your books in to one of their community stores. Note, they are unable to accept ex-library books, and damaged or dirty books. For text books, try Progress Pikinini or Schools without Books.
SCHOOLS WITHOUT BOOKS
SWB is a Melbourne Aid project collecting for school libraries in the Solomon Islands where many rural and remote schools have few or no books. Pre school, primary school & lower secondary fiction and non fiction are needed. There is desperate need for encyclopaedias (1996 or later), atlases, dictionaries and even CD ROM encyclopaedias. Books need to find their way to Mill Park, Hoppers Crossing, South Morang or Hurstbridge. Check out their Facebook page to get in touch.
BOTTLES & TEATS
My local Salvation Army on Frankston-Dandenong Road in Carrum Downs accepts bottles to help local families doing it tough. They have both an Op Shop and also welfare food programs and help new families starting out who are struggling. Any they can’t use are passed on to a group who raise baby kangaroos and wombats.
If you live further abroad, check with your local op shop or animal rescue to see if they will take them.
Bras are an unaffordable luxury in many countries. You can donate your bras if they are in good condition or brand new. Check the STG website for a detailed list of what they accept as well as drop off points. Alternatively, you can post your donation to the address provided on the same page. They also accept brand new underwear, menstrual hygiene products and some toiletries.
After many years the uplift project is winding down and has ceased collections in Australia and some other places. Go to their website for the latest information on places around the world where you may still be able to donate.
CARS & OTHER VEHICLES
Donate your car and 100% of the profits go towards preventing youth homelessness plus it’s 100% tax deductible. Collection available in metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, and Hobart. They’ll also sell your unwanted vans, motorbikes, caravans, trucks, buses, tractors, boats on trailers, and much more. If your vehicle is located more than one hour’s drive from one of these areas or you have something else to donate for sale, contact them to find out if they can collect it from your location.
Toxic household chemicals – such as solvents, poisons, cleaning products, fertilisers and car care products – can be safely disposed, for free, at Sustainability Victoria’s Detox your Home events or permanent sites in Melbourne and across regional Victoria. Collected items are recovered and diverted from landfill. Check their website for a full list of items they will accept and some alternative options for items they won’t take.
CONTACT LENSES (new)
Donate your surplus contact lenses for use in developing countries. Click on the logo above to obtain the postal address or find a collection point or check with your local Lions Club. (You can also donate glasses and hearing aids as part of the Recycle for Sight program).
CONTACT LENSES (used)
Recycle used contact lenses & blister packs through Terracycle.
CORPORATE CLOTHING, SHOES & ACCESSORIES
Worldwide organisation accepting donations of corporate and interview appropriate attire for women.
The only current drop-off location is in Richmond, Melbourne for corporate and interview appropriate attire for women. FFW are always in particular need of women’s fashion ranging from size 14 onwards. Additionally, they welcome donations of good quality casual and dress clothing and accessories to sell at their retail social enterprise, the Conscious Closet. All proceeds from sales at the Conscious Closet support Fitted for Work programs and services.
Located in South Melbourne and previously known as Wear for Success. Donate your more casual work attire for both men & women (not suits). Also any internationally branded clothing to use in their seasonal fundraising sales. Limited opening times for donations so please check their website for opening hours.
E-waste – or electronic waste – is growing three times faster than the rate of standard municipal waste. E-waste contains potentially hazardous and valuable materials, which don’t belong in landfill. To help protect our environment and recover more precious resources, the Victorian Government has banned all e-waste from landfill as of 1 July 2019. That means e-waste cannot go in any bin. Check with your local council or the Sustainability Victoria website to find out how to legally dispose of anything that takes batteries or has a plug. My local tip will take e-waste free of charge. Yours may do this too!
A free national recycling service for computers, computer accessories and TVs (e-waste).
FAMILY NEEDS & FOOD
MUMS SUPPORTING FAMILIES IN NEED
2/7 Sir Laurence Drive, Seaford VIC 3198
MUMS SUPPORTING FAMILIES IN NEED accepts a variety of items including clothing, groceries and baby needs. See information sheet below.
Opening Hours for donations or to volunteer to sort & pack: Tue, Thu & Fri, 10am–3pm. Reduced hours during school holidays. Closed public holidays. Double check the MSFIN Facebook page or their website to confirm opening hours or for any closures. They also have a list of collection points if you can’t get to their Seaford warehouse. little miss sorted is happy to take suitable items to MSFIN on your behalf. Click here for details.
GENERAL HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Most suburbs and towns have at least one charity shop that will accept a wide variety of second hand items suitable for resale such as clothing, books, toys and furniture. Each differs slightly as to what they will and won’t accept (for example electrical goods) so if in doubt, please ask them! Some offer a collection service including:
- Brotherhood of St Laurence – Call 1300 DONATE (1300 366 283)
- Diabetes Australia – Call 1300 CLOTHING (1300-256-844) or book online
- Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria – Call the Op Shop Truck on 0425 799 415
Progress Pikinini happily accepts the following items:
- Books in English including storybooks, picture books, colouring books (unused), textbooks of any subject; for all ages and reading abilities.
- Stationery e.g. writing materials, paper pads, notebooks, art supplies (coloured pencils, paint, etc.), rulers, erasers, etc.
- School supplies e.g. backpacks, drink bottles, lunch boxes
- Bedlinen, clothes for boys and girls of all ages
- Sport/playground equipment
- Classroom furniture – desks, large tables and chairs
Collection available in Melbourne, VIC and drop-off available in Riverina, NSW
Donate your wigs, scarves, beanies & cotton caps in good clean condition to support cancer patients
Donate your hearing aids for use in developing countries. Click on the logo above to obtain the postal address or find a collection point or check with your local Lions Club. (This is part of their Recycle for Sight program where you can also donate glasses and contact lenses).
LINEN 4 WILDLIFE
Libby is an inspirational young lady on a crusade to save our wildlife. She can accept certain types of linen (see list below or their website for specifics) at drop off points in either Diamond Creek or Thomastown (Melbourne).
There is a recycling collection point in all Sheridan stores for any brand of pre-loved bed linen and towels, diverting textiles from landfill and turning them into recycled yarn that is repurposed into new products.
Check their website for collection & drop off points & book a collection for your old mattress.
In Australia, you can drop medicines for free at your local pharmacy through the Returned Unwanted Medicines (RUM) project. Your pharmacist will put your medicines in a secure bin for collection and safe disposal.
Recycle any mobile phone and their accessories for free. Use their map to find your nearest drop off point or recycle at your local Woolworths, Telstra, Optus or Vodafone store. You can also pick up a free MobileMuster satchel available from your nearest AusPost outlet and post it, if you prefer.
Donate your leftover, unused disposable nappies (including swimmer nappies) for redistribution to families in crisis or need. Drives take place in May and October with a handful of year-round locations. There’s also a handy email opt-in to be reminded when it’s collection time on their website.
Alternatively, this blog post lists a number of organisations seeking cloth nappy donations.
Many of their permanent sites now offer free drop-off for unwanted household and trade paint through Paintback, the national product stewardship scheme. The sites accept up to a maximum of 100 litres per visit in secured containers no larger than 20 litres. Not all paint is accepted. Check out this list of what they will and won’t accept before you go.
PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS & TOILETRIES
Local shelters and refugee centres will often accept these items. Get in touch via phone to find out how best to get items to your local centre.
ELBH accepts sample size toiletries only, such as those from hotels and airlines, as well as sanitary products. Check their website for donation points or their postal address to send directly.
Accept a wide variety of toiletries.
Accept sample & full sized toiletries.
Donate feminine hygiene products via their drives in April & August. Check their website for collection points.
Search the website for collection points for your used cartridges or try your local Officeworks store.
Donate your glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids for use in developing countries. I have found SpecSavers to be the most convenient collection point, but check with your local Lions Club or via the link in their logo above for collection points near you.
Give your sports shoes (in good wearable condition) a second life.
Divert worn-out shoes otherwise destined for landfill so they can be converted into a range of useful recycled products such as gym mats, floors and playgrounds. Collection points can be found here and includes stores like Rebel, Athletes Foot, Platypus, Hype and Drummond Golf. They’ll accept sports shoes, thongs, slides, football boots, sneakers, trainers, runners and golf shoes.
Divert your socks from landfill by purchasing a satchel from MANRAGS for $5 and send in up to 10 pairs or 20 odd (washed) socks for upcycling, donating to those in need or recycling.
A game changer when it comes to reducing what you send to landfill. Think cling wrap, biscuit wrappers, lolly bags, toilet paper packaging etc. If you can scrunch it, you can recycle it through specific collection points, including special bins at Coles and Woolworths.
TEXTILES & CLOTHING
Drop off clothes and textiles from ANY brand, in ANY condition for recycling. Garment collection boxes located in store.
SOMETHING ELSE TO DONATE?
Can’t find what you’re looking for in this list? Search the GiveNow website to find an organisation or charity in need of your specific item.
GENERAL RECYCLING & SUSTAINABILITY RESOURCES
When it comes to ethical decluttering, your local council is always a good place to start. Check out their website to discover what recycling & rubbish programs operate in your area. And remember, many councils offer free hard rubbish collections which many people don’t fully utilise.
No obligation free quotes provided on site. If you’re happy with the price, just point and they take your junk from wherever it is in your house. Cost is based on cubic metre not time and they divert as much from landfill as possible.
For cost-effective, convenient DIY rubbish disposal, I love a BlueCroc bag. Order the size you need and know upfront what it will cost you. Locate it safely on your property or in your garage and take as long as you need to fill it. No more neighbours stealing your skip bin space! Then just book and pay for removal whenever you are done or the bag is full. Great for long-term decluttering projects as unlike a skip, you don’t pay to have it sitting there.
Watch this space… More resources are being added all the time!
Have a resource you want to share? Need help to declutter something not listed here? Found a link that’s broken or no longer working? Drop us a line!