Donating Household Items in Bulk

Parent Q&A

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  • We have a bunch of things we would like to donate. Does anyone know of or recommend a place that is currently accepting donations of clothing and household items? Thanks so much! 

    There are some amazing grassroots organizations in Oakland that accept donations and then give them directly to the homeless and/or low income families. Oakland Compassion Project ( donates clothing, bedding and toiletries directly to adults who are homeless; Homies ( has a weekly free outdoor market for low-income families that has everything from food (fresh and packaged) to clothing to pet essentials to diapers. We have donated a lot of clothing, toys, blankets, and other household stuff as these organizations work together with a couple of other ones (Urban University and Alternatives in Action) to make sure the donations they receive go to the right place. The drop off point is at Urban Schoolhouse in Oakland, you can contact them at 510-463-1644

    They particularly need winter clothing including jackets, sweaters, hoodies and socks (for all ages and sizes), blankets/sleeping bags, diapers/pull-ups/wipes (these can even be opened), and formula (unopened) but the list of things they will accept is long, including kitchen and bathroom cleaning supplies and essentials, camping equipment and more.

    Our family, like many others, had done a lot of sorting and clearing out during shelter in place but didn't have anywhere to donate and didn't want to throw things out that were perfectly good, just no longer necessary for us. Knowing our things are actually going to really good causes and getting used by people in our community has been great.

    And lastly, we found out the Discovery Shop on 41st off of Piedmont Ave in Oakland sells unusable clothes, sheets, etc. by the pound to a textile recycler. So if you have clothing or sheets that are torn or stained they don't need to go in the trash! You do have to call in advance but if you tell them what you're donating you don't usually need to wait for an appointment and can do same-day drop off. Hope that helps!

    American Cancer Society has a thrift shop off Piedmont Ave.  I believe you need to make an appointment to make donations.

    Goodwill is open and accepting donations!

    You might try finding your local Buy Nothing group -

    One thing that I love about Buy Nothing is that your item can do directly to someone who wants it.  This is great with somewhat unique items that may be difficult for the usual donation places to re-sell.

  • Does anyone know where clothes (adult and children), kids' books, toys, and other household items can be donated during the shelter-in-place?  We usually bring our things to the El Cerrito Recycling Center, but it is closed during the shelter-in-place.

    Thank you!

    I think the Bay Area Rescue Mission is still accepting clothing. You might contact their warehouse to see if they are accepting other items (I don't think they accept toys though).

    Try the Nextdoor app! We get rid of a ton of clothes/furniture we don’t want anymore that way. When someone wants to pick something up, we usually just leave it on the porch, too, so you are still able to social distance. 

    Gently-used children's books (up through 8th grade reading level) can be donated to the African Library Project.

    Their usual model is to recruit volunteers to collect 1,000 books + $500 for shipping but they can also connect you with someone in the Bay Area who is doing a book drive currently. I know someone in Oakland who is doing one right now. You can message me via BPN and I will connect you.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Vintage household products

March 2006

In our blended household, we have stuff that is filling up the cupboards....a lot of it! Most of it is just stuff. But, it is so old that I can not just toss it. For example; in the laundry room we have old tins of ''bon ami'' fabric whitener and ''Galler's Snow White'' a moth poison....right, I'm asking parents what to do wih old poison, but It is SO old, like he 40s-60s or so, and I am just wondering if a theater company wants the boxes for atmosphere???? Or anyone collects this sort of thing,....???? I find e-bay impossible to navigate personaly...I have a short attention span with this sort of thing. I gave some of it to Goodwill and I was shocked to see them toss it into the dumpster on the spot. Should I be trying to sell it? Goodness knows I could use $$....but, My instinct is that it isn't of moneary value but someone probably wants it? But who? I did ask at the depot for creative re-use, but it sounded too hard to give things to them. They said that I couldn't just leave a bag there, but had to make an appointment and couldn't do it then, had to phone on a certain day....and I have other fish to fry as well as small kids with me so, it has to be an easy drop off. Suggestions?

is it called 'front porch'? its on telegraph, just doors below 51st, between bakesale betty and article pract - all across the street from walgreens (in Oakland). they have lots of 40s-50s vintage stuff. julia

I think there are people out there who would be interested in your vintage stuff. I would check in with (ask for props companies) (do a general inquiry asking to have something posted on the SCA listserv)

You could try SCRAP in SF for the vintage products. They are sort of a warehouse for art material recycling, if they couldn't take it, I'd say put them on Craigslist. S.A.

Donating a variety of household items

Jan 2005

I am a professional space organizer, relatively new to the area. I help people not only organize but also to release and get rid of stuff. Since one's junque is another's treasure, I'd like to have suggestions of places where miscellaneous stuff can be donated. Which places take used stuff for good causes? Are there places that will come and pick up from a home? Do any places take used furniture? Thank you, Tova Tova

Island cat resources and adoption ( is a wonderful local organization that holds a number of large yard sales a year to raise funds to help with the issue of cat overpopulation in the east bay. you can send an email (check the web site) or call and let them know what you have to donate. Everything donated is tax deductable - its a small, very dedicated organization that does wonderful work. Tc

Check out It is run in a Yahoo Groups format and you can donate as well receive items/post wants. I've posted a number of things that I no longer need but are potentially useful to others. Typically, once the poster finds a new owner for an item, they just leave the item(s) on the doorstep and it's up to the taker to pick them up. It's free and no exchange of funds is permitted. Caroline

Urban Ore (Off Hwy 80 at Ashby in Berkeley) is a great place to donate used belongings - they take everything, and sometimes they will even pay and pick up for big items.

Recycling Sports equipment: We have a small non-profit thrift shop that helps support our school programs as well as distributing some goods to the kids we serve. We are a 503C non- profit, all donations are tax-deductible. 2095 Rose street, Berkeley, CA 94709 510.868.1591 is a place to post items that are free and people can arrange to pick them up. Here's some info from their website: The worldwide (!) FreecycleTM Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is run by a local volunteer moderator (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your city by clicking on the region on the right. It will generate a automatic e-mail which, when sent, will sign you up for your local group and send you an response with instructions on how it works. Or, go directly to the webpage for your city's group by clicking on your city's link on the left. Can't find your city? You might consider starting up a group (click on ''Start your own'' for instructions). Have fun!

The Freecycle(TM) Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to ''recycle'' unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!

How does Freecycle(TM) posting work?

One main rule: everything posted must be free. Whether it's a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door to be given away, it can be posted on the network. Or, maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself? Respond to the posting directly and you just might get it. After that it is up to the giver to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure. jen

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority publishes a really thorough (free) guide of places that recycle/reuse just about everything, including clothing, furniture, toys, appliances, etc. You can download a copy or request one be mailed to you at: Tori