You have probably heard the phrases “tidying up,” “KonMari,” and “Marie Kondo” a lot recently.
If you have loaded up boxes and bags of things that don’t “spark joy” you could be asking yourself, What now? Good question. Where does all this stuff go now?
I have the 411 on where to donate stuff in Birmingham (or recycle or resell). Not de-cluttering? Then use this list to find the best places to shop for all the great second-hand items people are discarding!
Clothes and Shoes
Some Wendy’s locations have a clothes and shoes dropbox in their parking lot for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Central Alabama YWCA (downtown Birmingham at 309 23rd St. N) takes gently used women’s clothing for My Sister’s Closet.
Soles4Souls has several options for donating new and gently used shoes that they send to other countries to help sustain small businesses and lift families out of poverty. (For example, the sale of one pair of shoes can provide five meals for a family.)
Nike strives to keep old sneakers from ending up in the landfills by recycling them. The Nike Outlet at Shops of Grand River has a bin in the store for your old, worn out shoes to be recycled.
There is a BetterWorldBooks drop box at the Brook Highland Plaza. BetterWorldBooks gives books a second life (and keeps them out of the landfill) by reselling them online at great prices. I buy from them often!
If they’re not paperbacks, in good condition and not out-dated, your local library would be happy to have them! And many libraries have book stores or book sales to raise money for the library, so if they can’t use your books on the shelves they can sell them to benefit the library.
Operation Paperback allows you to mail your paperbacks to overseas military.
Books, Media, Games (to sell)
2nd and Charles, Hoover, is going to be your best bet. Make sure you read over their policy before hauling your stuff over there.
Game Stop locations take (newer) video games and gaming systems in for cash or store credit.
Sports Equipment (to sell)
Get some cash for the soccer cleats your kid has outgrown or that unused baseball equipment after he decided the sport wasn’t for him at Play it Again Sports in Hoover.
General Items (Household Goods, Furniture, Linens, Decor, Toys, Small Appliances, etc.)
In addition to clothes, shoes, and books, if you have other general items to donate, you can check out the following places that might take all of it off your hands at once.
The Lovelady Center operates two thrift stores in the area — Irondale and Clay. Information online says to call to schedule a pickup.
Birmingham’s three Mission: Possible Bargain Centers have just been taken over by King’s Home. All three locations take your typical thrift store items. There are multiple “Better Bins” around town to drop off your items or you can schedule a pickup.
The Salvation Army operates two stores — Homewood and Hoover — and two drop off locations (Chalkville Mtn. Rd. and Hwy 11 near I459 exit) for your clothes as well as furniture and household goods.
Vapor Thrift has two locations in Birmingham (Hwy 280 and Vestavia), and in addition to clothes, they can take your gently used furniture (but not mattress and boxsprings), household items (but not appliances) and anything else not on their “no” list. Look for Vapor Thrift boxes around town or schedule a pickup!
Do you have linens (towels, sheets, etc.) that aren’t in the best shape? Don’t just trash them! The animal shelter nearest you can use them! Old blankets are perfect for animals’ beds, and those frayed towels will still dry off the pups after their baths.
Old Cell Phones
I, ashamedly, have a box of old (OLD!) cell phones because I don’t know what to do with them! Well, let’s tidy those up, shall we?
American Cell Phone Drive is a non-profit that recycles cell phones and batteries so hazardous materials don’t make their way into landfills.
Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts any and all types of cell phones from any carrier to send to troops to help them be able to keep in touch with their families. Newer, gently-used mobile devices, including smartphones, are preferred; however, proceeds are generated from the recycling of broken and outdated mobile phones. Chargers and accessories are also welcomed donation items.
Do you have a fairly newer model phone to get rid of? You may be able to get some cash for it by selling it to companies like Gazelle that pay cash for phones that have resale value.
Look up your local Lions Club. They take donated eye wear for people who can’t afford glasses.
Vehicles, Boats, Tractors, Lawn Equipment, Tools or RVs
I know that’s some pretty big “tidying up,” but if you find yourself with some large unconventional things to donate, you have options!
Boys and Girls Ranches of Alabama has a list of unconventional items they accept as donations, including but not limited to: property, lawn equipment or other types of equipment, livestock, cars, tractors, boats, and recreational equipment.
Habitat for Humanity will take tool donations.
Vapor Thrift can take donations of cars, boats and RVs.