Old furniture won’t impress potential buyers when you are selling your home, so consider moving it out — even removing good furniture can be worthwhile as it makes a place look more spacious. It can be sold, put into storage, or thrown away, but donating it may be an even better idea. There are a number of services that can help you with this, and many of them are charities which you may enjoy supporting.

If you think you will want your furniture again, put it in a self storage unit, perhaps in a POD storage container. It may not fit into a new living space, however, and people often want a fresh start anyway. Antiques could be sold to collectors and repurposing furniture can be a fun idea, while you’d need to take very worn-out items to the garbage dump. But by donating furniture you have the pleasure of knowing somebody else is getting benefit from it. You may even be able to claim money back on your next tax return — ask whoever you donate to or check online.

If you care about the table which saw many family mealtimes and the wardrobe which once hosted a whole range of fashions, you can make sure they go to a new home of your choosing. We take a look at the national organizations that will take your donated furniture — many offer home collection services and some gladly accept other items as well. We then suggest ways in which unwanted items can be given to local organizations, so you can do your part to improve the community where you live. Before donating, always make sure your items are in acceptable condition.

National furniture donation networks

There are several nationally operating charities which will happily take your furniture, and many will pick up donated items. If you want to see if you can deduct the value from your next tax return, make sure you get a receipt as proof. Here we review some of these organizations.

The Furniture Bank Network Directory (FBN)

Many families across the U.S. and Canada have been directly helped by the FBN. If you donate furniture to this organization, you know your items will be going to a good home, helping families that are struggling. Because of their high standards, they only want lightly worn items of furniture. They may collect your items, so check what is offered in your area on their website. They accept some household items as well as furniture: Tables, chairs, couches and mattresses, along with pots and pans, will be welcomed if they are of good enough quality.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)

The VVA sells items that have been donated, and they will collect from your home. You don’t need to wait in for the driver to arrive — simply leave your items outside labeled for collection. If you have furniture or other items, you can arrange a pick-up from their donations page.

The Salvation Army

Your donations to the Salvation Army will be sold in their stores or used in the homeless shelters they operate. The funds raised will help support the many programs they provide to those in need. They are looking for furniture as well as other items like clothing, household goods and appliances. You can drop things off at your local store or arrange a pick-up from their website.


Goodwill Industries International Inc. provides assistance to low-income families and helps the unemployed to find work. They run training programs and also give help to the impoverished as well as operating homeless shelters. They have over 150 stores across North America, where they sell donated furniture to raise funds. You can drop off your items at your nearest store, or they may offer collection.

Donation Town

Donation Town isn’t one charitable organization: instead, they operate a directory of local charities that offer a pick-up service, making donating furniture easy. Search their database to find which charities in your area will accept your furniture and when they will be available to collect it.

How can you donate furniture to local charities?

Some smaller local charities could do with your donations to support their services. They will help people in need in your local area through your furniture donations. You can still claim a tax deduction if you get a receipt, as long as the organization is a non-profit.

Homeless shelters

There are a lot of local shelters and missions who support the homeless in urban areas. They may offer a safe place to sleep for the night or a hot meal to help people and families that are going through a very rough time. If you live in a city with a homelessness issue, your donation of furniture could go to supporting an organization tackling this difficult problem. If you don’t know where to donate in order to support local homeless shelters, the United Way site can link you to services in your city.

Women’s shelters

Shelters for women that have been victims of abuse are another good cause that could benefit from your furniture donations. They provide a sanctuary for women and their children away from an abusive partner, allowing them to start again in safety. Check for local organizations online and in newspapers to find out if they are looking for donations.

Theater groups

If you have some well-used furniture that isn’t wanted by other organizations, perhaps your local theater group might be interested. They use donations to create sets for their performances, often not caring about how good the furniture is, and this saves it from ending up in a landfill. You can check online for local groups or your city’s official website for interested organizations. The theater departments of local schools and colleges could be another option.

Thrift stores

If you have a thrift store near you, it could be a good place to donate furniture. Often thrift stores give some of their proceeds to charity, and if the store isn’t operated for profit, your donations can be claimed as tax deductions. Many thrift stores don’t fall into this category, however, so if you are looking for a reduction in your tax bill, check with the manager before you donate.


While not a charity organization, Freecycle could be a way to give your furniture to local people who need it. You can post adverts for your items on their site, and people will contact you if they can find a home for your furniture. They will then arrange a time to pick up the items from you. There isn’t an opportunity for a tax deduction with this method, and you can’t be sure that anyone will be interested in your furniture —  this could potentially mean you don’t dispose of them in time for your move.

Stacked old furniture

If you want to get rid of some furniture while getting your home ready to be sold, donating it makes a lot of sense. You will make sure it will go to a good cause and you might get a tax reduction in the process. Unless your unwanted furniture is very valuable or in a really bad way, there is no good reason not to consider giving it away, and this may also be the most convenient option.  There are many charities and other organizations who will accept your donations, and you just need to choose the one you like the best.


Francis Chantree is a writer and editor for Yardi, focusing on real estate and lifestyle content. He is a former programmer and researcher who exchanged computer language for his greatest passion, human language! When not writing and proofreading text, he can be found gardening and reading.

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