If you need to declutter and your no-longer-loved treasures still have plenty of life left in them, keep them out of landfill by donating household goods to a good cause.
Here’s a list of Ottawa-area charities and non-profits that gratefully accept gently used items. Note that many facilities may have restrictions on donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Get in touch where necessary before dropping off items.
Youville Centre: Accepts clothing, toys, certain baby gear, toiletries, diapers and more for teen mothers and their children. Check site for what’s most needed and what cannot be accepted.
Harmony House: Provides safe, affordable transitional housing for women and children who are survivors of violence and who often arrive with few possessions. See the website for restrictions on what can be donated.
Salvation Army Thrift Store: Accepts clothing and household goods. Items can be dropped off at your nearest drop bin or thrift store (there are nine locations from Bell’s Corners to Orléans) or arrange for pick-up. Some items cannot be accepted; check the website.
St. Vincent de Paul: Provides clothing and household goods to the needy and newcomers to the city. Smaller items can be dropped off at drop boxes across the city or at one of the stores. For larger items, pick-up can be arranged.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Accepts furniture and other items. Certain items are not accepted. Check before donating to ensure there is space for your items. Pick-up can be arranged for a fee. (Here’s a handy chart to see what you can donate.)
Helping with Furniture: Provides gently used furniture and household items to those in need, especially refugee claimants. Pick-up may be possible; otherwise you can fill out a form on their site to arrange a drop-off.
Matthew House Ottawa (The Furniture Bank): Also provides gently used furniture and household items to those in need, especially refugee claimants. Items can be dropped off or, for a fee and with prior notice, can be picked up.
GiveShop: This is a made-in-Ottawa app that allows you to declutter while also raising funds for charity. It’s a platform where you can offer your items and those interested can haggle over price, much like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, but buyers must pay with a credit card and proceeds go to the charity of your choice. The giver gets a tax receipt and GiveShop gets a 15 per cent processing fee.
Buy Nothing Project: OK, this one isn’t a charity, but it’s an awfully handy way to gift away your no-longer-wanted treasures to those in your community who do want them. This initiative has exploded via Facebook over the past few years with local groups popping up all over the world. You need to be a part of your local group to take part but, once you are, offering up your treasures (which can be just about anything) is simple.
This is an updated version of an article originally posted May 21, 2017