That drawer you always wanted to organize. Those chairs that never really fit in. That closet stacked with stuff you rarely use. The garage that hasn’t had room for a car in years. It’s all caught up with you as you and yours spend more time at home than ever due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Yes, the pathogen has many people mulling or undertaking a decluttering binge. And one big way to further that decluttering is to shed stuff that you no longer need nor want. Rather than simply toss those old clothes, accessories, and furniture, however, why not donate them instead?
Here are places in the Boston region that will accept them. Some are closed or have drastically altered their operations due to the pandemic. But even those that have done so plan to resume normal operations once this thing finally passes. So keep on decluttering, setting aside what you’ll donate, and then make the necessary moves when it’s safe.
The Salvation Army. This group shuttered its thrift stores and its pickup operation in late March due to the coronavirus. It’s encouraging people instead to hold on to their clothing, shoes, furniture, and other household items for later donation.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Based in Lynn and with several thrift stores, the society will take everything from clothing to cars to furniture. Check to see what’s needed and/or acceptable, though, and any changes due to the coronavirus. (The society has not responded to requests for comment.)
Habitat for Humanity. The Greater Boston wing of this operation pretty much ceased operations on April 4, and it’s not sure when those operations will resume. The shuttering includes Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore on the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury.
In the meantime, the nonprofit is asking that people not drop off donations but rather hold on to them until things ease. Here’s what you can donate—and information on arranging free pickups once operations resume.
Boomerangs. AIDS Action runs this thrift store chain, which has locations in Boston and Cambridge. All of the physical locations are closed and all of Boomerangs’ operations are suspended for the foreseeable future, perhaps through June, according to a representative. (The organization is working on getting online sales through sites such as Amazon and Etsy up and working.)
“Even reopening will require a measure of thoughtfulness because we don’t want to put our staff or community at risk for COVID spread,” the rep said. “We have suspended our donation program until we reopen, and when we do we will be desperate for donations.” Here’s a rundown of what you might be able to donate.
Goodwill. This organization is taking the same approach as the Salvation Army: Please hold on to any potential donations as Goodwill’s stores throughout the Boston region are shuttered and its operations, including donation sites, are pretty much suspended. (Here’s a list of what Goodwill in Massachusetts might accept.)
“Our hope is to reopen May 4, but that will also depend on the public health guidelines issued from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” a Goodwill representative said over email. “We understand that people are home and doing spring cleaning, and we appreciate that they are thinking of Goodwill. We anticipate the demand for our mission services will be high in the months to come.”
If your organization is also accepting donations post-pandemic (or during), reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article will be updated.