Thrift Stores Closed? Four alternatives to offload unwanted items

The shutdown is here. You’re FINALLY motivated to declutter but all the thrift stores are closed! Where can you take your donations now?

Four 0ptions for getting unwanted clutter out of your house

how to declutter home

The donation stations in grocery store parking lots are likely full, and if items are left outside of the box, you could be fined for dumping – yikes!

So now what?

Keep reading for 4 alternatives if you can’t donate to your local thrift store.

Want to hear about all these tips on video?

1. Some thrift stores are still open!

Call around ahead of time before you leave the house. Be sure and speak to someone in person so you don’t waste a trip.

Ask on your own social media page if friends know of places that are accepting donations. You could take a drive around town and see if Donation Boxes are open and have room for donations.

We could all use a trip out of the house, couldn’t we?

Quick Tips When Donating

  • Only donate items that are in good, working condition: no broken items, ripped or stained clothing, furniture in poor condition.
  • If you wouldn’t purchase it secondhand because of the condition it’s in, do NOT donate it! Throw it away!
  • It’s always better to throw items away rather than take them to the thrift store for someone else to throw away.
  • Most thrift stores have volunteers sorting donations: don’t create an extra burden by donating items that should have been thrown away.

2. Sell your items!

Facebook Marketplace & Buy/Sell/Trade pages

Selling items on Facebook Marketplace is a great way to offload your items that are in good shape and still have life left.

Decluttering Club founder, Sarah Mueller, just sold her 7’x8’ bookshelf system that was taking up space. Sarah now has $199 and a large area in her office freed up, and her buyer has a new storage system to organize all her crafts. Win win!

Of course there’s always Ebay and Poshmark/Mercari/Offerup.

If you want extra help in how to sell your clutter for dollars, see our Cash In Guide to selling your Clutter for Cash

3. Use your items to bless others!

Giving your items away to someone in need may be the catalyst for removing items from your home and helping you to feel good about letting things go.

Start with your own social media news feed

Post on your social media news feed

Your friends can claim the items and do a curbside or porch pick up, all the while maintaining social distancing.

4. Buy Nothing / Neighborhood groups on Facebook

Local neighborhood Facebook groups are a great place to showcase your items that need to leave your house. Posting “curb alert! First come, first served!” has been super successful in many neighborhoods.

5. Put it in the trash!

  • Your life is important.
  • Your emotional health is important.
  • Your space is important.

If you have items you’re fretting over that you don’t want to take the time to sell and you can’t find any place to donate, please feel the freedom to throw stuff away. Routine trash pick ups are still running, so use that paid service to help you in your decluttering efforts.

You’re never going to get the full price or time the item cost back.

The choices you have made are a part of your past but they don’t have to be a part of your future.

By letting items go and clearing space in your home in this present time, you will be more likely to keep the influx of buying at bay in the future.

Above all do NOT let the shutdown sabotage your decluttering efforts. The last thing you want is to end up with a tower of donations in the corner of your living room.

Want more help decluttering your home?

See our Step-by-Step Decluttering Workshop!

The workshop will give you everything you need to get started decluttering.


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11 thoughts on “Thrift Stores Closed? Four alternatives to offload unwanted items”

  1. I love your “one step at time “ process instead of “do it all at once “ style as some other organization/ decluttering experts have recommended . Started your 30 day class probably 60 days ago ????and focusing on primarily paper clutter , but doing other small decluttering tasks in between . I open up a lesson when I feel like a new challenge and each day I do something and feel the gain and no pain. Thanks for your help and upbeat style????

  2. Its a good idea to check first with local neighborhood sites about posting “curb alert, first come first serve”. Brooklyn Freecycle does not allow posts of that kind on their site.

  3. People can donate old towels to Veterinary Hospitals, clinics, or shelters. They love having them. You can drop them off at the front door and call them to let them know they are there. No contact necessary and the towels can go straight out the door.

  4. I put all of my stuff on old tables in the front yard and had a “free yard sale” that I posted to the free Facebook group from my city. I left it for 3 days out from and took pics everyday to show what had been taken and new stuff I added. I had only 2 small boxes to give to Goodwill when it opened for donations.

  5. I love our Facebook Buy Nothing group. I’ve been able to pass on items that others want and I’ve received some great items for my family. Plus it creates community. A friend shared that her neighborhood held a free yard sale. You simply placed your items in your driveway at the designated time and neighbors could take what they wanted. This saved my friend the hassle of finding an open donation spot.

  6. Such good advice… I wish I’d read this encouragement two months ago, but better now than never! Lol. Time to get stuff OUT. 🙂

  7. This article gives us suggestions on thrift store alternative. These are must read for all . This article is a good one to look at. You will get best review over here and would suggest others too. Great blog indeed, will visit again future to read more!!

  8. i think the hardest things to “throw out’ are those items that should be recycled…that take time to distribute and costs me money to bring to my local Town trash/ recycle center ! In this day and age we should not be just throwing everything in the trash can…


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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