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Donating Unwanted Items in Australia

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Donating unwanted goods in Australia is an incredibly popular way to be charitable without dipping into your cash reserves. Being such a generous population, it pays to know how and where to donate unwanted goods, especially if you’re planning on moving house soon.

According to the 2019 Australian Communities Trends Report, five in every six Australians give to charities or not-for-profit organisations, with 66% choosing to donate unwanted goods in the last 12 months.

Moving companies like Sydney-based Smoothmoves that specialise in home and furniture removal may also provide decluttering services, saving you the hassle of removing unwanted items yourself. Whether you’re looking to declutter before moving into a new home or after selling, decluttering with Smoothmoves can save you the hassle of finding space for all your junk later. 

To make this process easier and more streamlined, here are few things you should know about how and where you can donate your unwanted stuff in Australia.

What items can be donated?

Not everything can be given away willy-nilly. It’s important to know what can and can’t be donated when giving away unwanted goods to a charity or not-for-profit organisation. While each organisation will have their own rules and guidelines, below is a good rule of thumb for what can and can’t be donated, along with a few maybes.

Items you can donate:

  • Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories
  • Homewares, including manchester
  • Children’s toys
  • Books, CDs, DVDs, Bluray discs, video games, vinyl records and cassette tapes.

Items in the maybe list:

  • Furniture
  • Electrical goods
  • White goods/ Appliances

Items you can’t donate:

  • Ripped, torn, soiled or stained clothing/ / footwear
  • Broken, ripped or stained furniture
  • Cracked or broken homewares
  • Stained bedding, including mattresses
  • Used beauty and hygiene products
  • Green waste
  • Household waste
  • Computers, printers and scanners
  • Broken or ruined white goods/ Appliances
  • Car parts
  • Weapons
  • Taxidermy animals
  • Medicine

Donating Unwanted Goods & Furniture in Australia

Giving away your unwanted stuff is easy when you know what you’re doing. Take note of these handy tips for donating anything you no longer need. 

Donating Clothes: Clothing that is either damaged or worn-out cannot be accepted for donation. However, some clothing retailers like H&M, Zara, and Upparel offer garment collection programs for clothing or textiles to be reused or recycled. There are also clothing swaps hosted in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra via The Clothing Exchange.

Furniture and Oversized Items: St Vincent De Paul is the ideal choice for donating unwanted furniture items as they offer pick-up and delivery options. Give Vinnies a call to discuss logistics. Other options include The Salvation Army, The Smith Family, Habitat for Humanity Australia and Goodwill Op Shops.

Logistics: Transporting unwanted stuff to a charity is easier said than done. While Smoothmoves will pick up unwanted furniture, along with any rubbish for recycling and disposal, not all removal companies do. You should also check what kind of goods the organisation accepts. 

Donating Unwanted Bras: While underwear is off the table, donating unwanted bras to The Uplift Project is a fantastic way to support women in need.

Mobile Phone Donations: Do something good with your old mobile phones by donating them to someone in need via MobileMuster, the official not-for-profit Government accredited mobile phone recycling program.

Giving Away Unwanted Stuff For Free: If you want to skip the middleman, you can try out FreeCycle Australia, one of the oldest “free stuff” forums on the internet.

IKEA Buy-Back Program: If you have some old IKEA furniture you no longer need, then give it a second life via the IKEA buy-back service.

Find a Donation Match: Givit is a fantastic resource to discover items needed by charities around Australia. If you have a specific thing you want to donate, Givit will connect you with the correct charity or organisation via its online network.

Learn more about an organisation

Learning more about charities to donate to in Australia is super simple, thanks to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). According to them, there are more than 52,000 charities as of 2019, giving Aussies plenty of options for donating unwanted stuff. Simply search the ACNC charity register to find out everything you need to know about them.

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