Places to Donate Unwanted Items in Iowa City

Move-out season is approaching for Iowa City area renters. Every year dumpsters are packed to the brim with discarded clothing, furniture, and other household items. As you go through your belongings to pack up, you’ll probably find some things you no longer need and are ready to part with. Rather than throwing away your old belongings, consider donating them to local organizations and giving them a second life. 
But what can you donate, and where?

Clothing, Furniture, and Home Goods

You can donate old clothing items in good condition to a variety of organizations in the area. Goodwill and Salvation Army are classic donation locations for all items, and they’re located right across the street from each other off Highway 6. Your donation to Goodwill helps provide jobs to individuals facing barriers.  Have new or used building and housing materials you no longer need? Take them to Iowa City ReStore. ReStore takes everything from paint and nails to cabinets, appliances, and furniture and resells items to the community at affordable prices.  Crowded Closet, also on Highway 6, accepts clothes, household items, furniture, toys, and books. Proceeds go to support the Mennonite Central Committee world relief, as well as local relief programs.  And don’t forget about The University of Iowa Clothing Closet—they accept professional clothing and provide it to undergraduate and graduate students to use for interviews and internships. Rummage in the Ramp is another great option for getting rid of things around the houseーor finding gently used gems for yourself. On July 25, 2019, donated items will be resold to the public during this city-wide garage sale. Over the years, the Rummage in the Ramp event has diverted more than 289 tons of waste from the landfill, according to their website.


Houses into Homes focuses on helping individuals transitioning out of homelessness, domestic violence, and other crisis situations  in the Iowa City area. They’re one of the only organizations that will accept used mattresses. They also accept bedding, box springs, towels, shower curtains and bathroom accessories, blankets, hangers, silverware, kitchen appliances, and furniture items, providing them directly to individuals working with social services to escape homelessness and other crisis situations.  In its first year, Houses into Homes provided 213 beds to local families and saved 5,000 cubic feet of mattresses and box springs from the landfill. Urban Acres is a proud sponsor of Houses into Homes, and during the 2019 Home Show, we helped raise $250 in donations. 

Books and DVDS

Have old books you no longer read? DVDs that have been sitting on a shelf collecting dust? The Johnson County Senior Center takes DVDs and books for their library. Additionally, the Iowa City Public Library accepts donations for The Book End, the book shop inside the library. Proceeds from The Book End help support the summer reading program.


Don’t throw out your food when you move! CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank (formerly The Crisis Center) accepts food donations for their food bank, and so does the Food Pantry at Iowa. In the past year, the CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank distributed 1,631,258 pounds of food.  The North Liberty Community Pantry also accepts food donations, as well as clothing and shoe donations. 


Rather than throwing away your unwanted or unused items when you move, consider donating them to local organizations. The things you no longer need can bring real joy to those who need them. Your donations can make a huge difference and help keep reusable items out of the landfill.  Looking for more tips on donating your unwanted items to local Iowa City area organizations? Reach out and we’d love to help! 

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