Updated December 13, 2023
Whether you are preparing a house to be put on the market, planning to downsize, or simply reducing clutter in your home, it can be tempting to throw away any unwanted items.
As you go through your belongings, you’ll probably find some things you no longer want or 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.
What can you donate, and where? We’ve put together a list of places to donate clothing, household items, furniture, books and media, food, and more in the Iowa City area.
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. Both stores are located right across the street from each other off Highway 6, with another Goodwill on Heartland Drive in Coralville. 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, located on Scott Boulevard on the east side of Iowa City. The 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 in Iowa City, accepts clothes, household items, furniture, toys, and books. Don’t forget to double check their donation hours before heading to their donation drive thru. Furniture items are eligible for pick up for a small fee of $25 within approximately 20 miles of the store. Proceeds go to support the Mennonite Central Committee world relief, as well as local relief programs.
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.
The North Liberty Community Pantry also accepts in-season clothing and shoe donations. Please make sure that clothing is clean, washed and free of any stains, rips, holes, odors, or broken buttons or zippers. Any underwear or socks donations must be new and unused.
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. You can request a pick up of items, with a suggested donation of $20 for small pick-ups or $50 for a large haul. Fill out this form on their website to learn whether they are able to accept your donation.
As of February 2022, Houses into Homes has served 2,280 community members, including 1,346 youth individuals, ultimately diverting hundreds of tons of beds, furniture, and other items from the landfill.
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 Coralville Public Library, and North Liberty Library accepts donations of gently used books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, or games. Proceeds support a variety of reading programs within their respective communities. the reading programs or friends of the libraries. Please check the websites at each location for more specific donation information.
Before you throw out your food, check to see if it is eligible to be donated. CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank (formerly The Crisis Center), The North Liberty Community Pantry, and the Food Pantry at Iowa accept food donations for their food banks. In the past year, the CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank distributed 1.98 million pounds of food.
Rather than throwing away your unwanted or unused items when you move, consider the positive impact that you can have by 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 or have suggestions for where to donate your unwanted items to local Iowa City area organizations? Reach out and we’d love to help!