It’s time for spring cleaning. Every so often, we all need a good purge to declutter our lives. Take a couple hours to go through your cupboards and closets to donate things that you don’t – and frankly won’t ever – need. That pile of books collecting dust in your storage room? Donate. Clothes that you haven’t touched in the past few seasons? Au Revoir. We’re embracing the joy-sparking Cult of Kondo and not looking back. Once you gather up all the things that you can comfortably part with, check out this list of local organizations that will gladly take them off your hands.
Where to donate what in Vancouver:
Big Brothers and Canadian Diabetes will take almost anything in good condition – clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, blankets, housewares, sleeping bags, small appliances and electronics. Book a free pickup online (you don’t even have to be home) and they will come grab your labelled bags (indicate by marking them ‘BB’ or ‘CD’).
Spring Cleaning Promos: Get on top of this now – Big Brothers is having their one-day-only Ikea Spring Cleaning Event on June 5th where you can get a coupon for $30 off your next purchase of $150 and Canadian Diabetes is giving away a $5,000 travel voucher for a lucky donor.
Other local charities you can donate to:
Clothing/Household Items Donations
- Aunt Leah’s Place Supports kids in foster care and teen moms.
- Covenant House Supports homeless and street–involved youth.
- Developmental Disabilities Association Supports those with developmental disabilities.
- My Sister’s Closet Supports violence prevention and intervention services for women.
- Salvation Army Thrift Store Supports vulnerable people in 400+ communities.
- Still Fabulous Supports BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital.
- Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter Supports the transition house and rape crisis centre.
Vancouver Public Library will take your books, magazines, DVD’s and CD’s that are in good condition and are fairly current (ie. no one wants your cassette tapes). You can bring your materials to any VPL branch during regular hours or you if you have multiple boxes (10 max), you can drop them off to the Central Library’s shipping dock between 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Free Geek will take most computer-related equipment (new or old, working or not) for free. This includes computers, laptops, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, faxes, cables, cell phones, gaming consoles, and more. Drop off at 1820 Pandora Street, Vancouver between 11am-5pm.
Beauty Night can make use of your unopened makeup, skincare, nail polish, small mirrors, makeup remover, art supplies, magazines, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, gloves, and more. They will even take herbal tea and organic fruits and veggies. To schedule a drop off, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Formal Wear Donations
Cinderella Project will give your fancy items a second life. They will take graduation-appropriate formal wear, dress shoes and accessories for young ladies and men, as well as unused cosmetics and toiletries for their gift bags. They collect from January through April, just before high school graduation events.
Business Wear Donations
Dress for Success Vancouver wants your nearly new/gently used professional wear. They empower women into the workforce by providing them with professional attire, career services, and skills development programs.
BabyGoRound will pass on your gently used baby/children items to families in need (anything from bottles to bouncers). Drop off: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-2pm to 2939 Kingsway, Vancouver. Keep your eye on their events calendar as well – they have lots of fun collections events throughout the year.
Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver’s shop ReStore will take new and gently-used items from your home and garden including lights, tables, flooring, furniture and tools. Funds raised help Habitat build homes for families in need. Another great option is Helping Families in Need Society which does exactly what their name promises – dedicated volunteers will pickup and distribute used household items to women from transition houses, single moms on income assistance, new immigrant families and needy families in our community.
Not reusable? Check your recycling options.
Think green. Many items are banned from disposal as garbage. Read up before you toss things into the landfill.
- Return-It Info and depots to recycle beverage containers and electronics.
- Recycling Council of British Columbia The Recyclepedia tool is super easy to use.
- Vancouver Transfer Station, Recycling, Landfill Handy recycling guide and Waste Wizard tool.
Junk removal, if you must.
We get that there are some things are truly at the end of their life cycle. You can take your rubbish to the transfer station yourself, or hire a local company to take care of it for you. Some suggestions:
- 1-800-Got-Junk Known to be a good crew. Online booking, 24/7 customer service.
- 505 Junk Professional, efficient, patient (for those needing time to bid items farewell).
- Bill’s Rubbish Removal We personally don’t know Bill, but the man has secured a top spot on Yelp.
How to properly prepare to purge. Some people need to get inspired before they start. If you aren’t one of the several million people who have flipped through Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, then just scan through these key takeaways. The Minimalists are pros at reminding us of what’s truly important in life while making room for more – more time, more experiences, more more freedom. To simplify your closet, follow Project 333 or read up on how to build a capsule wardrobe.
How to recoup some dollars. If you have items that you spent far too much on to just donate, you can try selling them yourself. There are lots of good avenues to do this. If you want quick and easy (with less monetary return), you can get a retail consignment business to sell it for you. If you are willing to put some work into it, then you can sell it yourself. Here are some options other than the usual suspects (Craigslist, Kijiji, Used Vancouver).
Vancouver consignment businesses:
- Mine & Yours 1025 Howe Street, Vancouver
- Hunter & Hare 334 West Pender Street, Vancouver
- Timeline Boutique 594 Davie Street, Vancouver
- Turnabout Luxury Resale Granville, West Broadway, Main
- Changes 4454 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver
- The Main Exchange 3728 Main Street, Vancouver
- Front & Company 3772 Main Street, Vancouver
- My Modern Closet Online/pop-ups, check Instagram
- Fetch Consignment Online, check Instagram
Vancouver Facebook Buy & Sell Groups that are very active:
- Clothing: Vancouver Fashion Collective, Community Closet, Burnaby/Vancouver Closet
- Home: Community Closet Home Edition
- Wedding: Greater Vancouver Wedding Shop and Swap
- Kids: East Van Kids Swap and Shop, Vancouver BC Kids Shop and Swap
Stop the inflow and be mindful about your consumption. You could live with less. A lot less.