A Bay Area Holiday Guide to Donating This Season


Tis the Season for Giving

Though many people choose to wait until spring for their annual deep clean of their home or apartment, the holiday season can also be a good time to clean, organize and even just get rid of household clutter. The colder temperatures and inclement weather tend to keep people inside for long periods of time. Instead of spending these stretches napping on the couch or watching Netflix, you can put in just a little effort to clean and organize your home. This will save you tons of time in the spring and help you declutter your home. Going through your belongings and determining what is unnecessary and what you can get rid of can be a relieving experience.

Once you’ve cleaned up around the house and determined what you no longer need or want, it is time to decide how to get rid of the unwanted stuff. Donating unwanted items can be a great way to dispose of things you no longer need. As an adult, it is easy to see that giving is much more rewarding than receiving, so donating your unwanted items to a good cause can help lift your spirits, just in time for the holidays. Here are a few ideas to help you donate your unwanted goods and household items!

Tis the Season for Giving Clothing


If you’re just wanting to donate some old clothes or shoes you no longer wear or even an old, working kitchen appliance that you just can’t seem to find a use for any longer, you can always drop your items off at Goodwill. Even if you’ve got something as big as a car that you need to get rid of, you can donate it to Goodwill! As always, be conscious of the condition of your items before donating.

Habitat for Humanity

Still not sure what to do with the leftovers from remodeling your bathroom or kitchen? Habitat for Humanity is a great resource for donating items both large and small. They specialize in used appliances, furniture and building materials. Proceeds from sold items help to fund local housing projects for those in need.


For many people, the holiday season means a busy schedule. Between prepping the house for Christmas celebrations, family obligations, work, pets and more, it can be hard to find time to make it to a nearby donation center. That is where WOVIN comes in. Download the app, schedule a pickup and within an hour, your donation will be picked up and on its way to a new home. Sales generated from donated clothing are given to local nonprofits. WOVIN is a great resource to help you get rid of your old stuff while immensely benefiting your community.

Dress for Success

If you are a woman looking to offload some professional clothing that you no longer wear, check out Dress for Success in Lower Knob Hill. The organization strives to help empower women to succeed in the workplace by providing them with affordable and professional wardrobes. This is also a great spot to donate unwanted handbags and jewelry.

Unfortunately, the weeks after the holiday season tend to create quite a bit of trash. From Christmas decorations to packaging from presents, you can easily fill up your trash can with useful materials.

Tis the Season for Giving Lights

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware recycles old Christmas string lights until the middle of February, leaving you no excuse to throw out your old lights. The program benefits children with cancer. With multiple locations throughout the Bay Area, this is a convenient way to put those old or broken lights to good use.

Waste to Waves

From deals at Black Friday to the numerous after Christmas specials, families everywhere choose to upgrade their TVs, computers and game systems around the holidays. That white Styrofoam packaging that protects your precious electronics can be put to use in a totally different way. Donating your Styrofoam packaging to Waste to Waves turns your “trash into slash!” For those of us who aren’t well versed in the language of surfers, Waste to Waves helps turn Styrofoam in surfboard blanks! Proof Lab is one of the donation centers in the area.


If you don’t want to have to deal with sorting through what can and cannot be donated, a junk removal service is the perfect solution. Although a paid service, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? can save you the headache (or backache) from heavy lifting and running all over town to different charities. Everything collected is first donated, reused, or recycled before sent to the landfill. How about that for efficiencies?

This holiday season remember to think before you throw. From the inner tube of paper towel rolls to clothing to home appliances, there are plenty of materials that are thrown away on a daily basis rather than getting put back to use. The above charities and businesses are just a snapshot of what’s in the Bay Area. Get creative and explore other thrift shops. Who knows, you may find some good use from someone else’s giveaways!

About the Author: Sam Casteris is an avid traveler and aspiring travel writer. She writes creative pieces about travel, informational articles for other travelers, and guides to make travel as stress-free as possible. Her home base is in Phoenix, AZ.



  1. December 24, 2018 / 6:50 am

    This whole post is really inspiring! I’ve done kind of the same and gave away an item every day of December, and also donated to a Kids Out charity. I love your ideas! Will definitely be using a few of these in the New year. Thank you! Xx

    • Morgan Celeste
      December 25, 2018 / 7:37 am

      Great! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Giving away something everyday during the month is a great idea!

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