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What Charities Won’t Take & What to Do When They Don’t Want Your Stuff

One way to clear out the clutter you’ve accumulated over the years is to pack everything up and take it to your local charity. You’re not only making more room in your living or workspace, but you’re doing a good deed.

Learn what local charities will and won't take before you drop off items.
Do you have items to donate or simply trash?

It also doesn’t hurt that if your item is big, such as a dresser or a couch, they might even pick it up for you.

Unfortunately, many of the items you’re thinking of donating won’t be accepted by many charities. And if you dropped it off, it’s not only not benefiting them, but leaves them with the problem of now disposing of those items.

Many charities are now very careful about what they accept, no matter if they’re selling the items or passing it on to the people they serve.

Here are some circumstances under which they don’t want what you have.

They don’t like trash

Some people think that charities and the people they serve will take anything. That is not the case. In the past, they might have been more willing to take items that were damaged, but with the rise in donations they can be more careful about what they accept.

Boxing up a bunch of broken toys and dropping it off only leaves them with more trash to get rid of. Be selective about what you plan to donate. Is it simply something you or a family member no longer uses, but which is still in good condition? That will work. If it’s because they can no longer use it, then pitch it.

Anything from a home where pets lived

There is nothing wrong with having a pet. Many of us have one. But if the items you take in have pet hair on them, the charities won’t be interested. The same if the items has chew marks or scratches from your pet.

Anything from the home of a smoker

The problem with cigarette smoke, in addition to being unhealthy, is that it gets into everything. If you’re a smoker you might not notice that your nice-looking couch smells like an ashtray. If you’re not a smoker you’ve noticed the smell right away and no matter what you did it won’t come out.

People who are looking to buy items at a Goodwill or Salvation Army won’t want to purchase items that will only smell up the room. The same goes for people who are in need and receiving items donated. They’re trying to improve their quality of life and bringing something in their home that smells, even if needed, won’t do that.

IKEA Furniture

Don’t worry, we’re not saying IKEA furniture doesn’t look good. Often times it does.

The problem is that most IKEA furniture is made with particleboard.

Particleboard isn’t durable, and you can’t make repairs to furniture made from it. You can’t sand out those scratches and nicks as you could with something made of all wood.

Most charities aren’t looking for items made of flimsy material such as particleboard no matter how nice it looks. It’s simply not designed to last.

Items That Need Repair

Your old dresser might still be in pretty good shape except for those chips and scratches. All it would take is for the charity to sand it down a little and put on a fresh coat of paint or stain.

That’s not the case. They’re not looking for items they have to refurbish or clean up. They don’t have the staffing for it.

If you have the time and think the finished product will look good, then do the work yourself before taking it to your charity. Then decide if it would be good enough for your friends to see at your house. If not, then don’t make the trip.

The same applies to any electrical product. If it doesn’t work, but could be repaired, it’s still not something they’re interested in.

Items Not Fully Assembled

Just as items that need to be repaired won’t be accepted, they also don’t want items that require assembly. Their workers are busy enough without having to set down with a set of instructions and tools for an afternoon to assemble something.

Again, if you think the item would have value to someone, then take the time to put it together before taking it in.

Mattresses and Box Springs

Most charities aren’t looking for items that have been slept on. No matter how clean you think they might be, there’s no way of the charity knowing that. So cross this off your list right away.

That goes for sleeper sofas as well.

Appliances and Certain TV’s

Most charities won’t accept many appliances such as a refrigerator or an old washing machine. Goodwill for example, won’t accept any large appliances, including air conditioners, water heaters, and freezers.

If you’re upgrading to a new larger-sized flat screen tv then they will take your old one. If that old tv is the old CRT televisions with the large cabinets and tubes inside they won’t accept that.

What to Do With Those Items, Charities Won’t Accept

Now that you know many of the items you have won’t benefit your local charity you might be wondering what to do with everything. After all, they are still taking up space in your home or business.

Nova Junk donates usuable items to local charities
We take only usable items to local charities

You could schedule a special pickup with your city if it’s not a lot of items. Then you just have to make sure everything is out on the sidewalk the night before and properly bagged or tied up in necessary.

Maybe you have items the city won’t take or more than they’ll take at one time. You could consider loading it up into a vehicle and hauling it to the local landfill. That’s if you have a vehicle you can use and don’t mind spending an afternoon getting the job done.

A third option is to hire a junk removal company to come in and take everything away.

This is especially nice if you have large items such as a mattress or a sleeper sofa to get rid of. You don’t have to worry about injuring your back or nicking the walls as you carry it out. A trained junk removal company will only need you to point out the items to be removed and they’ll take it from there. They have the manpower and experience to get it out without any issues.

If you live in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, or Montgomery and Prince George County’s in Maryland, then contact Nova Junk. We’ll not only haul away everything, but we’ll inspect it as we do. We work with a number of local charities and know what they’re looking for. If some of your stuff would still have some value to them, we’ll take it there ourselves.

Call us today at (571) 432-8162 for a free, no-obligation quote.

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I called pretty much at the last minute and explained to Norm that I had new furniture arriving and needed to dispose of the old. We had a hard time getting the sofa into that room so I wasn't surprised when told it needed to be cut up for removal. They were very professional and polite. I was pleased and will call again when I redo another room.
Elaine Marini
Elaine Marini
16:19 28 Jan 20
They were very easy to schedule and work with. Quick to respond. Quick pickup. Very friendly and accommodating. And reasonable rates. They even said they would donate one of my items that was in really good condition. Will definitely use them again. I used their services to clean out a storage unit and they came straight there and cleared out the unit for me. Professional, quick, easy, friendly service. Thank you!
Tara Mohammed
Tara Mohammed
15:27 24 Jan 20
I have used Nova Junk several times for my home and my in-law's home. What I love the most about this company is that they are will to take your items and determine what can be donated (vs. just taking it to the dump). They removed a very heavy (solid wood) bed and tile from a recent remodeling. They are extremely careful and professional when removing items from your home. I highly recommend them. As a designer, I frequently recommend them to clients who need furniture removal services.
Janet Aurora
Janet Aurora
13:40 24 Jan 20
Excellent service as always! I have used this service at least 3 times!Always good,fast and efficient... A Special Thanks to... EVERYONE! I will be calling again :)
Cas B
Cas B
20:28 09 Jan 20
Recieved a prompt response following my inquiry. Was able to send a crew and truck to my home the very next morning if I wanted it. The crew was courteous, professional and got the job done with no issues. They was able to beat out a competitors quote with no issue. Highly recommend. I will go this direction the next time I need this type service.
Andre K
Andre K
20:35 19 Dec 19
Great experience with NOVA Junk. They were on time, polite, and charged a reasonable amount for clearing out my old dining room table. Plus they recycle at charitable organizations. I highly recommend this company.
Anita Epstein
Anita Epstein
18:21 21 Nov 19
Great experience! In one phone call I was able to get an estimate and schedule a pickup. Their pricing structure is based on how much of a truck you filled up, so you can control the cost. Omar and his team were polite and professional and did a great job!
Heidi Rackoski
Heidi Rackoski
18:08 21 Nov 19
Omar and his crew were timely and professional. I compared other company prices and they were the least expensive. Would recommend.
Chris Porter
Chris Porter
17:40 21 Nov 19
Arrived in time and worked flawlessly. The three most pleasant gentlemen I’ve ever met. Highly recommend.
John Alex
John Alex
21:26 09 Nov 19
Did work as promised, on time, efficiently and at a fair cost (when compared with others locally). The staff was all you could ask for, polite and good, quick workers.
Bill Stine
Bill Stine
19:32 31 Oct 19
Needed to get rid of a 3br rowhouse filled with miscellaneous junk and old furniture after I rented it out as a group house for the past 6 years. Nova junk came by and were able to quickly and efficiently clear out my whole house while carefully leaving behind all the items I had asked them to leave. A great service, and my understanding is they donate and recycle everything they can. All for a very reasonable price. Highly recommended.
Victor Zapanta
Victor Zapanta
22:36 23 Oct 19
Nova Junk gave me a quote ahead of time and scheduled the pick-up in about a week. They arrived within the window given and were very professional and efficient. A great experience!
PS Burger
PS Burger
13:35 27 Sep 19
Great customer service! They responded quickly to my Yelp quote request & to the additional questions I had. They showed up when they said they would, and were quick and professional. I would highly recommend!
Molly Ryan
Molly Ryan
13:44 26 Sep 19
After my couch and armchair donation was declined by the Salvation Army, I had to quickly move them out of my stairwell. Thankfully, Nova Junk was able to fit me into their pickup route the same day. Oscar and Jose were very quick and courteous in moving the bulky items away, and the whole job was completed less than two hours after I made the initial call. I was very impressed with their service.
Jason Lai
Jason Lai
01:54 10 Sep 19
Daniel and team were awesome. Fast, took everything I asked, and reasonably priced. Plan to use them again for my next junk pickup
Rob Kramer
Rob Kramer
22:23 09 Sep 19
Great customer service. They arrived when they said they would, were efficient, polite and professional. The price was fair and it was a good value. I would definitely use this company in the future
Lisa Bowman
Lisa Bowman
21:11 09 Sep 19
I needed the removal of both a queen-sized bed & a 2nd refrigerator to make room for my aging Mother's hospital bed as she comes home for hospice/end-of-life care. The three man crew was quick, friendly, and actually helped get the last portion of the bed frame dismantled. For the price...compared to about $145 MORE quoted by 1-800-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED ...it was a smooth job in the middle of a tumultuous day at a reasonable cost. Thank you!
Steve Ray
Steve Ray
20:16 07 Sep 19
I found Nova Junk removal by doing a quick search on Google. I only had a few pieces of furniture to dispose of so, I was looking for a company that had a fair and reasonable quote. I found that with Nova Junk. They gave me a window of time for arrival. Called me 45 mins in advance. They were professional. Quick and pleasant. I will definitely use again.
Ramona Turner
Ramona Turner
20:12 12 Aug 19
I've used Nova Junk twice over the past few months and love them! I literally found them online and took a chance. They are always prompt, nice, quick and very reasonable. I was clearing out my father's estate which was a very stressful time. They were one aspect I never had to worry about!
Margo Kent
Margo Kent
19:20 12 Aug 19
I have used this company twice and each time they have been prompt, courteous and reasonably priced. A shout-out to OMAR who recently lead a team to pick up my projection television, et. al. He even gave me free advice on totally unrelated water drainage issues that I have been having. Thanks again Omar.
Douglas Rennert
Douglas Rennert
13:23 03 Aug 19
I was very impressed with the services of Nova Junk Hauling from initial contact to completion. My inquiry was promptly responded to with a very reasonable quote on a Sunday evening, yet. The young woman I spoke with on the telephone was most pleasant and accommodating. They kindly squeezed me into a busy schedule. The two gentlemen called 30 minutes before their arrival, and arrived 100% on-time. The guys were friendly, fabulous, courteous, well spoken, professional, and very good at their job. They did everything in their power to make the move completely painless for me. They actually charged me less than I was quoted, as the load was not that large (they also accept check or credit card on the spot!) So, from initial appointment through payment, I cannot recommend Nova Junk Hauling highly enough. I have added them to my contact book, and will most happily look forward to using their services again. Thank you, Nova Junk!
Fraudulent Productions
Fraudulent Productions
17:35 25 Jul 19
EXCELLENT experience! The team was very thorough, professional and quick. When we said take everything, they didn't leave anything behind. I highly recommend Nova! I also like that they distribute and donate what isn't actual trash!
Sadona Miller
Sadona Miller
18:28 01 Jul 19
Great service! From the first phone call, to cost estimate, to pickup all in under 2.5hrs. WOW!
John Schatz
John Schatz
16:46 20 Jun 19
Nova Junk is the best of the best! Norman and his crew are trustworthy, professional, understanding, polite and respectful. I was extremely pleased with how they immediately introduced themselves upon arrival, called before arriving, were on time, and verified which items were to be removed. The crew worked closely together as a team and were the most polite group of guys in their inter-actions with me. After the job was done, Norman called to ensure I was satisfied and that there were no issues. A scale of 1 -10, does not go high enough for this extremely professional company!
Karen Preuss
Karen Preuss
14:42 31 May 19
Nova Junk arrived on-time and prepared. They were able to remove my items quicker than expected, including a few items I discovered I needed removed after submitting for my initial quote. Great experience and I would absolutely recommend Nova Junk.
Nicholas Carter
Nicholas Carter
21:13 14 May 19
I am really pleased with my experience with NOVA Junk. I was able to get a quote through Yelp, and their quote was much better than their competitors. Scheduling was a breeze. Three men showed up, and all I had to do was point to the items I wanted removed and they did all the hard work. They worked quickly and took care to not damage the walls or floors while they worked. I was given a final quote once everything was in the truck and it turned out to be less than I was initially quoted, so that was the cherry on the top of a great experience! I will definitely use NOVA Junk again in the future if we ever need furniture removed.
Alessia Eiseman
Alessia Eiseman
15:51 17 Apr 19
NOVA Junk Removal came to the rescue after College Hunks failed me. They were able to come out to me in Laurel, MD just a few hours after my request. They were very fast and professional. I highly recommend this service.
Nikki S
Nikki S
19:30 30 Mar 19
The crew came to my house within 48 hours of my phone call to remove junks and old storage shed. The price is very reasonable and their service is great. The staff is courteous and very professional. Great job!
Irene Larinke
Irene Larinke
21:46 29 Mar 19
Nova Junk provide excellent service, hauling away a condo full of furniture that I needed to get rid of. I really like the way they do business -- recycling whatever they can, paying workers comp, etc. I thought their price was quite competitive and fair. Omar is a true professional, and he and his team (Rolland, Basharty, etc.) were on time, worked quickly but carefully, and just did a great job. I am happy to tell others about them.
John Mercer
John Mercer
18:43 20 Mar 19
I found NOVA Junk on Yelp and spoke with the owner, Norman, to set up some time for his team to come get some old furniture and misc junk I wanted removed. Miguel & Omar showed up on the earlier part of the window which was given to me and were in and out in less than 30 minutes. They were very respectful of my home and checked in with me before and after to make sure everything was done how I needed it. I would definitely recommend them!
Diti Bhasin
Diti Bhasin
14:01 04 Mar 19
Service was good overall. Nova Junk removal service was on time, quick, and professional. The reason it is not 5 out of 5 stars is that the website states that they “professionally dispose of all types of waste.” However, I needed to have some old unused paint hauled away and was told by the crew when they arrived that they couldn’t accept it.
Theodious McKinnon
Theodious McKinnon
17:12 25 Feb 19
Nova Junk is amazing! Scheduling was so easy with Norman and they made my moving day seamless with Steven and Pablo picking up my furniture. They were efficient, polite, and courteous. I would highly recommend using them!
Maria Jose Araya
Maria Jose Araya
15:18 25 Feb 19
The company responded to our request promptly and scheduled a pickup in a very short time. The pickup crew came and the three young people are all very friendly and finished the job in a short time and cleaned up the spot we piled up the junky items we had even though we told them we could do it by ourselves. These are very professional people and trust worth. We will definitely use this company again in the future.
Freda Chao
Freda Chao
14:21 04 Feb 19
Excellent service, showed up early and called in advance. Not only cleared out junk efficiently, 2 men moved furniture from my basement to my first floor without doing any damage to my home or furniture. They worked as a team and WAs reliable. I will definitely hire Nova Junk Removal in the future.
Dezi Kolani
Dezi Kolani
17:11 28 Jan 19
I asked for several estimates to get rid of some furniture in my home. Nova junk was almost the lowest price, but with the highest recommendations from reviewers. I must add my vote to this high score. The crew came on time, called before coming to alert me of their arrival time, were polite and careful in everything that they did. I will definitely use them in the future!
Jim Blackie
Jim Blackie
19:19 18 Jan 19
We required an old 1950's era shed and junked-interior cleared from our property. Norm was quick to respond to our inquiry and offered a fair quote. Him and his crew showed up right on time and cleared everything in under 2 hours. They left the work area clear of debris and called after to confirm the work was completed and back gate closed. I would recommend Nova Junk and certainly use their services again.
Cody Clarke
Cody Clarke
17:03 18 Dec 18
The guys were so friendly and patient when I was running a little late. Also very efficient with removing my items. I’d highly recommend them!
Amy Olson
Amy Olson
13:20 14 Dec 18
I work for EFH Contracting, we do home remodeling, renovations, etc. and we use Nova Junk on every job. They are well priced and the workers are great. They are always on time, very friendly, get the job done right, and leave the site clean. We will continue to use them
Janell Herring
Janell Herring
19:29 05 Nov 18