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Next to shopping, decluttering seems to be America’s favorite pastime. Heck, minimalist gurus like Marie Kondo have made entire careers out of helping people tidy up and let go of belongings that no longer “spark joy.”
All that conscious purging is good news for charity-run resale stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army. But clutter-busters take note: Not every unwanted item is welcome at donation centers. Here’s a list of things most resale shops don’t want and can’t accept.
1. CRT TVs
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Old CRT (cathode ray tube) TVs have been replaced by flat, wall-mounted LCD, LED and plasma models. As a result, most American garages are storing at least one obsolete television. Even at secondhand prices, it’s nearly impossible to unload these “contemporary antiques” — and thrift stores know it.
To dispose of an old TV, don’t just put it out at the curb. Contact your local recycling center and ask if it hosts an annual e-waste event. Otherwise, BestBuy’s recycling program will take it off your hands for $29.99.
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Most thrift stores don’t accept mattresses. Not only do they take up a lot of retail floor space, the “ick” factor of a used mattress can make them a tough sell.
But there are exceptions. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul operates resale shops across the country. The locations nearest to me (in Des Moines, Iowa) accept mattresses manufactured no earlier than 2017 and with original tags still attached.
3. Sleeper sofas
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Old-fashioned sleeper sofas are notoriously heavy. In fact, I nearly broke my hand trying to move one up a flight of stairs back in the 1990s (and I have a crooked finger to prove it).
That heft — combined with potentially unsanitary mattress issues — are part of the reason they’re near the top of the Donations Goodwill Cannot Accept list.
4. Cribs and car seats
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We’ll cover recalled items later in this post, but cribs and car seats deserve special mention.
It’s impossible to know whether a pre-owned car seat has been involved in a crash — an event that could comprise its functionality. And many donation centers lack the resources to track the volume of recalls related to car seats as well as cribs. Since child safety is paramount, centers are likely to reject both items.
5. Car parts
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Used tires, wheels and batteries also made Goodwill’s Cannot Accept list. Likely …….