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One of the most common pieces of advice given to people who are selling a home is to get rid of things. Over the years, people tend to accumulate clothes, furniture, kitchen items, books, toys and a lot of other items they simply don’t use.

Freeing yourself of some of that stuff achieves two things. First, it makes your home more presentable. There will be less clutter around the house, and closets and cabinets will be more organized, giving visitors an idea of how they can use those spaces themselves.

The second advantage? Purging will make the move to your new home easier. Why pack up boxes of stuff you haven’t used in years so that it can go unused in your new dwelling?

Yard sales are a popular way to pass things on to a new owner, but they’re time consuming—and a lot of things are bound to go unsold. However, donating items in good condition is easy and effective.

Here are some places that will welcome donations all year long.

Goodwill. Thrift stores operated by Goodwill provide job training for people who may be having a difficult time finding work, including Veterans. If you have a Goodwill outlet near you, it is bound to accept just about anything that’s in good condition. If there isn’t a Goodwill close by, look for an independent thrift store or consignment shop.

Libraries. Boxes filled with books are heavy, and if you have tomes you don’t plan on reading again—or don’t hold a special value to you—your local library is likely to welcome donations of books.

Soup kitchens and food pantries. We usually think of donating food to these places, but many of these worthy services are in need of pots, pans, dishes and cutlery.

Houses of worship will accept a lot of things (toys and bicycles included) to help people in the community.

Senior organizations. Charities that benefit seniors will gladly accept all sorts of items. While blankets and warm clothes are especially needed during the winter months, books (particularly large-print editions) are also welcome, as is furniture, computers and unused eyeglasses.

Taking some time to find homes for quality items is much more satisfying than throwing them in a dumpster. Better yet, it will also bring a little joy to the people who receive them.

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