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Items You Might Throw In the Trash Can be Donated

Services for Real Estate Pros with A Sense of Order - Organizing for the Home and Office

Items You Might Throw In the Trash Can be Donated to Animal Rescue Groups

I recently spoke with the local humane society (Humane Society A.L.L. of Madison County, Ky) about putting their donation wish list on my website and it inspired me send out a reminder that spring cleaning is a great way to give to those less fortunate.  I am amassing a list on my website of objects that most people wouldn't think could be donated but actually can. 

Molly the cat from the Humane Society ALL of Madison CountyOne of these categories is items that can be donated to your local animal rescue group.  Items accepted by these groups usually include stained or torn linens, such as towels, washcloths, blankets, sheets, mattress pads, pillows and pillowcases.  Normally these items would be made into cleaning rags or thrown away (due to laws against donating due to hygiene issues), but animal rescue groups can use them and the hygiene issues don't apply.  Don't forget about stained t-shirts; they can be cut up to make cleaning rags or even bedding as well.

Other items you might not think about are open packages of dry pet food or wet food past its expiration date, which can still be used (final determination will be made by the group), as well as old (working) heating pads (used to keep baby animals warm).

Another misconception is that dirty pet items cannot be donated, but this is incorrect.  Many animal rescue groups will take any pet item even if it is dirty.  The group will clean and sterilize the item and use it for their rescued animals.  This includes litter pans, cages, feeding dishes, collars, leashes, nail clippers, scratching posts or pads, leftover catnip and toys. 

Speaking of toys, old stuffed animals can be donated to rescue groups as well to be used as toys and snuggle companions.  Also, Frontline does not have an expiration date at all, so if you have any that you will not use, be sure to donate it.  Opened or partially-used cleaning supplies can also be donated to animal rescue groups, as well as laundry detergent.

Get creative as you clean out your closets and cupboards.  Try to think of any way an item can be used before you throw it into the landfill.  If you are in doubt, contact your favorite charity to find out if they can use the item you have.

The Humane Society A.L.L. of Madison County, Ky is operated entirely by volunteers.  They have no facility of their own and all their rescued animals live with foster parents until adopted.  The Humane Society also sponsors spay-neuter vouchers and engages in a feral cat spay-neuter release program in Madison County, Ky.  For more information, visit www.humanesocietyall.com.


Posted by

A Sense of Order Logo

Shanna Perino
Certified Professional Organizer and
Licensed Tennessee Realtor



Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

This is awesome information.  As soon as I read your title I thought about the old stained tshirts that we have sitting in the back of a cabinet (because I hate to throw things away).  I kept them to use as cleaning rags, but never actually used them.  I would love to donate them to a local shelter if they can use them.  I'm going to contact them and see if their list is similar to yours.

Mar 26, 2010 06:23 AM
Shanna Perino
A Sense of Order - Organizing for the Home and Office - Nashville, TN
Certified Professional Organizer/Licensed Realtor

Hi Jim & Maria,

Contacting your local rescue group is the best way to go. The problem is that most animal shelters don't have this detailed of a list on their website! This project started out by me encountering a dirty litter box that the client wanted to toss and me thinking to call a local animal shelter to ask if they would accept it.  They said "sure! bring it on over, we'll sterilize it!" but most of them don't say that on their website. 

Cheers, Shanna

Mar 26, 2010 06:44 AM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Definitely it is is important to try and find a source to give things that will be able to use them -- there is too much waste and many who need things.

Mar 26, 2010 06:50 AM