If you're in the process of decluttering, here's a friendly reminder that not everything needs to go in the trash.
The Salvation Army might be a popular donation site, but it is commonly treated like a dumping ground for unwanted belongings, causing it to be overwhelmed during this time of the year.
Instead, here's a list of hassle-free places where you can give your pre-loved items away, whether they are almost brand new or close to their last legs in life.
Please don't treat these places like a dumping ground too.
Items in good working condition
Items in good condition are those you might gift to someone. They should be clean and usable, without any stains or defects.
MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore) a social service agency that operates several social enterprise projects, including MINDS Shop, that provides vocational training to adults with intellectual disabilities.
They accept a range of household items from clothes, baby equipment, hardware, furniture, musical instruments, kitchen appliances, sports equipment to collectables. Items can be donated to the MINDS Shops at Margaret Drive (Queenstown) and Woodlands Employment Development Centre during operating hours. More details here.
SSVP's (Society of Saint Vincent de Paul) thrift store is a seven-minute walk from Aljunied MRT.
The shop sells secondhand clothing, bags, collectibles, board games, kitchenware, kitchen appliances, home decor and more at affordable prices. According to their donation wish list, they are not accepting women's apparel at the moment. Additionally, do make an appointment before heading down to drop off your donations (limited to two shopping bags worth).
Metta (Metta Welfare Association) is a non-profit organisation that provides social service programmes to the community.
Donations can be placed in the recycle bin at their building in Simei. The items they are looking for, which includes clothing, shoes and bags, are listed here.
The Barn is a volunteer-run thrift shop.
Their outlets in The Odeon Katong and Ang Mo Kio welcome clothes, accessories, shoes, sports equipment, toys and household items. Their website lists some items that they do not accept and the opening hours when you can drop them off.
Blue recycling bins do not take in textiles, but there are many bins around the island where they can be deposited. The textiles can be old, but they must be clean when donated.
Cloop is a local clothes swap organisation that has the home for your worn-out apparels.
They take in a huge range of items textiles beyond clothes, such as bags, shoes, accessories, belts, hats, caps, plush toys and even pillow linens. Over 60 of their textile recycling bins are located islandwide. Check out this map to find the bin closest to you.
Green Square closes the recycling loop for textiles and accepts clothes, shoes, household linen, belts and bags.
Their drop-off bins can be found in several HDB void decks and malls like City Square Mall, Parkway Parade, PLQ Mall and Funan. For donations heavier than 15kg, Green Square does door-to-door collection for just S$5. Note that they are not collecting textiles between Jan. 21 and 29, 2023.
ActiveSG is collecting used school and sports shoes to make jogging tracks, fitness corners and playgrounds.
There are more than 40 collection bins around Singapore located in sports centres, community centres and Decathlon stores.
Unstained books that are tattered, have missing or loose pages can go in the blue recycling bin. For books in decent condition, here are a few places where they can find a home with another book lover.
Thryft is a secondhand online bookstore in Singapore that accepts donations.
You can drop off your books at Sprout Hub in Bukit Merah, WarehouseJoy in Jurong West or Second Story near Tan Kah Kee MRT during opening hours. Alternatively, get them picked up from your doorstep for S$15.
Dignity Mama is an initiative for youths with special needs.
They accept a wide variety of children's books, magazines and adult non-fiction titles. You can drop off the National University Hospital (Medical Centre) in Kent Ridge and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital in Jurong East during opening hours.
Do note that due to space constraints, they can only accept up to three grocery bags or three A4-sized boxes of books. Before you drop by, it may be good to send them a WhatsApp message or SMS at 8363 5072 or 9751 5717 to make arrangements. Details here.
Books Beyond Borders accepts book donations every day during their opening hours, and is just five minutes from Marymount MRT.
The social enterprise sells secondhand books to raise money for educational opportunities in developing countries. They also provide doorstep pickups for 20 books or more. Details here.
The National Library Board (NLB) has Book Exchange Corners at some library branches.
NLB is open to all books except for magazines, textbooks and religious books.
Open during regular library hours, they can be found at Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Central, Geylang East, Jurong Regional, Jurong West, Queenstown, Toa Payoh and Woodlands Regional libraries. Simply look for a shelf near the entrance of the library.
Sell or give away for free
Finally, Cash Converters is an option for selling your things.
Top images by Cloop/FB.