What do you do with the leftovers? Whether you had a successful garage sale or not, afterwards you might still be left with a sizeable number of unsold items.

The obvious solution is to donate your stuff to charity when possible, but you may have to toss some items in the recycling or garbage bins.

What to Toss

Toss items into the garbage only if they are broken, damaged or worn down to the point where nobody could potentially use them. However, most broken items can and should be recycled.

What to Recycle

Quite a lot of items can be put into recycling bins these days, mainly: plastic, paper and cardboard, metals (like cans or cannisters) and glass.

Additionally, “e-waste” can be recycled as well these days. These things include: batteries (both car and household batteries), bulbs, computers and other office equipment, cell phones, televisions, and any other consumer electronic device you can think of.

Check with your city to find out what types of e-waste can be recycled. Some stores like Best Buy, as well as manufacturers like Dell, will collect electronics for recycling.  

What to Donate

Chances are that most of the unsold items from your garage sale are still in good condition. There are plenty of places to donate your stuff, even very specific items.

Donating to places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army has become controversial recently because many donated items, such as clothes, shoes and accessories, often end up in the hands of resellers who import and sell Western goods to third-world countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, weakening their local manufacturing industries.

However, some people see donations as a positive thing, regardless of who ends up with the stuff. Beyond Goodwill and the Salvation Army, here are 25 more places to donate used items.

Where to Donate


Clothes, Shoes & Accessories

  • Your local homeless shelter
  • Your local women’s / abuse shelter
  • Your local pet shelter (they’ll take old t-shirts, towels and bedding)
  • Dress for Success (professional women’s clothing)
  • Career Gear (professional men’s clothing)
  • DonateMyDress.org (donate prom and special occassion dresses)

Children’s Items & Toys

Cell Phones



Where do you personally like to make donations? Is there any place we’ve left off this list? Let us know by commenting below!

Where to Donate Your Used Items After a Garage Sale