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Lighten Your Load By Donating Your Items Before Moving

Wednesday Sep 26th, 2018

Moving is stressful, but once you realize that you don’t have to take everything with you, it can feel like a wave of relief. Not only will you have fewer boxes to pack, but you’ll be helping out the community.

While some belongings are sentimental, many of us have stockpiled excess items unintentionally. The good news is, there are so many opportunities to donate belongings, that you really don’t have to waste anything. It can feel good to know that your items are going to someone in need while you’re cutting down on what needs packed.

Donating Clothes

You may have heard of the rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it in the past year, you probably aren’t going to wear it again. Depending on how long you have until your move, you may be able to set up a “test” for yourself.

Begin by turning all your hangers to face the back of the closet. As the trial period progresses, put your clothes back so that the hangers face you. In the end, the clothes on the hangers that weren’t turned back around to face forward are the clothes that should be donated.

If you are located in Erie County, there are a variety of places you can donate gently used clothing. Some organizations place drop-off points throughout the city, while others only accept contributions at their location. A few of these such organizations in Erie County include:

During the winter months, B.F. Fields Moving & Storage partners with the Warming Center at Mental Health Association (MHA) to donate clothing, hygiene products, and other bedding. Before packing, take a look around to see if you have any of the items on their wish list. If so, set them aside on moving day and B.F. Fields will ensure your donation are delivered to the Warming Center at MHA.

Donating Household Items

Moving can give you an excuse to purchase new items that match your new home, and donating larger pieces of furniture or appliances can save you time and money during the transition.

Furthermore, if you're like most Americans, you’ve probably formed an electronics graveyard in your house. Rid yourself of extra hardware by transferring photo albums and files that you want, then donate any devices you don’t need.

The same goes for DVDs, extra silverware, and books. Sometimes this can be difficult for people. For instance, there can be memories connected to old clothing or hope fastened to the possibility of re-reading a favorite book. However, once you begin to count the number of unnecessary attachments, you may be surprised at how many extra boxes are needed just to move these (often heavy) items.

Some nonprofits will take all (or most, depending on the organization) types of household items including couches, books, movies, kitchenware, and electronics. If you are proactive about donating, you can even list your belongings on Zealous Good, Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, or Craigslist. Nonprofits that are in need of specific items can browse the online inventory and contact you directly if there’s a match.

If you’re strapped for time, consider contacting the organization to whom you plan on donating clothes to see if they take household items as well. This is especially important if you plan on dropping off any large belongings.

Donating Food

Unfortunately, food is one of the first items to get trashed when packing. The Food and Agriculture Organization reports that approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets lost or wasted each year, which can partially be attributed to the moving process.

To cut back on wasting perfectly good ingredients, consider donating non-perishable items to those in need. After all, Move For Hunger found that over 41 million children across the country are food insecure. Because of this startling statistic, many nonprofits have begun initiatives to send staff directly to the homes of individuals who are moving to help pack and collect unwanted food items.

When you are preparing to donate food, be sure to avoid donating items that are packed in a glass container or expired. A few examples of the best types of food to donate include:

  • Baby food and formula
  • Canned beans
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned tuna
  • Cereal
  • Flour
  • Honey
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Pasta noodles and sauce
  • Peanut Butter and jelly
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rolled oats
  • Soup


The best part about donating unopened, non-perishable food is that you don’t have to stop the packing process to do it. All you have to do is set aside the items and contact a partner mover to pack it up and deliver it to a local food pantry. If you are located within the Erie area, B.F. Fields is the only premier mover that partners with Move For Hunger.


Sometimes when you start packing, you realize that some items that are just too old or broken to donate. However, throwing those belongings in the trash may not be the best option. For instance, all recycling centers have regulations on the items that they will pick up at the curb.

In the City of Erie, the 2018 Guidelines highlight directions on how to properly dispose of these types items as well as drop off locations for those belongings they won’t pick up at your house. However, if you are in Erie County, your recycling center location and regulations may differ from those in the city of Erie.

Give Yourself a Smooth Move

Remember: the more you donate, the less you have to move. Contact B.F. Fields Moving & Storage today to schedule your move and ensure your gently used items are donated to the right organizations. Click here or call 814-454-2481 to get a quote.