My first load of purged items is ready to be taken to their next destination, so where should I go with what? Here are my go-to places for taking donations:
Lake Country Caring
603 Progress Dr., Hartland
Donation Hours: 9:30 – 11:30 Monday through Saturday
What they will accept: Almost anything that isn’t food. Household goods, furniture, clothing and kids gear are all needed. Computers are NOT accepted unless you have a complete, working system (see the bottom of this post for where to go with computers).
This amazing little organization is completely volunteer run (I also volunteer there, so I may be a bit biased about how awesome it is) and helps people who are truly in need. I like to explain it as a Goodwill where no one has to pay. Clients who come to Lake Country Caring in need of clothes, household items or furniture fill out an application and then they can visit LCC three times a month and never pay a cent. Personally, I think this is a great system, people can donate items and know that they are going directly into the hands of others who really need them and know that they won’t be charged for them.
St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
W369 N5848 Brown St. Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Donation Hours: M-F 10:00 - 5:30; Saturday 10:00 - 3:30
What they will accept: click here for a link to a pdf
As someone who prefers to buy used rather than new, having a St. Vincent de Paul resale shop come out to Lake Country was fabulous. Like other St. Vincent de Pauls they accept donations of clothing, supplies and furniture. Check out the link above to see a complete list of what they will and won’t accept.
Habitat for Humanity HomeStore (ReStore)
222 W. St. Paul Ave.
Waukesha, WI 53188
Donation Hours: Call ahead to make an appointment
What they will accept: used or new building materials, check out their website for a list
While not in Lake Country, this is the closest ReStore we have… and ReStores are so, so cool (about half our house was remodeled with items from the Madison ReStore). The Waukesha ReStore is not open for shopping yet, but they are accepting donations of new or used (but usable) building materials. This is the perfect place to donate items left over from your latest remodeling project or items you have cleaned out of your workshop during our purge challenge. A complete list of what they will accept can be seen here. Make sure you call ahead before you bring items to donate so that you know someone wil be there to accept your donations.
U'SAgain Drop Boxes
Donation Hours: anytime
What they will accept: used clothes, shoes, textiles
When I have clothes or other textiles to donate I separate them into two piles, one pile of good, quality clothes, sheets or towels to bring to Lake Country Caring and then a second pile of items that are ripped, worn, dirty, stained or totally outdated which I bring to my nearest U'SAgain box. The beauty of U'SAgain is that it accepts items of lesser quality and it makes sure these items get recycled into other products. Items that one would typically think that no one could use U'SAgain has the connections to get the items to a place that will recycle them. Unfortunatley their website doesn’t have a list of all the drop-off boxes in the area, and the only one I can think of off the top of my head is the one at Health and Happiness in Hartland at 230 Pawling Ave. Does anyone else know of other U'SAgain boxes in the area?
We will add more donation places over the next couple weeks, so if you know of a place that you think we should highlight, leave a comment for us on this page. Until then, two last links for today: If you have a computer that you need to recycle, check out this link on the Waukesha County Recycling website. It has a list of all the places you can bring your old computer. And if you have an odd item that you don't know what to do with check out the "Where Do I Go With?" page on the Waukesha County Recycling website.