As daylight hours lengthen and the weather begins to warm up, spring cleaning becomes a popular weekend activity. For many, decluttering your home is an integral part of spring cleaning. However, clearing unneeded items out of your closets and storage areas can be done at any time of the year. In fact, packing for a move is also a great time to reevaluate what you need and which items you can donate. There are several local donation centers in the Dane County area that help find a new home for your items. 

What Type of Items Are Accepted at Local Donation Centers?

Clothes: Closets and dresser drawers are a great place to start when decluttering your home.

As you peruse the closets in your home, pull any pieces no longer fitting your personal style or your kids have outgrown. Clothes are a common item accepted at several donation centers. Fill the donation bag with clothing items in good wearable condition. Overly worn clothing can be deconstructed and used for crafts or cleaning cloths. However, if you prefer, there are donation centers that accept less than desirable clothing for textile recycling. To save time for donation center employees, bag textile recycling donations separately.

Box of toys for the local donation center.

Toys/Books: Many donation centers accept both children’s toys and books.

Set aside time with your children to determine which toys they no longer want to keep. Filter out any items with broken pieces that can be unsafe for children. Also, before donating it, check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to verify the toy has not been recalled.

Electronics: Tucked away in the far corners of your basement may be electronics collecting dust.

Luckily, there are donation centers that accept electronics in working condition. If you have broken electronics, many of these locations will be able to send it to be safely recycled for a small fee.

Furniture: Recently redecorated a room or updated your furniture?

Or maybe your child has outgrown his or her bed or playroom furniture. If it is still in good condition, most donation centers will take it off your hands. Before dropping it off, be sure to inquire about any exceptions. For example, some donation centers only take assembled furniture. Also, before trying to pack the furniture into your vehicle, ask about pick-up services. Although not all donation centers provide the service, it’s worth asking before expending too much energy.

Housewares and Appliances: Gently used or new housewares are gladly accepted at most donation centers.

Whether you have dishes, kitchen utensils, or more decorative items such as throw pillows and vases, they will do their best to find a new home for them. It is rare to find a place that accepts larger appliances. However, if you have larger appliances you are looking to part with due to a remodel, Habitat for Humanity Restore may accept them. They should be in working order and in good condition.                                                                                     

Unused Building Supplies: Do you have materials left over from a home renovation project?

Free up some space in your garage or basement. There are donation centers that will take your unused tile or flooring, wood, bricks and unopened cans of paint. This is just a small sample of what is accepted.

Non-Perishable Food Items: If you are moving soon, you may be looking to donate non-perishable food items you can’t take with you.

Local food pantries will accept unopened and unexpired food items. Don’t let these food items go to waste. There are families who can benefit from the donation.

Personal Hygiene, Paper Goods, and Household Cleaners: Unopened items such as toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaners, and detergents are accepted by a few local donation centers.

Maybe you purchased some of these items in bulk but never got to use up your supply. When moving longer distances, you may prefer to pack less or prefer not to pack liquid items that can spill. Organizations offering food pantry services usually also accept these types of items. 

Local Donation Centers in the Dane County Area

Visit each organization’s website to read more about its mission, specific donation guidelines, and drop-off location addresses.


Goodwill is partially funded by the sales of donated items through its retail stores. Funds are used to help people lead independent lives through various training programs.

Drop-off Locations

Retail Stores: Fitchburg, Madison East Towne, Madison Northside, Madison Verona Road, Middleton, Monona, Stoughton, Sun Prairie

Independent Businesses: Capitol Centre Market (clothing donations), The Shoe Box – Black Earth (shoe donations)

Items Accepted

Clothing and accessories, books/media, household items, jewelry, antiques, collectibles, electrical items, toys/games, computers (working), computer equipment (working), furniture (assembled)

Recycling Programs

Drop off location for Dell Reconnect, a recycling program for non-working computers and computer equipment.

Clothes not in wearable condition will be sent away for textile recycling.

Home Pick-up Service Available?: No


St Vincent de Paul

Donated items are sold in St. Vincent de Paul’s retail locations. Proceeds are used to help Dane County residents in need. Programs include a food pantry, Charitable Pharmacy, housing and storage programs, and energy assistance.

Drop-off Locations

Retail Stores:  Madison – Willy St., Madison – Park St., Madison – Odana Road, Verona, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, Stoughton

Drop Box Locations in the Dane County area (for smaller bags of clothes or shoes)

Items Accepted

Clothing, furniture, and household items in clean, working condition Nonperishable food for the food pantry

Recycling Programs:  None

Home Pick-up Service Available?:   Yes. Schedule by calling 608-278-2920 or by filling out a form online.

Habitat for Humanity Restore

Locations accept donations of home improvement items. These items are then sold to the public well below the retail price. Proceeds from sales are used to “help build strength, stability, self-reliance, and shelter in local communities and around the world.”

Drop-off Locations

Retail Stores:  Madison – Odana Road,  Madison – Monona Drive

Items Accepted

Furniture, appliances, fixtures, building materials, cabinets, tools, equipment

Recycling Programs:  None

Home Pick-up Service Available?: Yes. Schedule by filling out a form online.

Middleton Outreach Ministry

MOM provides a variety of resources to community members in need. Services include a food pantry, housing stability assistance, case management, referrals and Senior services (rides and chore assistance).

Drop-off Locations

Middleton (Food Pantry Location)

Items Accepted

  • Non-perishable food
  • Unopened paper towels, laundry detergent, toilet paper, personal care items, household cleaners, diapers/wipes
  • In-season clothing items
  • Household items – Sheets, blankets, bath towels, pots, pans, utensils (sets of four), and glassware (sets of four)

Recycling Programs: None

Home Pick-up Service Available?: No

Luke’s Closet

Local clothing bank for foster, adoptive, and kinship care children.

Drop-off Locations


Items Accepted

Accepts infant, children, juniors sizes and teenager-styled adult-sized clothing.

  • New or nearly new in-season clothing items.
  • New underwear and socks.
  • Shoes are not accepted due to storage limitations.

Recycling Programs: None

Home Pick-up Service Available?: No

The River Food Pantry

Local clothing bank for foster, adoptive, and kinship care children.

Drop-off Locations: Madison

Items Accepted

Non-perishable food and personal care items.

Recycling Programs: None

Home Pick-up Service Available?: No

Agrace Thrift Stores

Agrace is a non-profit hospice and palliative care organization. Funds raised through the thrift stores go towards Agrace’s grief support services.

Drop-off Locations:  Madison – East, Madison – West, Stoughton (Home Store)

Items Accepted

  • Clothing & Accessories (Women’s and Men’s)
  • Furniture
  • Housewares
  • Home decor
  • Linens
  • Entertainment

Recycling Programs: None

Home Pick-up Service Available?:  Yes (for items with a total minimum value of $500)

The Road Home

The Road Home serves Dane County homeless families with children. It provides housing programs, support services and helps create community-wide change.

Drop-off Locations:  Madison

Items Accepted

  • Twin beds and dressers (check the website to verify current furniture needs)
  • Unopened items: Toothbrushes and toothpaste; cleaning supplies; laundry detergent and bleach; garbage bags; dish detergent; hair care products designed for African American hair

Recycling Programs: None

Home Pick-up Service Available?:   Yes, for furniture items.

Reynolds Transfer & Storage encourages you to avoid sending unwanted or unneeded items to the landfill. Reynolds does its part by providing moving services in Madison for furniture donations made to The Road Home. Check out Reynolds’s involvement with other community organizations.