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Dad and daughter sorting donations.jpg
Photo: Seattle Goodwill

Spring Cleaning: Tips for Donating to Seattle Goodwill

Now is a great time to do some spring cleaning and donate to Goodwill. We spoke with Tammy McKenzie on best practices for donating to get you in and out of the donation line quickly and safely!

Seattle Refined: So this is a great time to do some spring cleaning and actually donate some stuff to Goodwill right?
Tammy McKenzie, Seattle Goodwill: Now is a great time to donate to Goodwill. You can clean up your house you can get rid of things you don’t really want anymore.

I understand there are actually some Goodwill donation centers open right now?
That’s right we have a couple of donation centers open and we’re working to being more online so you can come and bring us your stuff. You can check our website That site will have all the latest details on who’s open and what the hours are.

How can we presort our items to make the donation process go smoother?
We would really appreciate it if donors would pre-sort their items into a couple of key categories: clothing, toys, accessories, books/media ( those are things like CD’s, VHS tape), electronics and household goods. Those are a lot of categories so just go the best that you can it will be really appreciated.

Do you have any tips about how we can kind of package our items up?
It really does help if you can do a couple of things in order to keep items together so we can sell them and get the best value out of them and provide services to people in our community.

Tips for Organizing Donations

  • Rubber band or tie shoes: You can rubber band or tie shoe laces together so they can be sold as a pair.
  • Tape Boxes Together: Puzzle (and game boxes) or something that has a lot of pieces in it. If you want to tape the box shut that will insure that items don’t come out of the box.
  • Tape Components Together: For instance like a remote control to a VCR or DVD player and if you tape a remote control to the top of that, Goodwill be able to sell it together.

Is there anything we could hold onto for now in terms of donating?
We can’t take furniture so if you can out that to the side we’ll take it off your hands as soon as we can open more stores.

How is the donation process different from what we use to do?
The donation process is a little different these days. That is so we can keep everybody safe and maintain social distancing. So donors will pull up to their bins and they’re gonna take the items that they’re pre-sorted and place them in each of the bins (instead of having a Goodwill employee unload their cars for them). This will help us maintain social distancing and keep everybody safe.

I understand you guys have put some practices in place to keep the donation items really safe and clean as well.
Once a donator drops off those items, they are gonna take them and spray them with a CDC approved disinfectant then those items will be stored and quarantined for a period of time. So that we’re extra safe.

What kind of support have you received form the community during this time?
Our non-profit work continues even though our stores have been closed. We’re able to provide support services for people that’s things like housing assistance for people, food, safety, and we’re also doing online work readiness classes so people can prepare for better jobs and better futures. All that is possible because of the generosity of our neighbors of our community and we just want to say, thank you so much.