Three Reasons Why You Should Donate Old Materials to Habitat's ReStore

I have been preaching about Habitat for Humanity ReStore to a number of my clients recently.  The clients have all been open to the idea of donating items they are removing to ReStore but none of them really understood how it works until I explained it.

“Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world.

From their website: http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx

Based on my experience in home design and construction administration, here are my top reasons to donate to the ReStore – it’s more than just the right thing to do.

1. Don’t fill landfills with perfectly good things.

I’m not a bleeding heart that believes if it works you should live with it. If you don’t like it and you have the resources to change it, then do. There are so many reasons to renovate: Changing physical needs, upgrading to more efficient fixtures, or just because you’re sick of the green sink. It makes sense to donate the things that are functioning even if they don’t suit your needs any longer. It is amazing how much trash is generated in a simple remodel. Let’s reuse what we can.

2. Raising money for Habitat for Humanity & tax deductions. Win-Win!

I don’t care what your political philosophy is, I’ve never heard anyone denounce the work that Habitat for Humanity does. It’s a good, solid organization that helps people and communities. The things you donate to ReStore are sold to the public. The money raised goes directly to the Habitat for Humanity. In turn, the value of your donation is tax deductible.

3. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Why be wasteful if it can be useful? There are so many uses for those old kitchen cabinets that you cannot stand to look at for one more day. Someone will use the countertop to build a work bench in their garage. Someone else might use the cabinets for storage in a laundry room. A community group might just need your old stainless sink to serve their people a little better.

Full disclosure: there is a cost to you. Most ReStores will pick up your donated goods but you are responsible for removing them and getting them ready for pick up. Everything that you donate would have to be removed anyway but this requires a little extra prep work. Instead of sledge hammering the toilets and vanity like they do in some of the popular home renovation shows, you need to take things apart carefully and carry them outside. You may have to pay a guy to do that. It is not too much to ask.

So do it. Because it is the right thing to do.


As Founder and Principal Architect of Springhouse Architects, Sheri’s mission is to lead Clients through the building process with the Clients in control and Springhouse as their guide, advocate and ally.  With over twenty years experience in Residential Architecture, Sheri brings knowledge and confidence to your custom home project.

Lisa Saldivar