Tidying Up in Columbia :: Where to Donate Items that Don’t Spark Joy


Tidying Up in Columbia :: Where to Donate Items that Don't Spark Joy | Columbia SC Moms BlogIf your closets are looking a little barer, the clothing in your drawers are standing at attention, and you have bags of stuff to give away, chances are you’ve discovered the magic of tidying up! The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, first a book and now a popular Netflix series, has prompted a lot of New Year’s cleaning. Using the KonMari Method, people all over the country are going through their clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous, which includes kitchen), and sentimental items and discarding those that do not “spark joy.”

According to various news reports, Goodwills across the country have seen an uptick in donations since the series first aired. There are a dozen Goodwill stores in Columbia that will happily accept your donations, but if you’d like to ensure that the items you donate will benefit our local community, there are many options – even for discarding your unwanted papers!

Here are a few ideas for each of Marie Kondo’s five categories. If you are interested in donating to any of these locations, please check the website linked for donation guidelines.


Helping women in poverty secure employment, Dress for Success accepts professional women’s clothing and accessories. Donations are accepted through appointment only.

Transitions, which offers both residential and day services to homeless men and women, helping them transition from homelessness to permanent housing, has a clothing closet, which accepts donations seven days a week from 9 to 4.

The Cinderella Project is entering its 18th year of making dreams come true. The program provides gently used and new prom dresses, shoes and accessories to high school students all over the state. 


Richland Library Friends has a notorious quarterly book sale. Where do they get all the books they sell? From your donations! Up to four boxes of books (and CDs and DVDs) can be dropped off at any Richland County library location. If you have more than four boxes, you’ll need to go to the loading dock on Park Street of Richland Library Main.

Friends of Lexington Main Library and Friends of the Irmo Branch Library both have never-ending sales of gently used books. Donations are accepted at the front desk at both locations.

Tidying up your kids’ rooms? R2 Ready to Read, a program of Richland 2 School District, provides every early elementary student with ten books to read over the summer. If you have gently read children’s books with reading levels of pre-K through second grade, they can be donated to R2 Ready to Read through numerous collection bins throughout the county.


What do you do with all the papers you realize you no longer need? Papers containing sensitive information should be shredded.

Shred360 has numerous locations where you can deposit your papers to be shredded in a secure collection bin.

They also have free Shred Day Events that benefit the local community. The next one is Feb. 8, and they are asking for non-perishable food items to be donated along with your papers to benefit the Harvest Hope Food Bank.


*Most of these places also accept clothing donations.

The National Kidney Foundation offers next-day pickup in Columbia and Charleston. All boxes and furniture should be labeled with “NKF.”

Palmetto Thrift Store benefits Children’s Chance, a statewide non-profit organization that supports families dealing with pediatric cancer. They also offer free pickup of large donations.

Oliver Gospel Mission feeds and shelters people in Columbia experiencing homelessness. There are two drop-off locations, and they offer free furniture pick-up, for their thrift store, which directly supports their work in our city. It costs Oliver Gospel Mission a little over $2 to provide a meal to someone who is hungry. Imagine how many meals you have hanging in your closet!

A residential program offering shelter, food and Christian rehabilitation for alcoholic men, as well as clothing for those experiencing homelessness or affected by residential fire, His House is funded through their thrift store. You can schedule a pick-up or bring your donations to any of their three locations.

PETS Inc., a pet rescue and adoption agency, looks for donations for its Thrift Avenue Thrift Store on Sunset Boulevard, which supports their work with our stray animal population.

Furniture is provided to individuals and families who have experienced a fire and are moving into new housing through The Cooperative Ministry. You can also donate your car. 

Got excess food in your pantry? Or plastic grocery bags? Harvest Hope Food Bank will gladly take those items off your hands to distribute to those in need. Just be sure to check out their food donation list before heading over.

Your donations to Salvation Army Family Stores help fund rehabilitation programs that heal addictions, change lives, and restore families. They accept goods and clothing, and you can also schedule a free pick up. 

Sentimental Items

It’s true that nobody wants your ticket stubs, but that tchockie that Grandma got you? That might spark joy in someone else’s life. Most of the thrift stores listed in Komono will accept knick-knacks.

If you have local yearbooks, maps, or photographs, call the Walker Local and Family History Center, a project of Richland County Library, to see if they would like them for their archives.

Are you getting rid of items that no longer spark joy? What places would you add to the list?

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The new mom of a baby boy, Cheryl Glantz Nail started her blogging and freelance writing career in 2008. She has written articles for several blogs and websites, including 24/Savvy and InterfaithFamily.com. Shortly after moving to Columbia, she turned her love of content writing and social media into a career in communications, currently serving as the Community Relations Director for a local non-profit. Prior to this career change, she enjoyed 10 years in education, both in the classroom and as a curriculum developer. When she isn't in front of her computer or wiping up baby drool, Cheryl can be found curled up with a young adult novel and a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream, looking at cats on Instagram, or attempting to be artsy. She blogs at Take a Second Glantz (www.secondglantz.com/blog), trolls Pinterest for recipes she'll probably never cook, and sleep tweets during late-night feedings.


  1. Great article! Lots of resources here that I did not know about. I would love to know where to recycle used or expired car seats?

  2. Aloha,
    I have tried to contact Dress for Success and every format to contact them does not work. I find it fustrating becuase I would love to donate things but the information is work


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