You’re spring cleaning the house and the pile is getting tall. It is a mish-mash of things that are outdated, gifts that didn’t click with you, stuff that has spoiled, items that you have doubles of, clothes that fit you no more… So what do you do? Use our guide of course!
We’ve rounded up where you can donate good-condition items, and dispose of the rest responsibly. Save it for handy reference whenever you declutter!
And as you enjoy the newly empty space – do remember that the best way to declutter is to not create clutter in the first place! Do your bit by leading an eco-friendly lifestyle – buy only what you need from brands that are kind to our planet.
[Editor’s note: We will attempt to keep this list updated, do check with the recipient organizations on whether they are accepting the item you want to donate -a few of them face capacity constraints on and off.]
Clothes and accessories
Swap (event-based) :
Want to expand your wardrobe by exchanging clothes and accessories rather than buying? Sort out your wardrobe right away and look out for the next swap party by Swapaholic! This awesome platform allows swapping of clothes and accessories for all ages and genders.
Donate (through the year):
If you have plus-size work-appropriate clothes for women- Image mission runs the Dress For Success programme in Singapore and is always on the lookout. Their collections are for marginalised women getting back into the workforce. In case you have office appropriate clothes in regular size or neutral color bags to give away, check with them first if they need any. Drop off by appointment only – call 6747 6510 or email email@example.com .
Another option for pre-loved clothing [and any other home fabrics, even curtains] is a new local start-up: Green square. The enterprise sorts clothes so that the good quality piles are exported for resale, and the rest is recycled into industrial cleaning cloth. What’s more – you can schedule a collection on their website instead of dropping off!
And then of course, there’s H&M’s recycling programme. Visit any of H&M’s stores- they have collection boxes near the payment counter and each bag you drop off earns you a 15% discount voucher. They accept home textiles and damaged unwearable clothes too. Clothes are sorted depending on whether they can be re-worn (and hence re-sold), reused (converted into cleaning cloth, etc) or recycled (converted back to fibre and used for insulation).
Towels: Animal shelters welcome clean towels as these provide a versatile use for their residents – from playthings to cage lining, to clean up! SOSD collection box (open all hours, every day) is the Yellow Donation hut, right outside their shelter at 22 Pasir Ris Farmway 2, Swift Singapore, Blk C, #01-13/14. Likewise, SPCA and Causes For Animals, are happy to accept at their respective centers.
Toys and baby stuff
As a first stop, try finding a new home for the baby stuff you want to give away. Start with social networks that you are a part of – for instance, mommy groups, condo notice boards, etc. Facebook groups such as East Coast Preloved Sales and Preloved Baby Goods are also great platforms to re-home preloved baby things. (You will need to join the groups to post and view items.)
Tzu Chi is happy to accept preloved soft toys every second Sunday of the month at the various collection points of Tzu Chi Singapore.
Keep a lookout for collection drives before holiday seasons: pre-Christmas and pre-Chinese New Year see many efforts. For instance EcoBank is collecting from now till Feb 9th, 2018 to support local Singapore charities.
Shoes [Gently worn]
If your child has outgrown his/her black school shoes, head to Ten Feet Tall to buy new ones and leave the old pair behind. The donated pairs will be channelled to school-going kids from low income families in Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali and India. The Ten Feet Tall store at Holland Village collects throughout the year, and the team runs collection drives at school events now and then – but only black school shoes are accepted at present.
Dress for Success- Image mission runs Dress For Success in Singapore and accepts women’s shoes in all sizes. The collections are for women getting back into the workforce, so neutral colors, low heels and closed toe shoes please. Call to make an appointment for drop-off.
Soles4Souls is a global not-for-profit organization with a mission to pass the shoes on to those in need world over. In Singapore, collection drives are conducted by Million Lighting Singapore twice a year- usually in March/ April and December. Million Lighting says they collected 120,000 gently worn shoes under this program in 2017. Want to know when the next collection drive is? Drop an email on firstname.lastname@example.org to get added to their mailing list.
Alternately, check with your kid’s school if there is a collection drive on. We checked with few of the schools here in Singapore and were told that the collection does happen but not on an ongoing basis.
Tzu Chi is happy to accept preloved shoes in wearable condition every second Sunday of the month at the various collection points of Tzu Chi Singapore
Gadgets such as desktop computers, laptops, household appliances, healthcare items can be used by charities and low-income families that cannot afford purchases. Run a search on Pass it on – an initiative by Central Singapore CDC to match low income families with donors- to see if it matches any request placed in the system. Call +65 85119160 from Mondays to Fridays between 9am to 5pm.Alternately, you can contact H.O.M.E. and arrange to drop off appliances that they need.
Park $2 Project, an active Facebook Group is another great place to find out if local or overseas charities need what you have to offer. Members announce and run donation drives on a need basis.
For ‘anything with an electrical cord’ which is not working anymore, it must be disposed off properly. Check this list on the NEA website where industry leaders like Starhub, Singtel, Panasonic, Dell, IKEA and other have taken the initiative to assist in e-waste recycling. Better still, download MyEnv app to locate the recycling point closest to you. Please note that the recycling will depend on the item you need to recycle, so a closer look is needed.
Events based swaps:
We at Secondgsuru organises book swaps to help people plug into the circular economy. Follow us on our Facebook page for the next bookswap announcement. Books and beer too organise book swaps – once every 2 months over a weekend. Just follow their Facebook page for next event announcement.
All year round:
The National Library, as well as various library branches, have a dedicated bookcase for drop-offs. Use it to pass on your books – and also as an alternative to purchasing!
Dignity mama stall accepts donations of books which are subsequently sold in the Dignity mama stalls run by special needs adults along with their parents. Click here to check the drop off locations islandwide. [P.S-You can buy online or at the stalls]
To re-home your furniture, post on social networks such as condo notice boards, or Facebook groups (East Coast Preloved Sales, Free loved furniture are among the active groups). Second-hand seller Hock Siong is another option – you can either donate or sell gently used furniture to them – however, they will screen before accepting. Send an email with a picture of the item on email@example.com, along with your price expectation (if any).
For True-blue donation, register your item on Pass it on– an initiative by Central Singapore CDC to match low-income families with donors. Check the website or call +65 85119160 from Mondays to Fridays between 9 am to 5 pm.
Park $2 Project, an active Facebook Group is another great place to find out if local charities need what you have to offer.
Contact H.O.M.E. to check what food supplies they need (their needs vary depending on the migrants workers at the institution] and arrange to drop off at a convenient time. (They also accept toiletries.)
The following institutions, social media groups accept almost everything albeit in good condition. A good rule of thumb is “Don’t donate, if you wouldn’t use it”
-EcoBank 2018- An annual initiative by City Development Ltd and EcoBusiness, it let’s you donate preloved toys, clothes, books and accessories at any one of these locations. The collection drive is on till Feb 9th 2018. The donations will be sorted, curated and sold at the EcoBank bazaar on March 4th at City Square Mall.
-Tzu Chi- Drop off preloved clothes, electrical appliances, school bags, leather, belts, shoes, soft toys every second Sunday of the month at the various collection points of Tzu Chi Singapore.
–MINDS – Minds accepts most used items that are in usable, good condition – such as clothes, bags, books, small furniture, household items, toys and more. For more info, contact Ms Linda Yusop (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Tel: 8180 2095.
– Singapore Really Really Free Market (SRRFM) – The Singapore chapter of the Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) movement has an active life in Singapore. They create temporary markets – visit their Facebook page for details of the next market day – where you can leave behind anything you no longer need. And of course, you can pick up for free anything that catches your fancy!
– Salvation Army – They accept most used items too. Check the list of drop off locations island-wise here. But be aware they get more than they can use, so a vast number of items are ultimately shipped out of Singapore.
-Social Media Forums are another place you can find takers for your preloved goodies -you need to be a member
Freecycle groups: There are 2 we came across on Facebook. Both seemed to have active members who are transacting Freecycle.SG and iamfreecycle. We have used iamfreecycle seamlessly. The other group should be good too.
-Finally, keep a lookout on Secondsguru Calendar to stay updated on collection drives.
If you have items you can’t salvage or donate (eg bulky items), then refer to this guideline from NEA(National Environment Agency) on how best to dispose of them of.
-Anuja & Lara