Spring Cleaning 101: How to make the most of your in-kind donation

What better way to celebrate today's beautiful weather than by doing a little spring cleaning?!

Today we're busy cleaning out our closets and thought that if perhaps you were doing the same, we'd share some of our favorite secrets to make your 'donate' pile even more helpful.

In-kind donations are critical to the work we do, and you've provided our guests with the items they need most. Your support has been invaluable, and we truly couldn't meet the basic needs of our guests without your help.

But sometimes, we get donations that we can't use.

During the holidays last year, nearly 50% of the items we received were unusable because the clothing was soiled or full of holes. It took a lot of time (and in some instances face masks and rubber gloves) to sort through--taking valuable time away from our guests.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to make donating items in-kind a little bit easier for you, and most effective for our guests:


  • Contact our in-kind donation coordinator Jennifer Dean before donating items. 
  • Check our current wish list before donating items.
  • Always wash the clothes you're donating first. 
  • Only drop off donations during our regular business hours. We accept donations Monday through Friday, 6 am - 5 pm. We don't accept donations on the weekends.
  • Always fill out a donation form (found at the in-kind donation station in our garage) when dropping off items. If you're purchasing items from our Amazon wish list, please include a note with your name and contact information. This helps us keep better track of the items we're getting and gives us a way to say thank you!


If you've caught the cleaning bug too, please consider donating any items that are also on our wish list.

If they're not on our wish list though, they might be on the lists of our friends (check here at DonateSmart DC).

Together, we can make the most of your generous donations and improve the lives of homeless men and women throughout DC.