One of the suggestions we make in terms of managing your things when downsizing your property is to sort all belongings into three pile: what goes to the new home, what needs to be thrown away, and what needs to be given away.

Items for pile one and two can easily be identified. What you actually need and use goes into the first pile, and everything that can no longer be used by anyone else goes to trash.  Keep the first pile and lose the second.  Easy peasy.  But what do you do with the items that need to be given away?  Where and how do you dispose all the stuff?

Naturally,  you would want to start looking for other family members who would be interested to keep the family heirlooms.  You may also choose to sell through estate sale, private sale, garage sale, eBay, etc.  However, there will most likely be left-over items.  Here are some suggestions on what to do with your prized possessions:


1.  Quilt the old uniforms.  We understand that it’s hard to let go of these mementos, but uniforms (and other clothing items) do take up huge closet space. A quilt of old clothes also can be an opportunity to preserve memories.
2.  Decoupage your papers and photos.  Decoupage, from the French word decouper is a craft or art form that entails pasting cut-outs to an object and then covering them with several coats of varnish or lacquer.  Here’s a basic guideline on how you can decoupage anything.
3.  Create a collage.  You can also create a collage or scrapbook of your favorite photos or papers and other mementos.
4.  Have a digital copy of photos.  For those of you who can’t bear to get rid of any of the photographs, why not scan it or take a digital photo of each? You can organise the images into a CD or a photo-sharing website to share with friends or family, or burn the images into a DVD or CD.


If you want more people to enjoy your special mementos, why not donate them into a museum?
1.  The History Trust of South Australia can help you to bestow a legacy for all to enjoy.
  • South Australian Maritime Museum. They collect objects, documents, artworks, vessels and many other items with a connection to South Australia or perhaps have a strong personal story.
  • Migration Museum. The bulk of the Migration Museum collection is devoted to objects that record Cultural Diversity in South Australia. They accept items ranging from household items, passports and identity documents through to a collection of beautiful costumes.
  • National Motor Museum.  This museum has a vast collection of vintage, veteran and classic vehicles.   But the collection is about more than the vehicles; it is also about the people behind the vehicles. They are also interested in the owners, drivers and designers of vehicles as well as those who helped build and sell them.


2. The Australian War Memorial collects records, including unit war diaries and relics (material evidence of conflict) during the First World War. The collection contains items from colonial conflicts to the present day.  They accept donations of art, photographs, films, sound recordings, published and unpublished written records of war, and military heraldry and technology.
3.  The Cavalcade Collection tells the story of Australian history through fashion, using authentic gowns and accessories. They accept donations of authentic historic ladies gowns and accessories, men’s and children’s clothes, and household items. When a donation is received, the history of the original owner is recorded, and the gown is named after the original owner/wearer.


You can also donate to stuff to charity.  Here’s a list of charities from StyleCollective that will make excellent use of your unwanted items:


Lifeline accepts donations of clothing and other household goods either through their donation bins, or at one of their many drop off points throughout Australia. Visit the lifeline website for contact details.
Salvation Army
The Salvos have family stores throughout the country, and will happily make use of clothing and other goods that are in usable condition. To donate, simply drop your goods in to your nearest Salvos Family Store. Clothes are sold in Salvos stores, and are also given away for free to families in need. Call 13 16 40 for further details.
Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul Society)
Drop your goods into one of the many Vinnies collection bins around town, or directly to a Vinnies centre. Clothes are sold in Vinnies stores, and are also given away for free to families in need. Call 02 9560 8666 for further details.
The Smith Family
Contact The Smith Family on 1300 737 166 to arrange your donation. Clothes are sold in Smith Family stores, and are also given away for free to families in need.
Uplift Bras
Uplift, through Rotary Australia World Community Service collects your used bras (particularly sports bras, and larger sizes) to send to disadvantage women in pacific countries such as Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga.

New South Wales Charities

NSW Women’s Refuge
Donate clothing and useful items that may be of immediate use to a women’s refuge in your area. Call 02 9698 9777 for further information.
Animal Rights Rescue Group
Drop your goods into the Animal Rights Rescue Group Op Shop, or call 02 6622 1881 for further info. Funds made from the Op Shop are used to pay for food and vet bills for rescued animals. A very worthy cause! Call 02 6622 1881 for further information.
Learning Links
Donate your unwanted to clothing to Learning Links directly into donation bins (Sydney), or call 02 9534 1710 for further information. Proceeds assist children with learning difficulties and developmental delays. Call 02 9534 1710 for further information.

Queensland Charities

The Asthma Foundation
Donate clothing and other resalable goods directly into donation bins or directly to your nearest Asthma Foundation shop. Proceeds used to fund ongoing education and research programmes. Call 1800 645 130 for further information.

South Australian Charities

People Living with HIV/AIDS
To donate clothing and other household goods contact the centre on 08 8293 3700 to make arrangements. Proceeds assist the centre to provide services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Victorian Charities

Arthritis Victoria Inc
Donate clothing and other household goods to the Arthritis Victoria Op Shops. Call 03 8531 8039 for further information. Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to assist people living with musculoskeletal conditions.
Education Program for Infants and Children (EPIC)
Donate clothes and other household goods to an EPIC op shop. For further info contact EPIC on 03 9466 9600 or visit their website. Proceeds used to provide education and other services for children with disabilities (including Down Syndrome and Autism).
The Brotherhood of St Lawrence
Donations are accepted through collection bins or directly to a Brotherhood store (Melbourne). Proceeds fund community work, and provide low cost essential items to families in need. Call 03 9483 1183 for further information.
Vision Australia
Donate clothing directly to a Vision Australia Op Shop. Call 1800 331 00 or visit their website for locations.

Western Australian Charities

Belmont Clothes Library
Belmont Clothes Library collects clothing, shoes and accessories that are suitable attire for a job interview. This free service allows unemployed individuals to borrow the clothes (in the same way books are borrowed from a library). Call 08 9479 3777 for further information.
Good Sammy
Donate your clothing directly to a Good Sammy store or through one of their yellow donation bins. Proceeds are used to provide employment options for people with disabilities. Call 08 9463 0500 for further information.

People who care

Drop your clothing directly to People Who Care (48 James St, Guildford). Proceeds go towards helping the frail aged and people with disabilities to continue living independently for as long as possible.

Note: the list above is not exhaustive. If you want your organisation to be included on the list, or if your organisation is already on the list but changes have been made, please contact us.