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Where do I take my preloved items?

“Where can I take my items that I no longer want?!” I am often asked as I go through the process of helping people to declutter their belongings. I offer my clients the service of taking away their charity items – I like to donate them to the SPCA as that is a charity that I want to support. Even so, charity stores are getting more picky these days on what items they either want or are allowed to receive. Keep reading to find out where you can take a variety of items, including E waste, spectacles and even your bras!


Spca: They have op shops dotted all throughout New Zealand and will take your preloved items of which the donations will go to the abandoned and abused animals at the SPCA villages throughout the country. They also love to receive towels and blankets, old newspapers, food bowls, animal toys and more, which can be dropped off at one of their stores and then taken to the SPCA village. Dogs

Salvation Army: These guys are committed to helping families and individuals in need each year, in the community. They accept clothing, furniture, household goods, toys and books – they also offer a service where they will pick up larger unwanted items from your home, but they need to be in good nick! I have had clients tell me that their items have not been accepted due to their quality, so be mindful of this before picking up the phone. Check them out HERE.

Family in needMonte Cecilia Housing Trust: Are based in Auckland and offer a range of housing services that supports low income families to find affordable and appropriate housing. You have to drop off your preloved items to one of their two locations, but they will also pick up larger items from your home – I have found that what the Salvation Army won’t pick up, MONTE CECILIA will. Either way, your items support a great cause!




For those preloved clothing items that you paid good money for and would like to get something back for them, there are a number of recycle and designer boutiques that will sell your clothes on your behalf and offer you a percentage of the selling price. If you are in Auckland, check these guys out TATTY’S (I have found a few great finds here!)


beautiful young woman near rack with hangers

Is an international not-for-profit organisation that helps women to achieve economic independence. No only do they provide support and the right tools needed to achieve this, they also rely on women like us to donate any smart work clothing that we no longer love or want. We asked our participants that came to our recent “Work Your Wardrobe” workshop as part of National Organising Week to donate such an item, that we then donated to DRESS FOR SUCCESS here in Auckland.


THE UPLIFT BRAS project collects new and second hand bras and donate them to women in disadvantaged communities, where a bra is often unobtainable or unaffordable. They send bras to Fiji, PNG, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Bali, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley regions in Australia. They have a few drop off locations throughout New Zealand.


There are a couple of Lions Clubs in NZ that accept your unwanted spectacles. They have the necessary equipment required to test and clean them to then distribute them to those with poor eyesight in the Pacific Islands. Check them out HERE.



Electronic Waste is now New Zealand’s fastest growing waste stream and charity stores generally don’t accept these items. So where do you take them? EWASTE are based in Auckland and have scheduled days where you can take your electronic items to schools and churches to then be picked up and disposed of correctly. Some items will cost you to use this service, but other items are free depending on what they are. E-CYCLE offers a collection service for recycling e-waste and receive products into Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. They also charge a fee, which is stated on their website.

41237212 - recycle symbol.isolated on white background. vector illustration


Are an online email based community, where people who have unwanted items can easily find other people who want them, for free! Everything posted must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages. There are currently 41 freecycle groups throughout New Zealand. Check them out HERE.



Yet another item that charity shops don’t usually accept. The SEATSMART programme has pick up points in Auckland, Hamilton, Hastings and Nelson. The seats are dismantled by the Department of Corrections as part of their community work programmes and the various components recycled or repurposed.  Currently 92% of the seats are recycled and there is a $5 fee for dropping them off.


If you have a whole heap of ‘Mixed’ items that you longer want, there are two junk removal companies here in Auckland that will take away your ‘Junk’ and dispose of it correctly. They load it, clean up, and take it away for you and both companies offer a free onsite quote. This is a great service if you are tackling a big area such as your garage or are renovating/building. Check out O8OOJUNK2GO and JUNKRUN. 


Your local council has some very useful information on where to donate unwanted goods along with rubbish, recycling etc. Have a read of the Auckland Council’s website HERE which I found useful.

I would LOVE to hear your feedback, especially if you know of any other places where your preloved items can be reused or recycled!


  1. Rosemary Hepozden-Reply
    June 18, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Brilliant, Nat!!!

  2. Rosemary Hepozden-Reply
    June 19, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Another thought…. do the hospitals want toys? I know they don’t accept soft toys, but what about board games, and so on?
    Also, how about mentioning that local fish and chip shops could do with a few more magazines?
    And what about the prisons? I think they like books and magazines, don’t they?
    And what about Women’s Refuge? (Women flee in the night with their kids and without their clothes and belongings)
    And did you find a place for secondhand sports equipment?
    I believe that organisations like the Red Cross might like donations, and Rotary has a big book fair each year.
    And don’t forget habitat for Humanity!

    Come on, Natalie…. Don’t stop yet! Good old Google gives plenty of options if you type in “where to donate [whatever]”.

    • June 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Ha Ha….. Thank you Rosemary! I think I’ll be writing a novel!! Thanks for all of your tips, I’ll endeavor to do more research – I could do blog number 2! 🙂

  3. Rosemary Hepozden-Reply
    June 19, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Me again!
    Don’t forget you can donate wedding dresses to Angel Gowns NZ, who make “angel gowns” for stillborn babies and babies who die at a very early age. They’ve got a Facebook page to check out.

  4. Leanne Pomfrett-Reply
    June 21, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Hi Natalie, Just wondering where you would recommend to donate a lot of DVD’s of various genres. I live on the North Shore? Thanks Leanne

  5. Shirley Murphy-Reply
    June 22, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    There are also numerous church affiliations from all denominations looking out for preloved items – they work pretty much like the Salvation Army and are open to all. :o)

    • June 27, 2016 at 5:48 am

      Awesome Shirley! Thanks for that, I’ll keep my eye out and let others know 🙂

  6. November 23, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Variety will take donations of books, and have a very well organised ‘shed’ to take donations in Avondale.

    If you have second hand equestrian goods, or farming equipment, lifestyle block stuff, outdoor furniture, timber … we at Equestrian 4 Everyone in Whangaparaoa are an equine therapy charity, who have a range of requirements for our clients, their supporters and our horses, and there are Riding for the Disabled charities around the city that may be interested in some second hand goods too.

    • November 26, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the heads up, it’s really helpful to know where to take unwanted items. I will let my clients know in the future too!

  7. Carolyn Hamill-Reply
    February 15, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Resene will take old outdated coins on behalf of the Lions club and they are reminted ( I think?) to raise money for youth projects.

    I would love to know what people do with rags – I seem to have way too many and I”m not sure whether op shops need them. thanks!

    • March 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      That’s great to know re the coins! I’ll be passing that one on. The rags can be taken to the clothing bins that I see all over Auckland – I’m not sure where you are based but they are a great option for clothing items that are not good enough for charity or for rags. All the best!

  8. Maggie Hillock-Reply
    February 19, 2017 at 1:18 am

    I’m going through my books with a view to downsizing. What do I do with text books? They seem a bit specialised for op shops, and second hand book shops won’t take them. They’re probably out of date for uni bookshops. However it seems such a waste to put them out for recycling. Any thoughts please.

    • March 3, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Hi there, I’ve been looking into this for you and it looks like you might be able to take them to your local corrections department. You could also try the University Book Shop here in Auckland or Trade Me? Good luck!

    • Janet-Reply
      August 2, 2017 at 1:10 am

      Books in Homes distribute books to needy homes. They will also collect.

      • August 21, 2017 at 12:39 am

        Fantastic! Thanks for letting us know 🙂

  9. Ellen van Essen-Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Hi there,
    I have a couple of preloved ball gowns that I would love to donate. I had heard about an organisation that fitted out Auckland girls with ball gowns if they couldn’t afford a dress to wear. Does anyone know if it still exists – or anything similar? Would love them to go to a good home and not into the rag bag!

  10. Marc-Reply
    April 17, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Where do you find clothing bins in the Birkdale area – I have so very good quality 2nd hand clothing to donate

    • April 27, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      I’m not familiar with that area sorry – they are dotted around Auckland and I’ve had a look online and haven’t had much luck finding one near you. You could try your local charity store? There is an SPCA op shop in Birkenhead (check them out here: https://www.spcaauckland.org.nz/how-to-help/shop/op-shops/ ) and the proceeds go the the animals in need at the SPCA. I hope this helps!

  11. Matt Maihi-Reply
    November 25, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    This is a great article. I’m leaving the country in a hurry and am staring at seven year’s worth of junk/items…

    Do you have any specific advice for Hamilton? Other than leave it of course…

    • November 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm

      Hi there, I’m not familiar with Hamilton sorry! But try ‘Just Junk’- I use a similar company up here in Auckland who take your items to the correct place (ie: Electronics to E waste, charity items to charity etc). If you want to move on your items quickly and without a fuss, this is the way to go. Good luck!! 🙂

  12. Frances Bennett-Reply
    February 26, 2020 at 8:32 am

    My cousins elderly mother passed away recently and we are sorting through her things slowly. We have 1 unopened box and 1 opened box of incontenice pants and was wondering where we could send these as it seems a shame to dump them as surely there is a charity that would use them or someone collecting for an overseas organisation. Do you have any suggestions. Thanks.

    • March 6, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Hi there, my suggestion is to take them back to where you purchased them. I had a client who took her unopened ones back to the hospital and they accepted them. Good luck!

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