Everyone in Boston knows the familiar scene. Heaps of unwanted furniture on the sidewalks. Bags of miscellaneous oddities bursting at the seams. Cars squeezing past the moving trucks clogging up the small North End streets. It’s the chaotic September 1st moving day.
With the North End’s small sidewalks and the end of feast season coinciding with this big date, it means unsightly garbage build-up for residents. It also means lots of reusable goods being sent to landfills or, even worse, left on the sidewalk where it will eventually wash down the drains and into the ocean.
The unfortunate fact is that many of the things carelessly tossed during moving season would be welcome donations to many charities around the Boston area. Plus, a lot of them will even schedule free pickups! Find below a list of organizations that will happily accept some of the most common items discarded during the moving frenzy.
FreeCycle is a grassroots organization kept running from the dedication of volunteers who want to help keep items out of landfills by providing a place to post free items that other people in your community can pickup. Anything can be posted here as long as it is legal and appropriate for any age. Sign up today and start searching for a new home for your unwanted items.
The mission of the Salvation Army is to fund the rehabilitation of adults suffering from drug abuse and other addictions. General donations accepted are furniture, books, appliances, clothing, and household goods. You can call your local Salvation Army to find out exactly what items they’re in need of before dropping them off or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK to organize a free pickup.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity ReStore serves the Greater Boston area by using funds made from reselling your gently used items to build housing for communities in need. You can drop items off at the West Roxbury location Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-4pm at 1580 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA. You can also call 617-327-1170 or email ReStore@habitatboston.org to schedule a free pickup for qualifying items. Items accepted are furniture and home decor.
This organization uses funds from their stores to support AIDS Action in partnership with Fenway Health with providing HIV prevention and wellness services. Donations needed include clothing, books, kitchenware, electronics, and most furniture as long as it has minimal wear. You can drop your donations off at a local store or request a free pickup here.
More Than Words
More Than Words serves youth who have been court-involved, homeless, in foster care, or out of school by empowering them with the opportunity to take charge of a business through their retail, pop-up, online, and wholesale bookselling businesses. The nonprofit accepts books and clothing. Donations can be dropped off at their Boston store located at 242 East Berkeley St, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA from Monday to Thursday from 10am-8pm, Friday to Saturday from 10am-9pm, and Sunday from 10am-6pm. If you have more than seven boxes of clothing and/or books, the organization will come to you for free.
Greater Boston Food Bank
If you’re moving far enough away that you can’t bring the food still in your pantry with you, consider donating it to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Generally, all sealed and unexpired non-perishable foods are accepted as well as unopened toiletries.
Fitness 4 Charity
If you have any unbroken fitness equipment that’s too big to go with you, Fitness 4 Charity accepts donations that are in turn given new life through foster homes, schools, and other places in need. To donate, simply fill out the donation form and wait to be contacted by someone in need.
Whether you’re moving in or out of the North End, avoid getting boxed in by checking out the local moving permit map. Hopefully, you’ve gotten your own permit already as permits issued for the North End between July 1- August 31 must be done in person. And if you’re moving here with a car, check out this handy guide for applying for a new resident permit and requesting notifications for if your car gets towed or ticketed.
If you have the option of postponing your move, consider taking a long weekend for Labor Day and escape the city altogether! Spend the September 1st craze lounging beachside and subscribe to our newsletter so you can read about North End moving day instead of living it.
Once you’ve settled into your new home, jump into getting involved with your new community by registering to vote, volunteering, or joining a community group. If you have any concerns regarding your new neighborhood, you can find contact and resource information here. And keep up with being eco-friendly by learning more about how to properly recycle, finding your trash schedule, and dropping your compost off in the bin located at the Nazzaro Center parking lot.
Welcome to the North End! Here’s to surviving the move!