End-of-Semester Clothing & Furniture Collection

Moving out of the dorms can be a stressful experience for students, as well as a strain on campus resources; especially as students leave unwanted belongings behind or load dumpsters beyond their capacity. As an alternative to students throwing out unwanted belongings, an end-of-the semester clothing and furniture collection could help alleviate stress for both parties while doing some good for the environment and community.


Prep: Call for volunteers three weeks before the end of the semester to help canvas or work a table in or around nine campus dorms.

Event: Two days at the end of each semester.

With enough volunteers, items can be sorted at time of donation. Items that are gently used or in good condition can be donated to a local charity, Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Heavily used or worn out items can then be appropriately recycled. This could be extended to include unused food items, such as canned food, or even plastics (such as bottles, etc.). However, starting small is probably the key to success with this project, therefore additional accepted items could be added to a list for future events. This list could be included in an information packet for in-coming Freshmen and/or students that live on campus, or at orientation, and then posted permanently in dorms as a reminder.

Cost: The University has vehicles for employees to rent, such as 15 passenger vans, however the costs were not listed. For an event of this nature, it might be preferable to rent a U-Haul for a day (approximately $100), or partner with a local charity that has a truck available for pick-ups.


4 thoughts on “End-of-Semester Clothing & Furniture Collection

  1. I love the idea of providing a platform to help students get rid of their old things without being wasteful….but it would be cool and beneficial to us all to provide those items to UIC students in some kind of on-campus thrift store/flea market type of thing. We could cover the logistics of the idea…but i think it would be really nice for students to have special access to gently used items, and we could cut back on the amount of stuff students have to buy when coming to campus.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In addition to furniture and clothing, school supplies can be collected for next semester’s incoming students. When students get ready to go back to school they need to have some of the necessary materials, which add up. Some students may not be able to afford the materials they need such as pens/pencils, post-its, paper, index cards, folders/notebooks, etc. A lot of students living on campus may have extra supplies that they have never used. Or even commuter students would have extras that they could donate at the end of the year/semester.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great idea. From my experience dorming last year, I do recall a lot of usable furniture lying outside the dorms on move-out day. I agree that this is waste but for some people who are from out-of-state can’t take or store everything we have. If an event like this existed I believe that it would have been successful and would have promoted recycling. I also like the fact that this proposal included donating to charity along with preventing waste and remaining sustainable. Your research and planning for the event like costs of moving vehicles and general timeline conveys that the proposal was well thought out. In conclusion, I find this event to be very doable and would promote sustainability on campus.


  4. A project slightly similar to this just happened last week and it was called the great stuff exchange. Maybe this project could work in conjunction with them and collect unwanted items that could then be used for future students in the upcoming years. The Great Stuff Exchange stores their supplies somewhere in the meantime up to when the event occurs on campus, but maybe they could also use their transportation vehicles for donating larger unwanted items that cannot be exchanged. Trash is another’s mans treasure!


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