If you've upgraded your luggage recently or simply have more of it around than you need, donate those spare bags to someone who can use them. Many charities and organizations accept donated luggage and can put it to good use, but make sure the luggage is clean and in good condition first -- an old, beat up, musty bag is not useful to any organization.
Assess the condition of the used luggage you plan to donate. If it is in gently used or repairable condition, donate it. If it is beyond repair or unable to be cleaned and deodorized, throw it out.
Double check your used luggage for personal items and remove them. Remove any luggage tags that are printed with personal information. Use an all-purpose cleaning product, along with a damp sponge, and thoroughly wipe down the used luggage inside and out. If there are tough stains, try scrubbing them with an old toothbrush.
Remove musty or stale odors from used luggage before you donate it. Open a new box of baking soda. Stand the box inside the luggage and zip it closed. Leave the luggage closed for about 24 hours. The baking soda should eliminate the odor.
Drop off your used luggage at a nonprofit organization that accepts assorted goods, such as a charity resale shop. Some of these organizations sell the items and use the proceeds to benefit less privileged people in your own community.
Call local women's shelters or your state's Department of Child Services. They will likely welcome your donation of used luggage. When women flee to shelters and when children are placed in foster care, they typically arrive with a few meager belongings in a garbage bag. A piece of luggage helps afford a bit of dignity in the midst of undignified situations. Ask for a receipt. You can deduct most donations from your income tax.
Leave each pocket unzipped after you check the luggage to make sure you haven't missed any. Test all the zippers to make sure they all work properly.
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, N.H. She has authored five books and hundreds of articles and short stories. Her work has appeared various publications, including "Parenting," "Writer’s Digest," "Vacations" and "Discovery Travel." She studied at the University of Maine and later pursued her writing studies through numerous classes and workshops.