What to Do with Old Luggage

If you’ve recently purchased shiny new luggage, you may be asking yourself what to do with your old, unwanted suitcase. Thankfully there are several things you can do with your old luggage. Whatever you do – don’t throw it away! We highly suggest donating.

what to do with old luggage

Best place to donate used luggage

Donating your luggage is our top suggestion, but who accepts luggage donations?

1. Foster Care Agencies – Our top suggestion is to search online for nearby foster care agencies in your area, give them your old luggage. Foster children move around a lot unfortunately, and typically use trash bags to carry their belongings. Changing from a trash bag to a suitcase can help improve the self-esteem of the children.

2. Homeless Shelters/Women’s Shelters – Another great cause is homeless/women’s shelters. Homeless people obviously need ways to transport their things and a nice, gently used suitcase with wheels would really do wonders for some folks.

3. Local Charities – Depending where you live, there may be certain local charities that would be thrilled to receive your old suitcase. Some examples are Vietnam Veterans of America, campus ministries (for volunteer travel), natural disaster relief, etc.

4. Non-profit Thrift Stores – Some thrift stores are for-profit which is why we suggest donating to places like Goodwill and The Salvation Army.

Tips for donating luggage

  • Clean your suitcase before donating
  • Make sure to empty out any personal items from all compartments
  • Place clothes or blankets you’d also like to donate, inside the suitcase

Can you recycle old suitcases?

Unfortunately there is no curbside city recycle program that will accept a suitcase in your recycle bin. Instead you can try to find creative ways to repurpose, or “upcycle” your old suitcase instead of letting it sit in a landfill. You could use an old suitcase as a toy-box for your kids. Some people have made some alterations and created a bed for their pet using an old suitcase.

Just do a search on Pinterest for “repurposed luggage” and you’ll see many cool ideas. Although, most of what you’ll find on Pinterest is more vintage suitcases, but it could still provide you with some great ideas. What we’re trying to say is the possibilities are endless!

Could a friend or family member use it?

Another option to consider is to go the hand-me-down route and pass your old luggage on to a friend or family member. Some people don’t travel often and may have way worse luggage than what you’re looking to get rid of. Post on social media or send some texts to see if anyone could use your old luggage. You never know, your downgrade could be another person’s upgrade.


It can be very exciting to get that new carry on or luggage set. In our opinion, donating your luggage is the best route. Of all the donation options, we suggest giving your luggage to a foster care agency. The easiest route (other than throwing it in the garbage) is to just drop it off at a thrift store. However, if you go the extra mile and pass your suitcase(s) on to a needy foster child, you can really change their world.