The end of the year brings a busy time at local thrift stores. Goodwill stores say they will see a surge in donations as people try to clean out unneeded items and get a tax donation before the end of the year.

With the thousands of donations they receive every year, Goodwill has some tips to bring the most value to your donations.

- To keep pairs of shoes together, tie them together using the laces, or rubber band them together.

- Rubber band or tape together boxes of games or puzzles.

- Bag up clothing and linens to separate from other items.

- Tape remotes to electronic devices. Tape a note to the electronic device indicating if it fully works.

- Box or bag like items together such as putting all the clothes together or all the dishes together in one container.

- For fragile items, please wrap them in paper and put them in a box and mark it “fragile.”

- For furniture that needs assembly put all fasteners in a plastic bag and attach it to the furniture.

- As part of the E-Cycle Washington program, Goodwill collects televisions, computer monitors, desktop computers and laptops free of charge. Items donated in good working condition will be thoroughly evaluated, and any existing data will be erased using certified technology tools. Items that can't be sold will be recycled in accordance with E-Cycle Washington's guidelines, which ensure that toxic materials stay out of our landfills.