‘Like treasure hunting’: Big warehouse in Maryland that offers DIYers cheap household goods gets hefty federal grant

Huge warehouse in Prince George's Co. offers cheap household items for DIYers

Tucked away near some railroad tracks between Hyattsville and Bladensburg in Maryland is a giant reuse warehouse called Community Forklift, filled with household goods, where budget conscious “do-it-yourselfers” go to save a few bucks on whatever they need.

During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a spike in home renovations which helped Community Forklift, a nonprofit reuse center, grow in popularity. Now, a federal grant secured by Rep. Glenn Ivey for $750,000 will help this organization expand what they do.

“You will not find most of the stuff in a big box store,” said Trey Davis, the executive director of Community Forklift. “If you like treasure hunting, there’s always something cool, different, vintage and interesting. We have very inexpensive common everyday items. We also have some cool antique light fixtures. We get material from people’s estates as well. We have household goods, plates, dishware, furniture and that sort of thing as well.”

They also get lumber, appliances and other building materials from area builders who donate it as surplus. The federal grant, the biggest one this operation has ever received, will help expand the offerings and staff here.

“That’s going to go towards supporting our full-time truck crews, our crews out there picking up material. But also job training and deconstruction, which is kind of the first step. If you can deconstruct a building, then those are some of the skills that you can use in going into construction trades,” said Davis. “We also hire a lot of returning citizens to work here. So some of those funds will go towards paying those salaries.”

A new electric vehicle will help them make more deliveries to those who need something big, but might not be able to take it home from the warehouse themselves.

items in warehouse
After COVID there was a spike in home renovations which helped Community Forklift. (WTOP/John Domen)
Community Forklift gets lumber, appliances and other building materials as donations. (WTOP/John Domen)
items in warehouse
The federal grant, the biggest one this operation has ever received, will help expand the offerings and staff here. (WTOP/John Domen)
items in warehouse
items in warehouse

“Last year, we gave away over $200,000 worth of material to local residents in need. And that can be anything from appliances, hardware, roofing supplies, etc.,” said Davis. “So they can repair their homes and stay in them.”

If you have some older furniture or kitchen cabinets you just don’t like anymore, this is the place to donate. A full set of cabinets that might run you $20-$30,000 brand new can be found for a fraction of that price here.

Davis said the organization serves the entire D.C. area, including Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.

“We’ll be happy to come and do pickups if they have materials to donate,” Davis said. “We’re a great place for them to come and shop.”

You can also shop online.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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