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Monday, June 4, 2018

When is the best time to donate your clothes?

If you’re wondering where you should donate your clothes, take a look at Charity Navigator’s Guide to Giving the Gift of Warmth or our post about where your clothing goes after you drop it off.

But beyond just figuring out where to give your clothing, considering when is also a question that many people face when attempting to go through their items during a spring cleaning. If you’re me, you’ve gone through your closet three times already this season -- there ain’t no party like a spring cleaning party, ‘cause a spring cleaning party happens all year round.

Image result for aint no party like a leslie knope party cause a leslie knope party

(My inner Leslie Knope seems to help with my cleaning habits, as well). 

One key thing to remember is that depending on where you live and what season you’re in, the clothes you donate are going to be put to more, or less, use. If you’re donating spring season clothing right before spring or fall start, then organizations will be able to give these clothes new homes sooner than, say, donating your parka in July.

Along the way of multiple massive apartment-cleanings a year, I’ve learned some key tips and tricks that are sure to help you decide, “Am I ready to get rid of these clothes yet?”

  1. The Hanger Technique: While not necessarily a Marie-Kondo-approved method for tidying up, the hanger technique is an excellent place to start when trying to let go of all of the clothes that are *so cute* but you’re not wearing. Put all of your clothes on hangers, and have the hangers face the “wrong way” (as in, with the open space of the hanger facing you). After you’ve worn the item, put the piece back the way you normally would, with the long end of the hanger facing you.
  2. Does it fit your wardrobe style, your lifestyle, or your size? While some of these are a bit more personal than others, consider whether or not your piece fits into what you wear on a regular basis -- are you more active and that floor length beach dress is just getting in the way? Our bodies also constantly change, and while that change may bring mixed feelings, consider wearing clothes that make you feel great about yourself.
  3. You haven’t work it in a year. My tip here is that if it’s at the bottom of your dresser at the end of the year, donate it! If I didn’t love the item enough to wear it once in a year, the likelihood that I’ll wear it the next year is very slim.
  4. If you had the option to buy the item again right now, would you? If the answer is no, then consider giving the item away. If you don’t love it, donate it!
  5. Buy one, lose one: For every new item you bring into your closet, try to donate another that is similar or in the same category that no longer brings you the same amount of confidence as the old one.

And just as a final tip, make sure you aren’t donating any wet, moldy, or contaminated items. If you’re getting rid of your clothing for those reasons, other people aren’t going to want to wear them either.

Written by: Sara Nason, Marketing Manager

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Luckynlove said...

A good reminder - thanks!

Unknown said...

Helpful tips given to keep in mind. Thank you

marywhammond said...

This doesn’t answer the question asked in the headline: when is the best time to donate clothes? Should we donate winter clothes when we clean out our closets in March? Donate summer clothes n September? How helpful would these donations be to organizations who will have to store the out-of-season donations for at least 6 months before there’s a market for them?

When most thrift stores in the U.S. closed down during the quarantine, many of us stuck at home had time on our hands to go through our wardrobes and cupboards, culling out extraneous stuff. Then suddenly, depending on which state you live in, your area began to open up businesses — including thrift shops! Hooray! I hear that Goodwill and other thrift shops were overwhelmed with all the stuff brought in during the first couple of weeks. Was this the best time to donate? O should we try to spread out our donations throughout the year?

These are the questions I’d like to see addressed.

Also Goodwill vs. Value Village (the two biggest thrift shop chains in WA State. Which is more ethical? Which uses its income to help the most people (othe4 than corporate profit)? My friends and I discuss this a lot. No definitive answers.

Unknown said...

Thank you, marywhammond, for asking! PLEASE donate season appropriate clothing only. We love that and can USE it! It's so sad when high quality items are donated out of season. Charities do not store items. They move down the line to a known donation organization, but likely then go immediately to a recycler or the landfill. So, your beautiful $200 Patagonia winter coat meant for a homeless teen, ends up shredded and used as carpet fiber! It breaks my heart. Please spread the word to as many people as possible. And while you're at it, please also let people know that poor people have pride too and will not put their kids in stained, torn, filthy clothing. You have no idea what I have seen and smelled!