5 Ways to Tell It’s Time to Donate Your Clothes

If you’re in closet clean out mode, the tips below will help you determine what items should be donated once and for all

The holiday season usually means a few things: gathering with friends and family, shopping for everyone one your list, and possibly even cleaning out your closet for the upcoming new year. Even the most reasonable person can have trouble determining what to toss or keep. We all have those clothes we haven’t worn in forever, but we just can’t seem to get rid of them. I know I’ve been guilty of that quite a few times.

Below are a few tips to help you determine if it’s time to donate your clothes. The great news: the process is painless and doesn’t take a lot of time. And the even better news? You can donate your clothes and accessories to your local Goodwill®. Besides helping someone else update their wardrobe on a budget, last year Goodwill diverted almost 4 billion pounds of clothes and textiles from landfills, so you’ll also be helping the environment.

You Haven’t Worn It in More than Six Months

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Image via: https://allthingsamber.com/2018/02/20/declutter-series-my-closet/

If you’re leafing through your closet and say to yourself, “I totally forgot I had this!,” that probably means it’s time to toss the item. As a general rule, if you haven’t worn your clothes in six months or a year, then it’s time to let it go. When you generally forget your clothes, that means you may not love, want, or need them as much as you think you do. Or maybe they just don’t fit your new style. Either way, donate them to your local Goodwill so they can be a fashionable and affordable find for someone else.

It No Longer Fits

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Image via: https://poshmark.com/closet/thenotoriouskia

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many people keep clothes that just don’t fit. No judgement at all, because I’ve done the same thing! However, if you find yourself pulling and tugging at a dress when you’re wearing it or a shirt doesn’t fit you comfortably, it’s totally okay to add it to the donate pile. Clothes should look and feel absolutely amazing on you and if not? No shame in removing them from your closet.

You Don’t Have Anything to Wear It With

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Image via: https://collegecandy.com/2016/01/22/closet-clean-out-rules-guide-clothes-to-throw-away-how-to/

What if the garment fits and you like it, but you’ve never actually worn it because you don’t know how to style it? That’s yet another red flag that it’s time to say bye bye. It’s so important that before adding any new items to your closet, you have an idea of how you’ll style them. If you’re still puzzled about styling options for a tricky garment or trend, you’ve got yet another item to add to the donation pile. The great thing about packing up your clothes for Goodwill is that as you’re dropping off the pieces you no longer need, you can browse the racks for clothes you’ll love.

You Have a New Lifestyle

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Image via: https://allthingsamber.com/2018/02/20/declutter-series-my-closet/

A change in location or a job promotion can mean a major overhaul for your threads. If you’re going from a colder climate to warm weather, it’s safe to donate your heavier coats. Or if your new job requires a bit more professional gear, you can ditch a few of the casual pieces you wore to work in the past. Your closet should always be a reflection of your current, true self.

You Don’t Plan to Repair It

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Image via: https://www.hermoney.com/enjoy/fashion/quick-fixes-fashion-emergencies/

When an item is damaged beyond repair, it’s understandable to throw it away or use the scraps for a DIY project. But if something just needs a minor fix like a button replaced, shortened hem, or fixing a heel cap, that’s no big deal, right? However, if you haven’t made the repair in months, just say adios. That simple repair you never made might be a project someone else would happily take on.

A Forever Home and Family Found at Goodwill

At the age of 12, my Grandma who raised me died and I had no place to go. Seeing that I was headed for the Boys’ and Girls’ home, a kind lady that Grandma knew adopted me.  She was a cook at the Goodwill summer camp; hence I spent my first summer with her at camp.  I loved the experience and the people that worked there.  I met other children who had unique life situations and it was a very meaningful experience for me.

I attended camp each year after that as a counselor and would pop in to the Goodwill main offices after camp was over and do volunteer typing for them. I also began attending the Church of All Nations, operated by Goodwill, in the poor community known as “the South Side.” These folks were immigrants from all over; they spoke different languages, but all got along great together; it was an eye-opening experience for me as I grew up among them.

I did not live in that area but would take the bus every day after school to Goodwill and participate wherever I was needed. In the midst of that little community was the Goodwill store that served the clothing needs of these wonderful people; some worked in the store and some in the plant sorting clothes for sale. The rest all worked in packing houses. I was adopted into the community and accepted as one of the Goodwill family.

I married, had 5 children of my own, and left Iowa for ten years. Came back in 1971 and got a job working for a company that closed for two weeks at Christmas time.  I went to the Goodwill and said, “what can I do for you for two weeks?”  I started stuffing envelopes and performing odd jobs.  When it came time for me to go back to my job, I did not go.  Goodwill hired me, and I have been here ever since.  47 years!  And loving EVERY MOMENT of my time here.  I feel like this is my family and love everything Goodwill stands for.  To me, it was a GOD THING.