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

pic 1

Image via:

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

pic 2


Image via:

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

pic 3

Image via:

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

pic 4

Image via:

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

pic 5

Image via:

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.

The Story Behind the Stores – Sandy

Sandy started the Work Adjustment Training program at Goodwill of the Great Plains in Rapid City, SD in May 2016.  After her program (October 20, 2016), Sandy was hired by JC Penney Portrait Studio as a seasonal part time associate.  After the Christmas season January 2017), Sandy was hired as permanent part time associate, and was given the opportunity to learn the photography aspect of the Portrait Studio.  In March 2018, Sandy was given the position of Temporary Management, and a pay raise.  On August 26, 2018 Sandy was promoted to Permanent Manager of the Portrait Studio, and given another raise.

Sandy has always loved photography, and stated “I love what I do, I love the kids, and taking their pictures.  I like seeing the customer’s reactions when they see the pictures and capturing the character of the child.”

Sandy stated about her experience at Goodwill that she loved how they made you feel, and worked with you if you weren’t feeling up to par and building stamina and confidence.  Sandy stated that she also wanted to say that “Goodwill believes in helping you to grow, fixing whatever you needed to move forward toward economic independence.”

Outlet Center New Hours

We are excited to announce that the Goodwill Outlet Center will be open Saturdays from 10am to 3pm starting October 6, 2018!

The Goodwill Outlet Center is located at 3100 W. 4th St., Sioux City, IA next to our retail store. We invite the community to come out and experience the thrill of the hunt. You can expect to find deep discounts by buying items by the pound (with the exception of furniture, electronics and large items).

The outlet store allows Goodwill to give a second chance to items that do not sell in our stores. This helps Goodwill further decrease contribution to landfills and maximizes every donation. Goodwill makes every effort to recycle items that do not sell through our retail program.

Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – 10am to 6pm
Starting October, 6th Saturday Hours: 10am to 3pm

Bring Good Home

When you put an awesome find in your Goodwill® cart, you’re not just thrifting. You’re being a local hero.

Last year, more than 2 million people engaged in face-to-face services at Goodwill to help prepare for and gain a good job, build their financial assets and advance in their careers. More than 36 million people connected with Goodwill online to access education, training, mentoring, learning services, virtual career fairs and employment opportunities offered by Goodwill organizations. Together with our donors and shoppers, Goodwill helped more than 300,000 secure jobs and start their journeys to a brighter future.Collectively, more than 87 cents of every dollar spent in Goodwill stores is reinvested in communities to support job training programs, onsite and virtual skills training and provide community support services for job seekers — such as child care, financial education, free tax preparation, transportation, and career mentoring. Here’s how that happens:

  • People donate clothing, household items and more to local Goodwill nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and Canada.
  • Goodwill sells the donated items in more than 3,300 stores, providing the critical revenue that helps fuel our nonprofit mission that helps people find, earn and keep good jobs and create better futures for themselves and their families.
  • People who buy unique finds from Goodwill stores and online at use their items with pride. And, shopping at Goodwill gives their communities a reason to celebrate because purchases support Goodwill’s nonprofit mission of providing job training, education and more to people in local communities.
  • People build their skills and find employment, with help from Goodwill.

Give your community a reason to celebrate!