From CorningWare to Pyrex or grandma’s old mixer that made the most delicious cookies ever – what holds more nostalgia than classic cookware? The shelves at your local Goodwill are full of pieces that’ll let you whip up delicious deserts and other excellent eats! You’re bound to find a pot or pan that brings back great memories of meals gone by. And if you need a little help thinking up what to cook, you can always grab a cookbook, too!
What gets donated to your local Goodwill? Anything and everything! While shopping, you might find something you didn’t know existed – a real peek into the past you can hold in your hands. Bringing home a vintage rotary telephone, long-lost CD or 70s leisure suit is a great way to reminisce or show your kids or grandkids how life used to be.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
To accommodate donors from outlying communities, we offer our Community Donation Drives. Coordinated with churches, service organizations and many helpful volunteers, we provide Goodwill trailers to collect donations. These collection drives are convenient and help small communities donate and recycle used household goods, while helping support Goodwill’s mission.
Check our Event Calendar to see if we will be visiting a location near you!
Declutter, Donate and Shop at Goodwill to Give a Fresh Start to Someone in Your Community – By Lorie Marrero
Spring is a time to refresh and renew. With the change in seasons, why not make some changes around the house by decluttering your basement, attic, garage or closet?
When you’re organizing, it can sometimes be difficult to let go and get rid of the things you’ve been holding onto. Here are five tips to make it easier to say goodbye to some of your stuff.
- Make room for new things by clearing out the old.
You can’t allow anything new and useful and beautiful to come into your life if you don’t have room for it. So, if your closet is stuffed full of clothes that you don’t wear, or you can’t even see, then you can’t make room for anything new and gorgeous and fun to come into your wardrobe. You have to get rid of the stagnant stuff: Have a flow in and out.
- Memories of your possessions may no longer be serving you well.
Some of your possessions have memories associated with them, but perhaps they only remind you of things that are better left in the past. Maybe you have items belonging to your ex-partner that were left behind after a breakup or divorce. It can be very therapeutic to get rid of these items. Maybe you are hanging on to paperwork from an old job that you didn’t like. You may also have pleasant memories of a loved one who passed away and you want to honor that person. But what you don’t want is their belongings dominating your space, preventing you from moving on to a new chapter in your life. Whatever you keep, make sure the memories are serving you in the right way.
- Don’t be a slave to possessions that take time and energy to maintain.
You might want to get rid of things that eat up your time. How much are you dusting and polishing these items? Replacing batteries and parts? Does any of your stuff require care when you go out of town? Time can be a factor to help you decide whether to get rid of something.
- Fewer possessions simplify your choices and decision making.
Fewer choices mean easier decisions. So if you’re going to select a pair of shoes, it’s much easier to choose if your collection is smaller. It takes a lot more time to make that decision every morning if you have dozens of pairs. You want your possessions to represent who you are and who you want to be. You want your environment to support your goals moving forward. So if you’re debating about whether to keep certain things, and they’re not meeting those criteria, you should probably let them go.
- “Perfectly useful” possessions may not be perfectly useful to YOU, today.
This is why I love donating my clothing and household goods to Goodwill. Because I know that, not only is the person purchasing that item going to enjoy it, but the revenue is going directly to create opportunities for someone in my community — my own neighbors. Goodwill provides job placement and training services for people facing challenges to finding employment. And that’s a compelling reason to let go of things that are not useful to me anymore, because I know they’re going to a good home and they’re going to do good in the world.
As you reorganize your closets and refresh your wardrobe this spring, give people in your local community a fresh start by shopping at and donating to Goodwill.
Lorie Marrero is a home and lifestyle expert and media personality. She is the bestselling author of The Clutter Diet and The Home Office Handbook. She has served as a spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International, and for other companies, including Microsoft, Staples, Rubbermaid, ClosetMaid, Brother and Swingline.