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Donating Clothes: The Dos and Don’ts

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We all have a pile of clothes somewhere in our closet that we know we’ll never wear again. Why let those clothes go to waste when they could be useful to someone else? Donating the old clothing you never wear is a great way to get back to your wardrobe basics while helping those who need some assistance. We’ll take you through some of the dos and don’ts of donating clothing so that you can feel like you’re doing the right thing by giving back.

Do: Ensure the Clothes Are in Good Condition

Make sure you inspect every piece of clothing that you’ll donate. Just because you’re donating them doesn’t mean they can be in bad shape. The better the condition of the clothing, the longer they will be able to help someone who needs those clothes.

Don’t: Donate Things That Belong in the Trash

Try to avoid donating ripped or overly worn-out clothing. Clothes that have large holes in them, fabric that’s becoming threadbare, and clothes that have large stains on them won’t do anyone any good. If you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it, it’s probably not good enough to donate to someone who really needs functional clothing.

Do: Donate the Items People Need Most

One of the most important dos of donating clothing is to donate items that are in high demand. For example, socks and undergarments are some of the most needed items in homeless shelters. Warm clothing is also in high demand leading up to and during the winter.

Don’t: Donate Certain Used Articles

The important thing to remember about donating items such as socks and undergarments is that these items must be entirely unused. Socks and underwear, specifically, need to be brand-new in their packaging to be useful. Consider picking up extras next time you notice there’s a sale going on so that you can donate what you don’t need to keep for yourself.

Do: Search for Specialized Donation Centers

To make the biggest impact possible, search for specialized organizations that help specific groups of people. You can donate to the Purple Heart Pickup to support veterans, for example. Some charities focus on professional clothing to help people get jobs, and others might be for children’s clothing specifically.

Don’t: Donate Something You Wouldn’t Gift

A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t gift an item to a close friend, you probably shouldn’t donate it. This mostly refers to the condition of the item, not necessarily the style or fit. If you won’t wear it based on its condition and wouldn’t give it to someone else you know, it’s probably not going to do anyone any good, even if you donate it.

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