Thinking about moving? Or are you on a cleaning purge, where everything must go? If you’re staring aghast at your overfull closets or running out of space to put new clothes, it might be time to start thinking about where all that stuff should go. Instead of simply throwing it out, however, have you considered charitable clothing donations? Some charitable organizations take donations of items — clothing, household goods, books, etc., — that are still in good condition and it can be a great way to both empty out your own closets and give back at the same time. There are also many different organizations that ask for or accept clothes donations that cover a wide range of causes — from support of military families to veterans to those who are simply in need, regardless of whether they’re affiliated with a larger group.
What Can I Donate?
Clothing, footwear, household goods, electronics, and books are common items that many charitable organizations collect. Indeed, around 80% of donated clothing in the United States gets used by charitable organizations across the country and it serves a twofold purpose. Some is donated to the needy, while other donations are used for funding in secondhand stores or other outposts that the organization may run.
Textiles, like linens, towels, and sheets can also be donated, but many organizations are a bit choosier on what they may accept. Check with your local organization to find out if they accept these before actually making the donation.
There are some items that are always in high demand, such as winter coats and boots, other cold weather items, maternity clothes, and plus sized clothing.
What Should I Know About Charitable Clothing Donations?
Find out if the organization you’re donating to is tax exempt, per the IRS. If so, they’ll be designated as a 501(c)(3), and you can write that off on your taxes. Some items, like men’s overcoats or suits can be worth as much as $60 for a tax write off.
If you’re more interested in your clothing going to those in need, rather than being used as funding, you’ll want to target organizations that lean more heavily on that side of things.
You should also check and see what items are in demand at that organization. Some may have a specific call for certain pieces of clothing or shoes, while others may take anything and everything.
You want to make sure that the clothes you’re donating are gently used. They should be laundered and folded before donation — not thrown into a bag, wrinkled. Stains, holes, fraying, or missing zippers or buttons are unacceptable. The same goes for clothes that are too stretched out or shrunken.
Charitable clothing donations also keep your clothes out of the landfills — and given that we throw out over 80 pounds of textiles per person, every year, donating instead of tossing can make a huge environmental difference.
How Can I Find Out If an Organization Near Me Accepts Charitable Clothing Donations?
Many charitable organizations have websites with pertinent information. You can see whether they have a drop-off location or if they run drives where they come collect items. In some cases for a larger donation, they may be able to come pick the items up, so you don’t have to get them there.
If you can’t find information online, try calling the organization and seeing what information you can get there. Friends or family may also be able to refer you to organizations that accept charitable clothing donations. Schools and community centers may also sponsor drives that cater towards these types of donations as well, so be on the lookout for those.
Make a difference when you clean out your closets this time. Your gently used clothing could be a serious godsend to someone in need and it doesn’t take much time to research places that are accepting donations. Give back and feel good.