If you're anything like me, every spring you start to look at all the new outfits in the stores and on the racks and all you want to do is shop. Of course, in order to do that when you have limited space like me, you also have to make room.
So every spring, there is a massive purge and at least three bags go off to Goodwill. I feel good about myself, help others, and make room in my closet. It's a big win all around!
But donating clothing isn't about taking all your old rags, stuffing them in a bag, and leaving them outside Goodwill before they open in the morning. There is a process and a way to donate that makes things a bit easier for all involved.
Here are some tips:
Step 1: Gather all the clothing together, wash it, fold it nicely, and organize it to the best of your ability. If you donate just as a new season starts (like now), you will be helping the most. Donating in season means the secondhand shops and other charities will be able to distribute or sell the clothes faster and not need to store them.
Step 2: Here are some good paces to donate who will also pick the clothing up:
They will pick up clothing, shoes, and household items from most locations in the United States. If you don't have a lot of items, you may want to pool your clothing with those of friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Step 3: Be creative with donation ideas. The Salvation Army and Goodwill also have drop-offs, but you can check with schools, daycare centers, and churches as well. You can even donate individually to homeless people.
Step 4: Don't forget to donate shoes, too. Soles4Souls is a nonprofit agency that collects shoes for a good cause. You may cry to part with the shoes you loved, but it will make things easier to know they're going to a better place.
Step 5: For tax purposes, keep a list of the clothing you donate. Donation centers will often give you a tax receipt, but if you mail your clothing or shoe donation to a charity, also send a self-addressed, stamped envelope so they can send you a receipt. Shipping costs are tax deductible as well.
Do you donate clothing in the spring?
Image via A. Blight/Flickr