Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to clean out your home? Perhaps to look into ways to start giving back? By donating any gently used household or clothing items, you could tackle both of those resolutions with one fell swoop. With a simple purge of your home and making targeted donations, you can make a difference in the lives of military families, veterans, and countless others in need. You’ll join the other 95% of Americans who are involved in charitable giving in some way, help keep those textiles or other household items out of the landfills, and make more room in your own house. What’s not to love about household and clothing donations? Let’s talk more about how your clothing donations make a difference and some of the benefits of doing so.
What are the Benefits of Clothes Donations?
One of the primary benefits for you is that you make more space in your home or apartment. Cleaning out can feel very cleansing and freeing — and if you’re planning on moving soon, every clean out counts! Plus, with a little extra space, you may be able to reorganize and utilize your space even better than before.
Help Others in Need
Around 80% of donated clothing in the United States is repurposed as funding or donations to those who need them by charitable organizations. Whether you choose to donate to military families or others in need, you’re making a difference in someone’s life. Some household items or clothing are sold in order to raise revenue for organizations that help military families, veterans, or others who just need a helping hand; other donations simply go straight to families or individuals who might need a winter coat or children’s clothes, for example.
Save the Planet
Individually, we throw out over 80 pounds of textile waste annually. We only recycle or donate around 15% of used clothing and throw the rest into landfills (over 10 million tons a year), even though almost 100% of textiles that end up in the landfills could be recycled and repurposed. By focusing on donating your clothes, you could help reduce your waste.
What Should I Keep in Mind While Donating?
Remember that the clothes you donate will be worn by others, so be mindful about what you’re donating. Anything that’s shrunken, stretched out, stained, ripped or torn should be eliminated. If buttons are missing or zippers don’t work, see if you can replace them before donating.
Certain items, such as winter coats or boots and children’s clothes seem to always be in need. Even in the summer, thrifty families on a budget might be keeping an eye out for discounted winter items. Some organizations (such as those that support military families or underserved families) might put out calls for certain items as well, so it’s worth checking out their website or headquarters to see if they’re looking for anything in particular.
Where Can I Donate Clothes or Household Items?
There are plenty of charitable organizations who will take clothing donations. Do some research and see what’s near you. Some may resell your clothes to raise money for their cause, so if that’s not something you want, you should know that ahead of time before donating.
Some organizations may also have drop-off locations or allow you to schedule pick-ups, for further convenience. Again, see if they have a list of what items they’re looking for — and items that they don’t accept. You don’t want to have to bring a whole bag of items home with you after having done all that cleaning out!
Some retailers are also offering the option to send gently used clothing back in the bags that they ship your new clothes in, and they’ll donate those items to a cause of their choice. In with the new, out with the old!
Don’t throw any gently used clothes in the trash. Find out how you can give them a second life with someone who may really need them and know that you’re making a difference to someone.