Tag Archives: wardrobe

Wardrobe Purge: Where to Donate?

Once you’ve selected the clothes you want to donate and cleaned and repaired them, you need to find out where to donate your clothes. It isn’t always just Goodwill that needs clothes, after all!

Caveat: Sometimes Your Donated Clothes Don’t Always Go to the Needy

Unfortunately, as I began researching this post, I discovered a couple of articles (over at ABCNews and ApartmentTherapy) that tell of a shadier side to the clothing-donation story–sometimes donated clothes don’t end up immediately clothing needy people in our neighborhoods, but instead are shipped elsewhere and SOLD for profit. (Check out CharityWatch.org to find out about charities like Planet Aid, which has been reselling its donated items instead of just “keeping them out of landfills”). Not exactly what I was intending when I thought of donating my clothes!

Solution: Donate to Vetted Charities–or Better Yet, Community Needs

So far, Dress for Success, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Vietnam Veterans of America are all good charities for clothing donation. Additionally, you can sell items through eBay and donate to American Red Cross through eBay’s GivingWorks program.

But if you REALLY want your clothing to alleviate an immediate need, donate directly to your local community, as this Moneycrashers article says. Helping out with local church or school clothing drives, donating to local thrift stores and community outreach centers, and most especially donating to homeless shelters and missions can really help! Also, ask around in your neighborhood and see if there’s a needy family who could use the sizes and types of clothes you have–you can just take the clothes directly to their house, no middleman required!


Though donating clothes to the needy has been a little overcomplicated (and corrupted with greed, unfortunately), there are still plenty of places who will take your used clothing and directly help someone else in need. Just make sure you vet the place first so that you know your donations are going where you intended!

Wardrobe Purge: Cleaning and Fixing the Clothes that Go

(Author’s Note: Sorry this second installment of the Wardrobe Purge series took so long–the Procrastinator Queen strikes again. :P)

Once you’ve determined which clothes you want to sell or donate, it’s time to get them clean and fix any small tears.

You might wonder why you should bother with this step, but if you take the time to clean and repair these clothes, you will be saving your thrift shop/consignment shop a lot of time and effort, and making the new owners happy, too. You may even get a better price for your garments if they are clean and in good repair!

Step 1: Mend Small Holes

Before you clean the garment or even try to remove any stains by hand, fix any small holes in the garment. (If you do not sew, look around in your area for a sewing center or fabric store which might be able to direct you to someone.) It’s important that you get holes repaired so that washing and stain removal do not tear them open further.

Step 2: Remove Stains

stainedshirt Tackle any stain, major or minor, before you try washing the garment. (For instance, this shirt at left is one of the ones I’m getting rid of–the giant dark stain under the arm comes from wearing too much anti-perspirant. Regular washing DEFINITELY doesn’t get rid of this–trust me, I’ve been trying!!)
shoutstainremover This stuff, called Shout Advanced Gel for Set-In Stains, is absolutely the best and easiest stuff I’ve ever used to get rid of stains. It has gotten out stuff that I thought the dryer had baked in long ago. If you have an especially tough stain, you can spray this in and wait up to a week to let it work its magic before you wash! (I don’t know how this behaves with dry-clean-only fabric–best to let the professionals handle those, I believe.)

Step 3: Wash/Dry-Clean

Now that you’ve repaired the garment and treated any stains, it’s time to wash or dry-clean it (as appropriate). Just think, it’ll be the last time you have to deal with these clothes if they’re a pain to clean!

Final Notes

After the garment is clean and dry, examine it again to make sure you got all the stains and holes taken care of, and tackle those if necessary before trying to sell or donate it.

If the holes turn out to be too big to mend, or if the repair is too obvious or fragile, do not try to sell the clothing–perhaps donate it to a rag shop or to someone who needs fabric for craft purposes. And if a stain is too stubborn to remove, don’t sell or donate it; you wouldn’t want to buy or get stained clothing, so why try to sell or give a badly stained item away?


Getting your sellable/donatable clothes in shape is one more step to getting them out of your house. It takes a good bit of effort, admittedly but it’s worth it if it finally motivates you to sell or give away these old items!

Wardrobe Purge: The Beginning

So I started cleaning out my wardrobe over the last couple of weeks…

And if you’re thinking this is the “before” picture, you’d be wrong. This is actually the “after” picture, with the wardrobe reduced by about half. Almost none of it fits in the dresser drawers (though, admittedly, this is the same dresser I used in childhood, so…it’s probably not really made for “adult-sized” clothes).

THESE are all the clothes I’m either selling, donating, or trashing. (I think about 60% of the clothes I have in my house fall into this category, lol!)

What I’ve Found Out So Far

  • I’ve kept a LOT of clothes I really didn’t need to.
  • And when I say “a lot,” I mean A LOT.
  • I kept some items hoping I would like them more as I wore them. …What? LOL
  • I kept other items hoping I would shrink back into them. Yeah…about that.
  • Some of my clothes have more memories than wears left in them.
  • My wardrobe has not really changed much in the last ten years. There have been additions here and there, but nothing deleted, and nothing vastly different from the stuff I already owned.

What Happens Now?

So now that I’ve sorted through quite a bit of my clothes, what’s next? I thought the project would be done and over with–I’d take bags upon bags of clothes to Goodwill, and that would be the end of it. But nooooo.

There’s Work Yet Left to Do! D:

  1. I have to find all the hidden caches of clothes throughout every room–there are quite a lot of these, as I moved home several times from college and had to find new places to stuff all the items that apparently replicated like bunnies in my dorm rooms
  2. I have to sort through my “keepable” clothes every week now, to see if there are any more items that could be put out (I’ve already found two shirts that I meant to put in the “donate” bags, LOL)
  3. I have to clean several of the “donate-able” shirts, since they have heavy anti-perspirant stains on them (which I wrote about a few weeks ago)

In short, I’ve got a lot of the “easy” work done (bagging up some of the clothes I no longer wear), but the harder work of making things donate-able, even as I winnow down the number of clothes I want to keep, is still ongoing.

Stay Tuned…

This fight against my wardrobe is not nearly over, and is only a small part of my long siege against the Clutter Dragon in my house (whom I wrote about last fall!). In my next update, I hope to have a good bit of these problems resolved!