Wardrobe Cleaning: How to Keep, Recycle, and Donate
So in the last post, we shared the different charities that you could send your clothing donations. Now we’re going to look at what clothes you should be giving away and which specific items should be directed at certain charities.
Before we even go into that, we need to figure out what exactly should be taken out of the closet.
Deciding What to Keep and What to Give Away
This should be simple, right? Just get rid of the pieces you don’t like anymore, or are no longer your style. But what if you like everything that you own?
Letting your clothes go is more difficult for some, so let’s just start with the basics: what stays and what goes.
Loads of people across the web have shared their hacks on wardrobe cleaning. Some have done the hanger trick, having their hangers facing one way at the beginning of the year and turning them as they wear the items throughout the months. Any clothes on hangers that haven’t been flipped are the items you send to goodwill. Being December and all, this hack’s a little late for us. Plus, items like formalwear or winterwear might not be used within the year but will be needed in the future.
Clothes you haven’t worn in the last six months
Let’s put winter clothes and formal items aside for a moment and focus on daily clothes. Take a good look at each piece and ask yourself, “Have I worn this in the last six months?” If it’s a yes, keep it. If it’s a no, let it go. The likelihood you will wear those pieces anytime soon are slim to none.
Clothes that are too small
Other clothes that some of us are guilty of hoarding are clothes that don’t fit anymore. People hold on to those tiny jeans in hopes that one day, they’ll fit into them again.
There are a couple problems with this seemingly harmless habit. One, you’re creating clutter, filling up unnecessary space in your closet and life. Two, it adds onto body image issues. The best thing you can do for yourself is buy clothes that fit, and get rid of those that don’t fit. And by donating those clothes that don’t fit, you’re changing the lives of vulnerable individuals and families.
Clothes that need fixing
For clothes that need repairs, either get them to a tailor, or donate them. If they’re missing a button or have a little hole at the seam, they’re still eligible for donation. However, clothes that are in bad condition should be directed to recycling centers.
The Goodwill Pile
Now that you’ve figured out what you’re giving away, it’s time to divide this pile into subcategories. You might assume that all old clothes can be donated all in one place, but you really should be diving the pile into three smaller ones.
What to Recycle/Upcycle
These are clothes that have been completely worn out, have holes, or are beyond repair. If you’re crafty, you can turn these into an upcycling project. If not, these items should be donated to recycling centers since they’re deemed unusable. H&M accepts clothes of all conditions, even damaged ones as they are recycled. Additionally, the Tzu Chi Foundation has a recycling center in QC that accepts all recyclables, from clothes to cardboard boxes and glass bottles.
Other than those nonwearable clothes, old items that should be recycled and NOT donated include swimsuits and underwear. Socks also don’t get a second life, so leave old socks in this pile.
What to Donate to Charity
The wearable factor is not the only thing to consider for clothes in this pile. It’s also a matter of how functional the items are, especially when you’re donating clothes to a youth center or emergency response center. Gently used wardrobe basics, outerwear, sneakers, rainboots and hats are great donations. Anything else, like heels and clubwear are better off as hand-me-downs for family members or thrift store donations.
What if there’s a tiny hole in a couple of your shirts? Little rips at the seam can still be reused. But remember damaged goods should be recycled.
What to Donate to a Thrift Store
Got clubbing outfits or occasion wear that you want to give away? Disaster relief centers and religious charities don’t have much use for that sexy bodycon you’ve retired. Anything not functional are best redistributed to thrift stores, like the one operated by Goodwill Industries of the Philippines which directs profits into training and work placement for PWDs.
Other options you have are a garage sale in your village or a clothing swap with your friends. When in doubt, you can also donate these items to H&M, who will divide the clothes up among nonprofits and thrift stores as they see fit.
That’s all there is to it. So start cleaning out that wardrobe!