Tips for Donating Clothes to Charity

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Tips for Donating Clothes to Charity

We all have clothes in our closets that we no longer like, need, or fit in. If you own such clothes, you can give them away to others. Your old outfits might become someone else’s favorite.

You can donate clothing to many charities or organizations. However, you need to make sure you go through the donation process correctly.

The following guidelines can help you donate clothes effectively to maximize your impact.

Identify Clothing to Donate

Go through your closet and find any clothes that are in good condition but you rarely wear. Organize your clothes into piles and sort them again to determine which items you should donate.

Consider including high-end items like a formal dress or suit. However, don’t include undergarments, no matter how cute your old ones are. You should also not donate any clothes that have holes or appear old. 

You can reuse or recycle any clothes you don’t think your choice of charity accepts or those that don’t seem suitable for reselling.

Empty Pockets

When you donate clothing, make sure to check your pockets. Make sure the clothes have no jewelry, loose change, or keys in the pockets. If you donate clothes with such items, you might not be able to get them back from donation centers.

Moreover, do not leave pins or staples in clothing unless they are part of the item. Clothing with sharp pins or staples could hurt donation center workers as they sort the clothes.

Ensure Clothes Are Clean

Make sure the clothes you’re donating are clean or, at the very least, fresh.  

Wash or dry-clean everything. Make sure the clothes have no stains on them before you donate them. Use fragrance-free laundry detergent and avoid fabric softener or scent enhancers just in case the clothes are going to someone who is allergic to perfume.

Additionally, you can press the clothes before you donate them so that whoever receives the clothes can use them immediately.

Donate to Legitimate Organizations

The charity you choose to donate your clothes to may include: 

  • Homeless shelters
  • Soup kitchens
  • Youth emergency shelters
  • Transitional living programs
  • Emergency response programs
  • Places of worship

Keep your clothes local unless you plan to mail them to a charity that only accepts online donations. Transporting the clothes will be easier that way. And whenever possible, donate to a charity that specifically asks for secondhand clothing.

Check Your Donation Center’s Rules

To ensure that your donation is successful, you must understand the charity’s specific distribution methods and schedule.  

Some donation centers require you to use hangers for your clothes. Others may prefer that you separate the clothing by season or size. To ensure you stay within the guidelines of the selected donation center, visit or call them before you drop off your donation.

When charities receive items they can’t distribute, many donated clothes get lost or end up unused. Donating effectively requires you to understand a charity’s methods and learn about its services.

Take Advantage of Tax Deductions

If you donate to charities, you may be able to deduct some of your taxable income from your taxes. For your donations to meet tax deductible criteria, you should do the following:

  • Itemize your clothing donation and estimate the average cost of each piece. Basically, you have to determine how much money you could have received if you had sold the clothing.
  • Make sure your chosen charity complies with IRS requirements for donation centers.
  • Ask the donation center for a written letter of acknowledgment each time you give to keep track of your tax-deductible donations.

Consult a government website for detailed information about tax deductions.

Giving your clothes a second life by donating them to a charitable organization can benefit many people. In addition to helping people, clearing out old clothes helps you keep your closet organized. Donations also contribute to a circular economy vision and protect the environment.

Contact us today to make a donation or for any inquiries regarding our foundation.


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