Here’s Where to Donate Clothes Before You Move

As your move-in day draws near, have you thought about where to donate your old clothes? Up until this moment, you’ve probably never realized just how much stuff you have – especially in that closet of yours.

Cleaning out your closet before you move out will lift a huge weight off your shoulders. Clothes you no longer need or no longer have a place for will free up extra space, allowing you to pack with ease. Don’t want all those clothes to go to waste? Donate them! Whether you’re the kind of person who purposefully hangs on to every Halloween costume you’ve ever owned, or simply haven’t gotten around to purging in a couple years, this guide will show you how and where to donate clothes of all kinds before moving.

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Let's dive into how and where to donate clothes.

1. Prepare for power hour

Before you figure out where to donate clothes, you need to determine which articles of clothing you will be keeping. Cleaning out your closet is a marathon, not a sprint, so you’ll need to prepare. Unless you mark it on your calendar and make it a priority, it will never get done. So make sure you pick a day to unplug and set aside a few hours to focus on the task at hand — cleaning out your closet and separating clothing you will keep from that you will donate. 

Grab a water, a coffee, some snacks, and crank up the volume on your favorite moving playlist. Set a timer and don’t look back until you’re done. Maybe you set aside two hours to work on your summer clothes, then a half hour for your winter jackets and accessories. Whatever you choose, stick to your goals and go for a walk or take a break when necessary. It can get done if you put in the work. 

2. Keep, donate, toss

Separate your clothes into boxes or garbage bags based on what you’ll keep, what you’ll donate, and what you’ll toss. A general rule of thumb for keeping clothes is if you wouldn’t buy it today or if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. This is a great way to determine what clothes to save, and which to donate.

If it’s in good condition, donate, and if it’s in bad condition, toss or recycle it! It’s easy to just trash the clothes that are too worn to donate. However, there are plenty of organizations out there like The American Textile Recycling Service or The Council for Textile Recycling who collect and repurpose textiles so they don’t end up in landfills. Sustainability for the win!

3. Take inventory of replacements

As you get rid of belongings, keep inventory on what needs to be replaced later on. Just because you decide to donate an article of clothing, doesn’t always mean that you won’t need to replace it. Focus on the must-haves first: winter coats, a quality pair of jeans, or new running sneakers. Then focus on the nice-to-haves second: a new leather jacket, handbags, or designer athletic wear. Prioritize and create a list. You will have plenty of time to shop once you’re moved in, but for now, less is more.

4. Organize and store leftover clothes

As you begin to wrap up your purging process, before you determine where you are going to donate your clothes, it’s a good idea to start getting the clothes that are left in order. The sooner you organize, the easier packing and unpacking will be. Categorize your clothes and accessories by season and purpose. Give your future self a hand and pack up items you know you won't be needed from now until move-in day. (Think formal dresses, and winter hats and scarves if it’s summertime!) If you do this now, you’ll be saving yourself a ton of time when you have to pack up the rest of your stuff.

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Where to Donate Clothes

1. Goodwill

One of the most widely known charitable organizations where you can donate clothes is Goodwill. Goodwill’s mission is all about enhancing the quality of life for millions of people through education, skills training, and work. How does donating your clothes play into that? When you head to one of their donation sites, your donations are being sold in one of their thousands of retail stores, which creates revenue that goes towards finding people employment and funding job training. Get on board and donate your old clothes!

2. Salvation Army

Another organization that you can donate clothing to is the Salvation Army. They do just about every act of charity under the sun. From domestic abuse to disaster relief, to combating addiction, their mission is simple but grand: meet human need wherever, whenever, and however, they can. You can contribute to this mission by heading to any one of their thousands of drop-off sites and donating your old clothes to someone in need!

3. Vietnam Veterans of America

Here is a way to donate clothes and also make a difference in the lives of American veterans through a national non-profit, Vietnam Veterans of America. All of your donations go towards supporting veterans of all wars and their families. Donations can be scheduled for pick-up online and will be picked up right at your doorstep. All you have to do is label your donation boxes. There is no good excuse not to do it!

4. St. Vincent de Paul

An inspiring organization, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is committed to ending poverty through systemic change while also encouraging their members to grow in spirituality. Want to be a part of their initiative? Donate unwanted clothes now by sending your belongings their way.

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5. Project G.L.A.M.

If you’re wondering what on earth to do about that old prom or bridesmaid dress, look no further than Project G.L.A.M.! This awesome project, hosted by WGIRLS Inc. is dedicated to providing formal dresses for economically disadvantaged young women who can’t afford a prom dress. G.L.A.M. stands for Granting Lasting Amazing Memories which is exactly what you can give these girls by donating your old dresses before your move! Can you think of a better place to donate your clothes? We can’t!

6. Room to Grow

If you have a little one at home who’s growing out of their clothes, Room to Grow is an excellent place donate clothes that they have grown out of. Room to Grow offers resources, coaching, and clothing for new parents in need. You can be part of this wonderful cause by donating your old baby items and clothing.

7. Soles4Souls

So, what about your old shoes? Say hello to Soles4Souls, the incredible organization that believes in the power of a pair of shoes. Having already donated over 30 million pairs of shoes in over 127 countries, and in all 50 U.S. states, Soles4Souls has provided relief to people that have come upon hard times for a number of reasons. Explore how you can aid in their efforts by gathering and donating your unwanted shoes.

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8. The Arc

Last, but certainly not least, we have The Arc, the nation’s leading advocate for those with developmental disabilities. All of the funds they raise from donations go toward public policy advocacy as well as inclusivity programs and services for the community. Help further their mission by donating your old belongings and clothing to one of their thrift stores.

So there you have it! Now you know exactly where to donate clothes. What feels better than a clean closet, early moving prep, and helping those in need? Nothing. Grab your donation boxes and get started today, we promise you won’t regret it!


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