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Where to Donate Clothes

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Have you done a closet declutter and are wondering where to donate clothes? These 90+ tips and list of organizations will help you find the best place to donate clothes to a charity in your area and to meet your preferences.

stacks of colorful folded sweaters with title text reading Where to Donate Clothes

I have volunteered with several different nonprofit organizations that accept donations of clothing. Every organization has slightly different guidelines and procedures, so you should do your research before making your donations.

How to Choose Clothes to Give Away

  • Clothes that don’t fit
    • Unless you’re pregnant, there’s no reason to hold onto clothes that don’t fit.
    • Dress for your body today not for last year or five years ago.
    • You don’t need to keep guilt or shame hanging in your closet. Let those items go to someone who needs them now.
    • When your size changes in the future, styles will have changed and you will want to dress for your new shape and size.
  • Clothes you don’t like
    • They’re not comfortable.
    • They don’t fit well.
    • They were a gift that you didn’t choose.
    • Your tastes have changed.
    • They were simply a poor choice.
    • While you may not like a piece of clothing and not wear it, there is someone out there who will be thrilled to receive it and will wear it often.
  • Clothes that don’t fit your current lifestyle
    • If you used to be a stay-at-home mom but are now working a corporate job, you don’t need to keep as many athleisure pieces of clothing.
    • If you used to live in a warm climate but now live a cold one, you don’t need as many summer items.
  • Items you have too many of the same thing
    • How many of an item of clothing do you really need?
    • Think of the person in your community that needs those 5 extra sweatshirts you never wear.
    • Think of the person who needs that extra pair of work boots to be able to safely do their job.
    • Use my free 4-page How Many Clothes Do You Really Need checklist to help you determine what you need and what you can donate.
  • Clothes that can’t be worn as part of an outfit
    • Items that have not been worn because you don’t have the coordinating outfit pieces to be able to wear it.
      • Dress without coordinating shoes
      • Blouse without coordinating pants or skirt
      • Sport coat without coordinating slacks
  • In-season clothing
  • Items that are most in demand/most needed
    • Practical, easy to wash, comfortable clothing are in high demand
      • Jeans, sweatpants, shorts
      • Tee-shirts
      • Sweatshirts
      • Zippered hoodie
      • Warm coats
      • Tennis shoes, work boots, flip flops
    • Men’s Clothing
      • These items are donated less frequently
      • Men’s clothing is worn by men, women and teens
    • Baby clothes
      • Babies outgrow clothes quickly and new children’s clothing items can add up quickly.
  • Clothes that are in good condition
    • You don’t have to throw away clothes in poor condition. There are organizations that recycle clothing and fabric that are not suitable for resale. These organizations give those textiles a second life as carpet padding and more.
    • Some organizations also use damaged clothing items for arts and crafts projects.

How to Decide Where to Donate Clothes

hands placing folded clothes in brown box
  • Organizations that align with your personal values and are a worthy cause to you.
  • Convenient drop-off locations.
  • Organizations that provide home pick-up services.
  • Where you will receive a receipt for your tax deduction. Clothing donated to a non-profit organization is tax deductible.
  • Charitable organizations that have a good rating.
  • Local charities that offer affordable prices for low-income families in your local community, if this is important to you.
    • Be aware that many organizations that resell clothing at community thrift stores use the profits to fund community services. So while they do sell the donated clothing, they’re not selling them for profit in the way a for profit business does.
    • Often the thrift shop is part of job training programs.
  • Always read the detailed donation guidelines for the organization you select.
    • Some will have specific donation drop-off times and procedures.
    • Some will not accept items that other organizations will accept.
      • Old bras
      • Swimsuits
      • Formal wear
    • The condition of clothing accepted can vary.
      • Some accept only clothes in excellent condition.
      • Some will accept old clothes in any condition because they sell the unwanted clothing for rags and use the profit, however small, to fund programs.
    • Take the time to familiarize yourself with the donation guidelines.
      • These charitable organizations have to pay trash disposal fees on items they cannot accept. It’s not helpful to saddle them with trash fees.
brown box with sign "donations" and filled with clothes

Where to Donate Clothes

Research the organizations and agencies in your area that accept donations of clothing so you can select the best place for you.

National Organizations in the United States:

Local Organizations:

  • Domestic abuse shelters – Your county or city will have shelters and organizations that work with those escaping domestic abuse.
  • Emergency relief/disaster relief organization – Your state, county or city will have local organizations serving individuals and families that have experienced emergencies due to fire, weather events or other unexpected situations.
  • Homeless shelters and organizations – Most counties and larger cities have facilities and programs to serve those experiencing homelessness in your area.
  • Job training programs – There will be government programs and nonprofit agencies that help community members prepare for employment and job interviews. These groups will be especially interested in donations of good quality professional clothing.
  • Knights of Columbus – While this is an international charity organization, contact your local chapter for details on clothing donations.
  • Local church – Many of your local churches will have thrift stores or programs to assist community residents with clothing and other household items.
  • Organizations working with human trafficking victims – Many communities now have organizations and churches that focus specifically on helping those that have been trafficked.
  • Organizations working with low-income women and their families – Your community most likely has organizations working specifically to support women and their children.
  • Public schools – Your local public school counselor will have a need for donated clothing items and will also be aware of the specific organizations serving your community that will welcome your clothing donations. Always contact them for requirements and limitations before dropping off donations.
  • Refugee resettlement groups -Your state, county or city may have agencies that work with refugees and families that have relocated to your community.
  • Teen and young adult shelters – In addition to general homeless shelters and organizations, there will be agencies working specifically with young adults experiencing homelessness.
image of brown box with "donation" sign filled with stuffed teddy bear and clothing with title text reading Declutter 2 Donate motivation and tips to help others in your community as you declutter Benefit Yourself & Your Community

Join the Declutter to Donate course and membership group to find the motivation you need to declutter by finding the organizations that will benefit from your clutter.

What makes donating clothes great?

  • Make more space in your closet
  • Simplify your morning routine by streamlining your clothing
  • Save clothing from the landfill
  • Help individuals in your community looking for clothing in their budget
  • Help agencies in your community that operate thrift shops to fund community programs
  • Help crafters and creatives in your community that will upcycle and repurpose old clothing that isn’t purchased by individuals to wear

Looking for more donating ideas?

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What to Donate to a Veteran’s Hospital Support veterans and military members with donations that are really needed. Ideas about what to donate to a veterans hospital or military medical center.

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What to Donate to an Animal Rescue Shelter – Help your local animal shelter & make the maximum impact by knowing what to donate to help the animals, with these 35 donation ideas that are under $10 each.

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What to Donate to a Food Pantry – Having worked at a charitable food pantry for 3 years, I’ve learned some tips that I wish I’d known years ago and may help you when you choose what to donate to a food pantry.

Other decluttering posts you may have missed

Decluttering Clothes – Everything You Need to Know – The ultimate decluttering clothes guide with more than 25 practical tips & all your most common questions answered by a professional organizer.

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Decluttering Scavenger Hunt – Free 4-page decluttering scavenger hunt checklist to make the process of decluttering 28 different items a bit more fun.

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How to Teach Your Child to Declutter – 15 tips from a professional organizer, parent educator & mom of 3 on how to teach your child to declutter their room and toys.

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Pin these tips on where to donate clothes so you can easily find them again in the future when you’re ready to donate clothing again.

You can find all our best decluttering ideas in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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