What is it about spring that makes us want to suddenly purge all of our worldly possessions? Maybe it’s the warm air that makes us feel like we could live outside forever, sleeping on the grass and feeding off wild berries. Maybe the clutter in our homes helps keep us insulated all winter. No matter the cause, it’s time again for spring cleaning — but this year, make sure you don’t just throw it all away.
Every year, the average person tosses out almost 70 pounds’ worth of fabric — clothes, blankets, sheets, towels, you name it. Articles of clothing alone account for 10.5 million tons of landfill waste! Remember that even if you think that skirt is out of fashion or that your 16-year-old son has finally outgrown those firetruck pajamas, someone else in need could make a great use out of them.
Before you haul everything off to the dumpster, consider turning your old clothing into donations for non profit organizations. There are many charity foundations that offer lots of different community services who would be more than willing to accept your donations of clothing.
Groups like the Salvation Army and Goodwill re-sell used clothing at affordable prices and use the proceeds for helping families in need. Other organizations like women’s shelters or wounded veterans charities provide free clothing to people for things like job interviews. Make sure that whatever program you donate to is tax-exempt under 501(c) (3) status, which indicates that the organization is a properly recognized not-for-profit.
Donations for non profit organizations may not feel like a big deal to you when you can simply drop off a bag of stuff you don’t want anymore — in fact, it feels like they’re the ones doing you a favor! In reality, your donation can make a huge difference in someone’s life, whether it’s because they can now afford to clothe their children, because they finally nailed that job interview, or because they’ve been given food or shelter from charity organizations with enough resources to provide it.
Spring is in the air, and so are opportunities to make a difference. Clean out your closet for a good cause this season.