Where do you donate clothes that your kids no longer need? With kids constantly growing, there is always a need for new clothes and a need for a way to get rid of old clothes. Growing up in a large family, being frugal was a way of life. We reduced, reused and recycled before it was cool to do so. So, that is how I deal with the clothes we no longer need. We also had a clothes swap recently which would be a great Earth Day activity but can be done any time of the year.
Step 1 ~ Reduce: My kids don’t have a lot of clothes because they don’t need a lot of clothes. I’ve found that even if they have a closet jammed full of clothes, they are going to choose the same few outfits anyway. Since they have their favorites, why keep the rest? We buy second hand clothing from consignment shops and thrift stores. I also shop the clearance racks when they need something new. We don’t buy new clothes unless we need them.
Step 2 ~ Reuse: When possible my kids reuse clothes. My two girls have a large difference in age so it has been hard to pass clothes down. But recently, I brought Vanessa to the doctor and they measured her height. A month later, Vanessa had to go to the doctor again and when they measured her height for a second time she had grown 1 1/2 inches! The next day she put on a pair of her jeans that she hadn’t worn for awhile and they were way too short. So, we looked through a bin of Christine’s old clothes and found 4 pairs of jeans that Vanessa could wear!
Another way we reuse clothing is that we give the clothes that no longer fit to someone else. I recently got together with some of my sisters for a clothes swap. We all brought clothes, shoes, backpacks, purses and coats that no longer fit our kids. Since there are cousins of all ages and sizes, we sorted through each others clothes to find what we could use. Here is how we did it:
I had my kids look through their clothes and take out anything that didn’t fit and everything they didn’t wear. We also had a couple of bins of clothes in the basement that were leftover from a garage sale we had last summer. After looking through Christine’s clothes to see which ones would fit Vanessa, we put everything into bins, bags and hampers. We brought it all to my sister’s house and put it with everyone else’s donations.
Then, the FUN began! We helped the kids sort through the clothes. They each took their huge stack of clothes and tried them on to see which ones would work and which ones wouldn’t. The kids were so excited to have some “new” clothes to wear! After everyone was done, we packed up the leftover clothes and we each brought home whatever was ours.
Want to host your own clothes swap? Earth Day is on April 22 so there is plenty of time to get things organized if you want the clothes swap to be on that day. We had our swap on a weekday when the kids were home from school so any day works. To get started, download the free printable clothes swap invitation, add the where, when and RVSP information and email them to your family and friends. The clothes swap can be as big and as organized as you want it to be. If you have a large area and a lot of items to swap, set things up like a garage sale with lots of tables. You could also schedule a donation pickup with a local charity, at the location of the clothes swap, so that no one has to leave with the items they don’t want anymore.
Part 3 ~ Recycle: Next came the recycling part for me. I went through our leftover clothes and took out any that were soft cotton so that they could be cut up and used for rags. My husband recently had to do some major repairs on my vehicle and went through a lot of rags. I use rags for cleaning and dusting and would rather use our old clothes than spend money buying rags! I also set aside some of the clothes for projects like leg warmers. If a piece of clothing had cool buttons, I removed them and added them to my button collection.
Finally, the rest of the clothes, shoes, bags, purses and coats could be donated. There are so many different places that will take clothing donations. You can call your local social services and ask them for more information. Here are a few of the ways to donate clothes in the Minneapolis area:
- 100% of the proceeds from donated used clothing and household items help us offer programs that educate, connect and empower people affected by seizures.
- The Epilepsy Foundation has donation centers but they will also come to your home and pick up your clothing donation. They ask that you put the donation into bags with EF written clearly on the outside.
- The activities of USAgain are all aimed at increasing the amount of clothes, shoes and household textiles diverted from waste in the U.S. for the benefit of rewear, reuse and recycling everywhere.
- Just pull up to the bin and add your clothing donation.
- Local food shelves in some towns not only take food and supply donations, they accept clothing as well. Call your local food shelf to see if they can take the donation and help people in your home town.
- Every day, your donations help people find good jobs. Every 38 seconds of every business day, someone gets a job — and moves toward economic stability — with help from you and Goodwill®.The sales of your donations help fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges. Last year, more than 79 million people donated to Goodwill.
- To donate to Goodwill, you pull up to the specially marked area of the building and they unload your donation for you.
- Whenever you shop or donate at Arc’s Value Village, you’re helping children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. All proceeds go to support Arc Greater Twin Cities’ programs and services.
- To donate to Arc’s Value Village, pull up to the specially marked area of the building and they will unload your donation for you.