Moll Must: From Closet To Charity

04.27.15

Spring is here, and with it comes – you guessed it – spring cleaning! But, why is it so hard to keep our homes neat and organized? And the closets – oh, the closets! While it might not be a cakewalk, being organized can become a way of life, by simply applying some basic decluttering techniques. It might not be the most fun thing to do, but you will be amazed at how good it will make you feel, and how good it will make your house look. And know what feels even better? Donating your unwanted or surplus items to charities that do need them. Let’s start with our bedroom closet.

Buy one, give one away. To minimize clutter, every time you come home with a piece of clothing, pair of shoes, or accessory that you’ve purchased, choose a piece of clothing, pair of shoes, or accessory in your closet, to donate. Not only will you be reducing excess, but also you’ll be donating for a good cause.

Speaking of donating. When it’s time to donate that “Donate” pile, you’ve got tons of great options. Here are a few of my favorites below. Just think. That coat that you currently have hanging over the treadmill could be used to keep someone warm next week. That’s the power of giving, friends.

Dresses. Have a wedding, bridesmaid formal or cocktail dress in your closet that you’ve only worn once taking up space? Well, Brides Against Breast Cancer is here to help! And by helping you, you help them. How? They raise breast cancer awareness, while operating a wish-granting service, which helps breast cancer patients create special memories with their loved ones. By donating a dress, you’re not just donating something pretty, you’re helping a woman create a memory she may never have had, if not for you.

Women’s professional clothing. If you’re clearing out ladies’ clothes, Dress For Success is a wonderful organization that provides interview suits, career counseling and confidence to low-income women, in need of a boost. They are always especially looking for women’s business suits, business separates, handbags, briefcases, and coats. Check your nearest location for dates when you can donate, and plan your closet cleaning, accordingly.

Coats & Jackets. We tend not to give away coats very often, so if you find yourself living a warmer climate or holding on to more than 2 coats, consider donating the surplus to One Warm Coat. During the fall and winter, One Warm Coat holds drives across America, during which the collected donations of warm coats, jackets and sweaters go to those in need, to keep them warmer in colder climates and in the colder seasons.

Shoes. Know that 4th pair of black boots you bought? How about we “pair” down and make it 3? How good will it feel to donate your surplus shoes to Soles4Souls, an organization that donates shoes to people in need in over 125 countries? And they accept any kind of new or gently-worn shoes: sandals, heels, hiking boots, sneakers, flip-flops, cleats, cowboy boots, dance shoes and more. What an excellent motivator to declutter your shoe shelf, when you know that those shoes will be going to people without them!

Handbags. Holding on to a Kate Spade bag that you don’t carry any more, that’s just collecting dust bunnies in your closet? There’s a charity for that. The Animal Guardian Network collects gently used designer bags to resell in their Rebag Boutique. Proceeds from the boutique go to placing pets with adoptive families, and to help low-income senior citizens and low-income pet owners with their pet care.

hbx-closet-tips-charity-getty-de 
Tosstake-1024x577 Take a tip from Sex and the City; Make a fun night of it and have your girls over to help you decide what to keep and what to donate.

More From Moll: If you think of decluttering your closet more as a necessary stop on the way to giving back, it will give you a happier purpose of doing so, making it a gift-giving operation, more than another thing on your to-do list.