Declutter and Donate: Hints and Tips

donate and declutter

It’s insane when you cannot properly close your draws or your wardrobe is close to bursting and as it is the end of the year I feel as though it feels like the best sort of time to properly declutter then donate what I don’t need to charity, provided it’s in a fit state. Although those bits of clothes that are falling apart can be donating to a charity where they take old and damaged clothes are receive a cash donation so research and see where your old clothes can do some good. So I thought as I was decluttering myself I would do some hints and tips to make the process easier for you guys too.

The majority of these hints and tips are related to clothing items, but I have included some bits related to general donating advice and where you can donate non-clothing items such as bric-a-brac which are often harder to donate, so skip to the end if you just want to know these things.

Tackle One Thing at a Time

Don’t do everything at once, it will become overwhelming and will just feel like a drain totally demotivating you. So take it one step at a time doing each draw, shelf or rail individually then you can take it much easier and you get that little sense of achievement as and when each thing is completed. It also allows you to stop at any time once each area is completed, instead of doing it in one day you could take your time doing it over a few days if that works better. Just ensure you do it but split it over a week aiming for particular things each day.

Take Everything Out

Once you reach something take absolutely everything out, so then you can see what you have and asses the space accordingly. It also ensures that you don’t overlook something and everything will get looked at, you never know what you will discover.

Don’t Be Afraid to Rearrange

Take the opportunity to rearrange if it is needed, look at what needs to go where and see if there is a better arrangement. Perhaps have a place that is further down for summer clothes and winter clothes, I know not everyone does this as I don’t due to layering more in the winter rather than having a separate wardrobe necessarily. Or separate the go to/everyday basics and those that are a little more special and different. Make your storage work for you, which will make everything much simpler when getting ready in the morning.

Try on Clothes

If you haven’t worn something in a while then make sure you try it on, see if it not only still fits but if it is still flattering or something you would still wear. Also if it doesn’t fit get rid of it, its wasting space if you think oh I’ll lose the weight to wear it because you might not. Get rid of what doesn’t fit.

If You Haven’t Wore It

Special Occasion clothes do not come into this rule, I have some dresses which fit perfectly and are ideal for weddings but obviously they do not necessarily come around that often especially at my age a lot of my friends aren’t at that stage in their life. If it is everyday wear and you haven’t worn it for 12/18 months you probably won’t wear it going forward, there can be hidden gems some items you may want to try and reintegrate into your wardrobe

Don’t Think Twice

If you have already decided to get rid of an item, do not then re add it back into your wardrobe, this is because you won’t touch it again. Especially if it doesn’t go with anything or doesn’t match your style you won’t suddenly start wearing it again. Stick to your guns and don’t think about it.

Sentimental Items

Sometimes clothing and items have a sentimental reasons for wanting to keep them but sometimes you are never going to wear them again. If you are never going to wear it again due to not wanting to ruin it or it no longer fits, then remove it from your wardrobe. I have a memory type box which is stored away so get a large plastic box and put those special somethings safely away and taking up space in your draw.

Research Your Charity

If you are going to donate to charity do your research and see what you prefer, look at what causes they work for and if you agree with them. Also depending what charity you use there are a number of things your clutter can go from charity shops to, some only take certain things. Also there is a huge amount of variety in terms of the amount of money that is donated per £1.00 earnt etc. like how much goes to the cause, which you should always look at when not only donating to charity both money and items as well when buying charity affiliated items. Just make sure you do thorough research.

Also with clothing items some take donations to sell (some which you can get small amount of money for your items), some it’s to give them to people in need and others they just get money from the donations when these items are recycled, therefore they may take damaged items. Do your research and you may want to give to multiple charities depending on what they take or you want to give to multiple causes.

Wash the Items You Wish to Donate

I know before going away items were washed and most people wash charity buys before wearing, items that have been stored away can smell musky and it’s just more pleasant. It is minimal effort to wash items and if it’s only a few just wait until you are doing a normal wash. For non-clothing items try and clean them or wipe them down just so it’s a lot more pleasant

Bric-a-Brac/Large Items/Beauty/Bras

Although the focus here is on clothes when decluttering you may end up with other things which you wish to donate so I thought I’d add a brief bit of information on non-clothing items here which may be of interested to you.

So often Bric-a- Brac is one of the hardest things to donate but you don’t always want to throw away. Bric-a-Brac is definitely more of a charity shop item but it varies from shop to shop. Just research it fully online or talk to your local charity shop volunteers to see what they take or what they like. Most shops take general decorative items, toys and games, DVD, non pierced jewellery etc.

Large items such as furniture etc. are hard to get rid of and are often dumped or scrapped but these can be donated too. You may have seen charity furniture shops for YMCA or the British Heart Foundation, these can easily be donated to but make sure you check the information online before donating as they will only take certain things. For example many charities will take donated beds but will not always take mattresses (although the British Heart Foundation does take mattresses), although the appropriate labelling will still need to be attached. You also do not need to necessarily need to be able to transport the items yourself, I have donated items to the British Heart Foundation in the past and they will pick things up at an arranged item slot (warning these are huge time slots and you may need to take the day off work). Also there is no guarantee items will be taken due to damage or incorrect labelling which may restrict them selling the item on, so do your research and talk to the charity themselves.

Most charities do not take underwear donations (unless new and packaged), yet you can donate warn bras to a number of charities and often shops like Bravisimo have a bra donation bin for old bras. Also quite a few breast cancer take bra donations, including the broken and dead ones as they will receive money for them. Usually Bravissimo/Debenhams are best through as the donation bins are in store super simple.

Finally beauty items, it is often harder to donate beauty items even if they are sealed and are often best to regift, I suppose it is possible to sell these on ebay but I wouldn’t recommend buying or selling beauty items on ebay even if it is sealed. Yet some charities will take beauty items to know more as it is mainly if sealed and it can depend on local areas in the UK look at Womens aid if you want to know what is and isn’t acceptable and if it is an option for you.

Alternatives to Charity

Obviously there are other options for decluttering or giving new like to products other than giving them to charity, do whatever works best for you and there is no reason to donate to charity if you don’t want to. If you are skilled or know someone who is why not try altering clothes or even doing some DIY projects, this breathes new life into products. If you still love something but it’s too big there is no reason why you cannot take it in, some products are easier than others and you may want to visit a tailor for more expensive of difficult items to ensure long lasting and quality finishes for the items.

If you want to make a bit of cash why not put the items on Ebay, this is the best route for bare worn items or even completely unworn items as they will sell better. Remember postage costs so put appropriate post and packaging pricing on it as well as delivery times, any money made, not from the p&p fee will have a 10% (I think) taken off as a sellers fee. Some items will not make a lot on ebay, and without a solid ebay rating it can be hard to make money although it’s not always a bad bet just make sure you try to maximise your chance of a sales and a good price but there are plenty of advice articles for selling on ebay.

With like new or unworn clothes and beauty items sometimes giving them to friends or even swapping with friends isn’t a bad way to go, you de clutter and they might get something they love. This is especially good for hair care products you have tried and don’t love or unused makeup or skincare you just brought and never used, as someone else can make the most of them and they don’t just sit around doing nothing.

Hopefully these are useful to you, I just feel so much better after doing a huge clear out, you’ll have more space and you’ll use more of your wardrobe or stuff as more of it is visible. You’ll also feel great by donating no matter what you do with it, as you’ll earn a bit or give it to a worthy cause. Just do your research into your charity, as we all have different causes we rather give to so just read the small print to ensure a appropriate level of money is donated to the cause due to your donation.

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