Giving Back: The Dos and Don’ts of Donating

It’s always nice to be generous. It’s even nicer for your home as you de-clutter and get rid of things you no longer use. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when rummaging your closet for clothes and items to stock up on your donation pile.

DO inspect every piece of clothing
You went through every drawer and section of your closet, and have a huge pile of clothing waiting to be donated. Before bagging up these items, make sure to inspect each of the pieces to ensure they are in good condition. Check every pocket for coins or trash, make sure there’s no missing button and free of rips, stains and damages.
DO also donate entertainment materials

Your tastes for entertainment may change. If you are overloaded with magazines, books, DVDs, video games and audiotapes that no longer interest you, share the joy these items bring by donating them to those in need. Got an old but still function radio or DVD player? They are all acceptable for donations as well.

DO donate not just clothes
Clothes are the most common household items that people donate. However, toys, framed pictures, stuffed animals, small power tools, baskets, ornaments, sports equipment, glassware, silverware, utensils, blankets, pillows, curtains and exercise equipment are equally good as well—as long as they are in good condition.

DON’T donate awfully outdated clothing styles
This means, no shoulder pads and bell-bottom jeans. Clothing pieces are generally considered to be “in style” if they are purchased within the last five years. The classic closet staples, like plain tees, little black dress and button down shirts, never goes out of style. Avoid items that are obviously outdated. If you wouldn’t want to wear a particular style or piece of clothing, chances are no one else will either.

DON’T donate larger appliances
While a functioning radio and TV are okay for donation, refrigerators, stoves and freezers should go on the ‘do not donate’ pile for safety and health reasons. Second-hand appliances are difficult to guarantee that they are still safe to use. Rather than donating these major appliances, call a local trash collector company and arrange for safe disposal of these items.

DON’T donate used undergarments
Your clothes are welcome for donations, but skip donating thongs, panties, bras, girdles and briefs. Instead, add in some hats, ties, scarves and accessories like wallets, purses and belts. Although there are a few organizations that accept clean underwear donations, not many find these items appropriate.

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of donating, start looking around your room and closet for gently used treasures you’re ready to let go of.

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