Every year, Americans throw out 12 million tons of home textiles. These clothes and other items clog up landfills when they could be turned into a charitable donation and go to helping families in need. And if your home is like most American homes, one big source of possible clothing donations are the kids’ rooms. You might wonder how you can be expected to even think about ways to donate clothing when the kids’ closets and drawers are such a wreck. If so, read on for some great tips for organizing your kids’ clothes and easing the burden on yourself in the long run.
Think About the Clothes Before You Buy
You can evaluate any piece of clothing in terms of wear value. If you buy a $20 sweater that your child will wear three times a week for a whole season, you’ve gotten nearly 40 wears out of that item. That’s $0.50 per wear, which is a great deal. But if you buy a $7 shirt that she hates and only wears once, it cost you $7 per wear. That’s totally not worth it. Try to avoid buying clothes that you think your kids will look cute or handsome in, and choose clothes based on what they will actually wear. Buying too much means you have plenty when you go to donate clothing, which is nice in one sense, but costs you a lot of needless expenses and hassle along the way.
Take Advantage of the Season Changes
It will cost you a lot of effort twice a year to do this, but only for a short time. That short output is nothing compared to the long-term stress of constantly over-stuffed closets and disorganized rooms. At the season changes, go through all your kids’ clothes. Put away the old season’s wear and bring out what’s appropriate for the new season. Store the old season’s clothing away. This is also a great opportunity to re-evaluate what your children are actually wearing. If you see things in the pile that you never see on their bodies, it’s time to arrange a charity clothing pickup.
Remember that making decisions is work. The human mind can only make so many decisions in a day before emotional energy is used up. Your kids have even less of this emotional strength than adults do, which is one of the many reasons some of them prefer to wear the same clothes over and over. Help them along by keeping their closets and drawers stocked with only what they’ll actually wear for the season.
Don’t Fight About Clothing: It’s Not Worth It
There are definitely battles worth fighting in the home as you lead and teach your kids. Most of the time, clothes aren’t going to be one of those. If you’ve decided that clothing doesn’t look good, is inappropriate for the season, or just isn’t right for them to be wearing, get rid of it. Store it away for a week in case they feel really strong about it, then donate clothing to a local charity.
Don’t “Save” Clothes
If you have to buy your kids something special, say for a wedding, don’t put it away unused because it’s too “special” to wear. Unless you’ve got a lot more weddings coming up in the next six months, that suit or dress will be outgrown and just hang around cluttering things up. Either donate clothing like this right away, so needy families can get nice clothes at a good price, or just let the kids wear it as they like. Clothes were meant to be worn.
Once you’ve organized everything, don’t be afraid to donate clothing that isn’t being used. There are clothing donation locations everywhere, and many charities that will pick up donations. That way you can feel good about getting the closets and drawers organized. It will make your life easier, making things easier for your kids, and benefit others who are in real need of quality clothing for their own children. Nothing ever need go to waste.