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Donating Old Clothing and Blog Roundup

This article was written by in Charity. 12 comments.

It’s been a long time since I’ve gone through my clothing and eliminated items which are no longer appropriate for wear. For most of my life so far, my habit of keeping clothes for a long time — until recently, I still had a few items left from high school (1994) — was out of necessity. I just didn’t have the money to replace clothing often. I decided, thanks to some encouraging from my girlfriend, that it was time to get rid of clothing I no longer wear either because I just don’t like them or because they no longer fit. Fortunately, my income supports the decision.

I was able to fill five bags full of clothing with mostly shirts that are now too tight or hopelessly out of style.

Rather than throw my unwanted garbs in the garbage, although lexically logical, I’d rather pass them along to someone or some organization that can make use of them or of the income that could be gained in exchange. I’ve seen bins by gas stations and malls labeled for unwanted clothing, but I am skeptical of these receptacles. To whom do you donate your used clothing? I’m willing to entertain any suggestions. I’m not trying to earn any money in exchange for my items, I just want them to eventually arrive in the hands of people who might need them.

While I ponder this and your suggestions, here are some personal finance articles you may enjoy.

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Hard Credit Check vs. Soft Credit Check. Cash Money Life explains the difference and why the type of credit check a company may perform matters.

What Michael Phelps and the U.S. 4×100 Freestyle Relay Team Taught Me About Debt. Have you been watching Phelps TV, otherwise known as the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games coverage on NBC? If you haven’t heard, Michael Phelps has been winning the swimming events. Here’s a tie-in to personal finance.

Why You Need a Will and the Basics of Estate Planning. “You’ve worked hard for your money, pay taxes on the money you’ve earned, why not minimize taxation upon your death?” Indeed.

Make Money Blogging: Top Bloggers And How Much They Earn. If you’ve got something to say and people want to listen, blogging could be a good way to earn some extra money. It has worked well for me over the past few years, but not as well as it has for these “top” bloggers. Beware: you can’t judge your income potential by assuming you can earn as much as these folks. It’s like looking at the top swimmers in the Olympics and believing you can swim as fast as they can. Of course some can, but most will not.

Published or updated August 18, 2008.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

There are 4 places I can think of off the top of my head:

Goodwill: Great for any style of clothing. Just drive up and get your tax receipt. You fill it in later.

Salvation Army: Great for any style of clothing as well. However, they will make you fill out the receipt right there stating what you dropped off. So if you are in a rush, then go to Goodwill instead.

Battered women’s shelter: Only works if you have women’s or children’s clothing. They typically use the clothing for jobs and such, so it needs to be in really good shape and current.

Homeless shelters: Will take anything. Not sure if they give out tax receipts though.

I take everything to Goodwill. It’s convenient, quick, and easy for tax purposes.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

My church has a rummage sale twice every year that we donate all our extra clothes to. But if they didn’t hold this regular event, we would likely donate our stuff to Goodwill since we shop there fairly regularly anyway. Thanks for linking to my article!

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avatar 3 Anonymous

I personally donate my old items to the local children’s hospital. They have thrift stores around the area. My younger brother had been treated at their hospital when he was much younger and they did a fantastic job.

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avatar 4 Anonymous

I’ve always donated mine (what little I have to donate) to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, depending on who’s closer.

As for the random donation boxes, I know that at least in Syracuse, NY, they work fine. My friend interned with a homeless shelter there and they had her spend a few days with the pickup guy…the group also ran a store. Anyway, if you don’t recognize the group who’s responsible for those, then stick with the others.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Growing up, we always donated to Goodwill. We never had a garage sale or anything like that; it was always just given away (and Goodwill was the only place in town to take it). So as an adult, it’s always gone to Goodwill. Except now, I work for a youth development organization that has a clothing drive once/year for the Salvation Army, so I save up the bags of clothing for that.

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I usually do what Twiggers does: Goodwill, Salvation Army, Women’s Shelters, and Homeless shelters. I know you don’t have children, but for those who do, Children’s hospitals are a good place to donate. The same goes for toys, games, books, etc.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

Thanks for the mention Flexo!

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avatar 8 Anonymous

You’re missing out on a great tax deduction if you don’t itemize the clothing. Sounds like a pain, but I’ve found a way to make it easier. Before the clothes go in the bag to go to Goodwill, I lay them out on the floor. Then I take a picture of them and print the picture. Into the bag go the clothes, and I get a receipt from Goodwill.

When I have a few minutes, I run TaxCut’s “It’s Deductible”, which comes with their tax software. You choose the item of clothing from the drop-down list, and it gives you some suggested values. In 10 minutes, you can easily itemize 20 pieces of clothing by looking at the picture you printed. Then print out the list.

Save the Goodwill receipt, the picture and the itemized list for tax time. This is the kind of documentation the IRS cannot argue with. And with TaxCut, you end up getting far more than just estimating the value of the bag of clothes.

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avatar 9 Anonymous

Northwest Center (Washington state) has a giant bin in my apartment building.

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avatar 10 Anonymous

I also donate to Goodwill and keep track for tax deductions. I hadn’t thought about taking photos – great tip! I have a designated corner of a spare room for donation items and keep a steno pad and some bags there. As items go into the bags, I make a note of the items and quantities on the steno pad. When I drop off at Goodwill and get a receipt, I staple the list of donated items to the receipts so I have a tally for “It’s Deductible” to go along with Goodwill’s general “4 bags” note on their receipt.

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avatar 11 Luke Landes

It seems that Goodwill is the preferred recipient for used clothing. I’ve found a location just a few miles from my home. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

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avatar 12 Anonymous

You just reminded me that I need to declutter my attic. I usually sell off many used items we have every summer but the last two summers, I’ve been remiss on this task! I better get going on this while the sunny season is still around to make it easier to do our annual cleaning. Plus, there’s some pocket change (or more) to look forward to.

Thanks for highlighting my “top bloggers” post. It seems to have piqued the interest of many! :)

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