An Illustrated Guide to Donating Used Clothing

Spring Cleaning is typically the time of year folks go through their closets and weed out clothing they no longer want to keep. With good intentions, they would like to donate the castoffs for others to use.  A very noble thought indeed and I wholeheartedly believe in passing things on to the next person. HOWEVER…NOBODY WANTS TO ACQUIRE CLOTHING THAT IS DAMAGED.  Here is a list of things to check for that would render a garment unsuitable for donation.  Use this ILLUSTRATED checklist to determine what should go in the trash or clothing recycling depository bin. Also, consider this reference for clothing swaps.

Problem: faded collar or ‘ring around the collar’
Problem: oil stain
Problem: Pulled thread
Problem: Pulled thread and pilling fibers
Problem: stain. No, this isn’t part of the print though it seems to blend in with it
Problem: the waistband is too stretched out
Problem: rip
Problem: oil stain
Problem: hole
Problem: bleach damage


  • holes
  • stains
  • rips
  • tears
  • snags
  • pilling
  • faded
  • oil stains
  • bleach damage

Other things to check for making an item unsuitable for donation:

  • broken zippers or zippers that won’t stay up
  • faded decals or lettering
  • fallen seams,
  • frayed cuffs or collars
  • split crotch
  • missing buttons
  • “ring around the collar”,
  • yellowed armpits
  • odors (mildew/mold).  This is common when items have been stored in a basement, attic, garage, or machsan
  • elastic that won’t stretch or has dried out
  • broken or stinky shoes
  • missing sequins, adornments, beads, etc.

If you are doing the sorting on your own then kindly refer to the list above.  Don’t worry about the unknown “somebody” who “might” want an item because they “won’t notice” the imperfection or someone “could use XYZ item for their Purim costume”.  In reality, they won’t want it for a Purim costume and their imperfection will be noticed. Be kind and respectful of the time second-hand and consignment shop establishments take to sort through the giveaways.

Happy sorting and thanks for reading.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

March 17, 2019


Published by Karen Furman

Hi. I’m Karen Furman, a home organizer and decluttering professional. Organizing is something I’ve been doing since 1st grade when used to straighten everyone’s desks. Fast forward a few decades later, I turned my passion for organizing into a business. Philosophy = Your home should be organized so you know where things are, to the degree that you feel relaxed and not stressed in your space. Method = A combination of Marie Kondo + FlyLady + my own style. YOU make the decisions. YOU decide what to keep and not to keep. I help provide clarity. Attitude = Positive, enthusiastic, non-judgmental

3 thoughts on “An Illustrated Guide to Donating Used Clothing

  1. Karen this is an amazing guide! Love the pics!! I want to share this with everyone!!! Shoshana Lepon Gemach Sorek 36


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s