Sort and Declutter Winter Clothing Before You Store It

Winter clothing tends to accumulate over the years. If your closet needs a thorough #decluttering, says organization guru Ashley Joy Orfe, start by taking everything out of it. Sort it into “keep,” “donate” and “maybe” piles quickly, she says, “without second-guessing yourself.” Ask yourself a few hard questions such as “Do these even fit?” to eliminate all of the maybes, reorganize the keepers and put them back in your (now-spacious) closet. Anything that winds up in the “donate” pile can go into boxes and bags — and be picked up from your doorstep as part of a #donation to ClothingDonations.org.

How Your Clothing Donations Support Veterans

The Organizing Blog regularly informs readers about the benefits of #decluttering. But did you know that your #donations of lightly used clothing, kitchen items, small appliances and other household goods help fund thousands of veterans programs and initiatives nationwide?

When you contact ClothingDonations.org and make a donation, affiliates of the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) pick up that extra junk and resell it in bulk to qualified thrift and secondhand retailers throughout the country. It then takes the money and invests it in programs benefiting veterans and their communities at the local, state and national level.

VVA’s first priority is to help veterans access the healthcare and other benefits to which they are entitled after serving. Some two-thirds of all veterans never interact with the Veterans Administration, missing out on benefits they have earned, and VVA service officers help them navigate the often-confusing benefits claims process.

Funds from contributions also help VVA representatives lobby for and against legislation that would help or harm veterans. Last year, for example, the organization pushed for passage of the Blue Water Navy Act, which would extend healthcare benefits to Navy service members affected by toxic chemical exposures.

VVA offers numerous outreach programs to ensure that veterans are supported long after their service. These sections are targeted to groups such as POW/MIAs, homeless and incarcerated veterans, minority and women veterans, and veterans suffering from PTSD, substance abuse and Agent Orange exposure.

Your donations help VVA’s national membership of more than 70,000 at the local level, too. More than 650 chapters in the United States and its overseas territories use money earned through charitable donations to support college scholarships, help individual veterans facing sudden hardships, and participate in memorial observances.

When you #donate your extra stuff to ClothingDonations.org, it goes toward countless programs that help millions of veterans thrive and give back. We appreciate every bag and box, and thank you for your support!

Shed Pounds, Donate Clothes

If you’re like many Americans, you might have overindulged during the holiday season and may be toying with the idea of changing some aspect of your behavior by making a New Year’s resolution.

According to Inc., 2019’s top three resolutions are “diet or eat healthier,” exercise more,” and “lose weight.” Runners-up include “save more/spend less,” “quit smoking,” “read more,” and “find another job.”

Any of these resolutions on their own — or any combination of them — is difficult to keep. Most people start too-restrictive diets or overly ambitious workout schedules only to stick with them for just a few weeks.

To increase the likelihood of sticking to your resolution, document your goals, Forbes says. Understand why they’re important to you, and develop a strategy for attaining them. Set a reasonable time frame, and emphasize the progress you make over the minor setbacks that will undoubtedly occur.

If it’s weight loss you want, don’t think that you’ll shed 10 pounds every week. You won’t, feel bad about it, and stray further from your diet. If you want to get more exercise, start slowly so that you don’t hurt yourself and wind up spending more time on the couch recuperating.

Remember to give yourself a reward for reaching an event milestone — cheat a little after a month of dieting or get a massage after your first 5K run. Celebrating such successes can condition you to achieve more.

Healthy resolutions often include an appearance factor, such as fitting into a smaller size pant or dress. The Organizing Blog has a radical suggestion where this concept is concerned: If a garment doesn’t fit now — as you embark on your resolutions — get rid of it.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll find garments you’ve wanted to fit into and wear again that have languished in the back of the closet for years. Edit your wardrobe down to only the essentials that flatter your physique today — the stuff you really wear.

The clothes you’re trying to fit into again are holding you back. Not only do they not fit, but they also may not suit your current style. They represent the old you — not the new you, who sticks to resolutions. Pack them up and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup.

Besides, if your current go-to garments start fitting a bit loose in the months ahead, you can reward yourself with a small shopping spree. The new you will need a new look — and that simple reward will help keep you on track to accomplish even more.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2019!

Pack Up That Winter Wardrobe

Winter is having an extended stay this year. March’s bluster is going strong into April in many northern states, and snow is lingering on the ground in parts of the Northeast. But most of the nation is gradually warming up, and soon enough, it will be warm and sunny again.

That means that you won’t need to wear those many sweaters, flannels, corduroys, boots and parkas to stay warm much longer. In fact, you’ll soon forget all about winterwear as you don linens, shorts and swimwear for your summer vacation. So do yourself a favor, and start storing your winter clothes now.

Not only does storing winter clothing prolong its life, it gets it out of your way when you don’t need it. With a closet and dresser that’s uncluttered by off-season garments, you’ll be able to find what you want when you want it — fast. You can always keep a go-to sweater, hoodie or jacket accessible in case of an unusually chilly day, Insider says.

Before you store winter clothes, wash or dry-clean them according to label instructions to get rid of any dirt, odors and stains. If any items aren’t worth saving due to damage, grime or general dinginess, take this golden opportunity to trash it rather than store it. Worn-out basics such as T-shirts can go directly to the rag bag or trash.

Better items that you just didn’t wear over the winter can go into a donation pile. Whether they were off-trend or no longer fit right, there’s no reason to waste your space storing them if they don’t get worn. Put them in boxes or bags and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup. Someone else might be looking for just such an item before long.

Finally, place the “keepers” — the winter clothing that you know you will want to wear when the weather turns cold again — into airtight fabric garment bags and plastic bins for storage. Put the bags and bins in a dry area of your home, far from what is fast becoming your everyday spring clothing.

Getting winter clothing out of the way will make it easier to find the clothing you will actually be wearing in the spring and summer, making for an uncluttered closet and easy morning routine. And it will give you the chance to edit your wardrobe for the winters ahead, making for an uncluttered life!

Clothing Donations Help Fight PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse are a problem for many of the people who witness the horrors of war in service to their country. The Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) stages town hall meetings throughout the United States to encourage veterans of all conflicts to get help if they are dealing with depression, abusing alcohol or other substances, or having thoughts of suicide. And that’s just one of the many veterans’ initiatives that your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org help fund, so you can feel twice as good about cleaning out your closets.