January is upon us and with all the cold weather this year our favourite wool hats, scarves and mitts have been doing double duty. But what about all those hats and scarves that you no longer wear? The ones that are cluttering up your closet and giving you brain freeze. What’s going to happen to them?
I just happen to have the perfect solution for you. This creative decluttering tip comes to you from my friend, Lesley. When faced with an abundance of warm clothing in her home she took 4 simple steps to clear out some clutter and make a positive difference in the lives of the men and women who frequent Our Place Society in Victoria, BC.
If you live in Victoria you’ll know about Our Place. It is:
“an inner-city community centre serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable: working poor, impoverished elderly, mentally and physically challenged, addicted and the homeless. Individuals and businesses provide the majority of financial support for our programs and services. Our Place serves over 1,200 meals per day, and provides hot showers, free clothing, counseling and outreach services, plus 45 transitional housing units. Most importantly, we provide a sense of hope and belonging to our neighbours in need.”
You’ll likely have a similar organization in your own city.
Check out these 4 simple steps for yourself and share the warmth this season.
1. Sort through all the coats, hats, scarves, mitts and gloves that have multiplied in your home over the years.
a) Get the whole family involved. Ask everyone to go through their closets and drawers and find any warm clothing they no longer wear.
b) Give everyone a decluttering bag to fill with the clothing they find.
c) Set the timer for 15 minutes and see if you can beat the clock.
Professional Organizer Tip: Stay focussed on decluttering warm clothing only. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by other decluttering projects that you can tackle another time.
2. Make a pile of all the warm, cozy clothing.
a) Have everyone bring their decluttered treasures to a main area of the house.
b) Have a look through everything to check for items that have holes or are badly worn. Either put these in the garbage or, even better, take them to your local recycling depot that handles textile waste. In Victoria, BC check out the CRD website for a list of places around the city that accept clothing for recycling. The website also has some other great ideas about reducing textile waste.
Professional Organizer Tip: Making all those closet decluttering decisions is hard work! Keep up your spirits and energy by having a quick drink and snack.
3. Freshly launder all the clothes that you will be donating.
a) Separate the clothing into piles for the washing machine.
b) Keep the momentum going to get everything washed and dried as soon as possible.
c) Enlist the help of family to fold everything and put into bags for donating. Put young children’s clothing and adult-size clothing into separate bags.
Professional Organizer Tip: Recyclable fabric/plastic shopping bags are perfect for clothing donations. It rids you of excess clutter (most of us have too many bags) and provides a strong, easy-to-carry bag for donations.
4. Donate to Our Place Society and Share the Warmth
a) Pack up your vehicle with the warm clothing (for men and women only) and deliver to Our Place, 919 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC.
b) Pack up your vehicle with children’s clothing and deliver to thrift store of your choice.
Other Places to Donate
Some churches also take donations of clean, warm clothing. Call your local church to inquire.
If you are unable to deliver your donations, call for a pick up at one of the following:
Go ahead and declutter your closets of all the warm clothing you no longer need.
What could be better than freeing up some closet space and helping people stay warm all at the same time.
Drop me a line to let me know if this inspired you. As always, I’m interested to hear your thoughts.
With calm, cool thoughts,
~ Maggie ~