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I am Eric’s Wife. I am also mother to two teenagers on the very cusp of adulthood, the founding director of Scripture from the Heart, an avid world watcher, bold and insecure at once. I serve a merciful God and I love a guy who makes my knees weak. This is where I write about it all.  Thank you for reading!

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Advice: How to Donate Clothing

May 25, 2020

What a “Duh” article to write, huh? How hard can it be? You bag it up, put it in your car, deliver. Easy, right?

Not so fast, Linda.

Donating clothing is complicated and I think anyone who has ever tried to do it has found it to be a lot more steps than just three. Let’s talk about the real chore of clothing donation, just rip it wide open.

First, you have to really want to clean out your closet. This is a difficult first step and it usually involves 50 micro steps of pants that are snug and thrown to the closet floor, seasons that change, and fashion trends that die. It is not a step that happens all at once.

The actual process of cleaning out the closet are varied. If you are a member of Netflix’s Kondo cult, you will take everything out and have a soothing conversation with each item, recalling good times, bad times, and weighing your mutual commitment to each other; then you give a rose to each item you choose to keep and the rest are burned in a memorial service. I’ve never actually watched Marie Kondo, but that’s the gist of it.

My personal method is a little less dramatic. I like to take everything out of the closet and then I take each item and decide whether or not it fits and whether or not I like it still. If it fits and I still like it, it goes back into the closet. If it does not fit and/or I do not like it, it goes into a bag for donating. Easy. You can repeat this process with all members of your household. It is easiest to do this without the help of the household member whose closet you are cleaning. Just get to it. You’re doing them a favor. Husbands are especially appreciative of your not including them. I know my husband never notices how carefully I have curated what he is allowed to wear. Oh, marriage…

Moving on. Now that you have bagged everything up, you need to start wondering about where to take it all. This will take about a month of thought, so put the bags in an unseen corner of your living room. After a week, it will start to be like another piece of furniture and you’ll forget it’s there. This is good, because you need this time to really think about where to donate these precious items. Didn’t you hear about that one place from that one friend? What was it? Think, think…

Okay. It’s been a month. That’s it. You are going to do it. Good for you, Linda. Now, take the bag and put it in the trunk of your car. What’s that? Oh, Linda. It’s the bag you meant to donate before, but forgot. That’s okay. In fact, it’s brilliant. You are now extra prepared to make your clothing donation.

This next step is key: forget completely about what is in the trunk of your car. I mean, erase every memory you ever had of even owning a trunk to your car. It’s gone. This is about a six month step.

The final step is a careful mix of magic, stars aligning, and right place/right time kind of kismet. Prepare your senses for it and the day will come when you are in that car and a sign for donations will appear at the same time. The fog of your self induced amnesia will lift and you will seamlessly pull your car into the driveway of the donation site, pop your trunk, throw your thumb out the window to a volunteer, and this volunteer will take those bags out of your car and give you a friendly wave.

So, you see? Donating clothing is not quick and easy. It is no small thing that you have done when you donate a bag of clothing and your friend, Eric’s Wife, knows it. Your community thanks you, and I applaud you.

This concludes my advice for donating clothing. I feel certain it is among the most helpful advice I’ve ever offered. I don’t know where I get this stuff. It just comes to me.

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