Did you know that around 70% of people in the United States donate to a charity every year? While we may donate a dollar here and there when prompted at a checkout lane, there are many other ways to donate to those in need; one of the most significant is clothing donations. As someone who just underwent a move and had to downsize, I found myself swimming in clothing that I simply didn’t have room, or need, for. Luckily for me there was a clothing donation drop off near my house and I was able to haul over bags upon bags of unwanted clothing.
You may have seen Red Cross clothing pickup signs, or advertisements for other charities, but I’d urge you to seriously consider taking a day to see if you have anything to give. It’s easy to say, “Oh, that’s something I could do!” and then get caught up by other everyday things. Life happens. However, I think a majority of us have a good number of clothing items that we could stand to part with. (I know I balked at all the items I had even forgotten I had!) In addition to being charitable, there are actually a slew of other benefits that can come from clothes donations.
Benefits of Used Clothing Donations
The next time you spot a Red Cross clothing pickup sign, remember these benefits!
- Cleaner Home. Possible one of the biggest benefits to come when you donate clothes. You never truly know how much space you could have until you remove the old things that have been taking up space. Clearing up the clutter can leave you feeling more relaxed, and even less anxious, as clutter has been tied to increased anxiety. With less stuff hiding away, you’ll have more room for storage, which can make your whole home feel more open and put together. I know I’ve been enjoying being able to readily store and find things, without digging through tons of barely worn clothing.
- Tax Deductions. When you donating clothing, at a Red Cross pickup or otherwise, you’re able to collect a tax deduction. Depending on how much you donate it can be a pretty penny. You can deduct up to 50% of your total AGI (adjusted gross income), and if your donation exceeds that, you can use the remainder next tax season. If you use a Red Cross clothing pickup, or any other drop off, you should get a receipt that details your donation, be sure to hold onto it!
- It’s Better For The Environment. Clothing, especially those made of synthetic materials, have a hard time decomposing. This means thrown out clothing can be sitting in the landfill for upwards of fifty years, depending on the material. Additionally, during the decomposition process, methane gas is built up and released. Methane is known to be a harmful greenhouse gas, and with the tons of clothing thrown away every year, donations can really can help make a difference!
- Feeling Good. Kindness creates kindness. When you donate old clothing you’re not just helping the environment, you’re tangibly helping someone in need. You can feel good about giving away your old items knowing that they will put a smile on someone else’s face. I know I held onto a lot of clothes because, “I’m sure I’ll wear it someday!”, but truthfully someone else could be wearing it today .
Donating old clothing is something everyone can benefits from. Whether you’re shopping at a secondhand store, looking to free up space, or thinking about the environment, it can make a difference. So the next time you see a Red Cross clothing pickup sign make a mental note to see what you can give. Every little bit really does count, and together we can make a positive impact that benefits us all.