JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

June / July 2011 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: Donating Clothes in Poor Condition


The question comes up all the time: I have these clothes that are worn out — not in good enough condition that a thrift shop would want them for resale. Do they have to just go to landfill?


No, they usually don't need to go to landfill, as long as they aren't mildewed. Michael Bongiorni, the material donations manager of Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties recently told me this: "We can accept clothing that is not in good condition. Goodwill salvages those items. When you bring in your regular donations just add a bag labeled SALVAGE." He also said that sewing scraps can be included in that SALVAGE donation.


However, as Goodwill Industries International notes, "Member Goodwills are independent, community-based organizations, governed by local boards of directors." So check with your local Goodwill to see if its rules are the same, before just heading over with donations.


Another good option might be The Salvation Army. A recent Chicago Tribune article says: "The Salvation Army's Maj. Mark Anderson stresses that he doesn't mind when people donate ripped jeans, stained shirts and coats with broken zippers." Anderson wants "any and all articles," the Tribune says, because things that can't be sold in the stores are sold to the rag market, and that's another important source of revenue to The Salvation Army. Again, check with your local branch to determine how it handles such donations.


Moving beyond the U.S., Recycle Now in the U.K. says that "textiles that are worn out or in unsaleable condition can be left in special textile banks at recycling centres."


Want to read more? The Good Human has a nice article — a reprint from EarthTalk — with information on how our worn-out clothing gets recycled by these organizations.


And if any of my readers in other countries have information on how to donate worn-out clothes in their locales, I'd like to hear about it! Drop me a note, and I'll include an update in a future newsletter.



Organizing Quote of the Month


"One of my Discardian goals is to have nothing which I have not consciously looked at in the past two years and said "Yes. I still want this." Every possession's 'service contract' is up for renewal or I'm canceling it." — Dinah Sanders



Organizing Product of the Month


sweet grass and pine needle basket


Whenever I'm looking for some storage that's a bit unusual, I head over to Etsy. My latest find is this basket, made from sweetgrass and pine needles, from Pine Needle Perfection. (For more such baskets, see my blog posts here and here.)



Highlights From My Blog in May and June


There were 14 entries in my organizing and de-cluttering blog in May and 13 in June. Some of the most popular entries were:


You can sign up for free e-mail updates from my blog; each time I make an update, you'll get a message. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the blog for subscription information.



My Little Twitter Tidbits


I'm using Twitter mostly for those tidbits of organizing-related stuff I find - little things that will never make their way into a newsletter or a blog post. I also use Twitter to announce new blog posts. Follow me, @JeriDansky, if you'd like.


For those who don't use Twitter, here are some of the things I've written lately, slightly edited for a non-Twitter environment:


I'm also on Google+ at — although I'm not yet very active there.



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