Donating Your Clothes

How is it possible that the 4th of July has already come and gone? Back to business now that we’ve all enjoyed the holiday weekend…

The Struggle is Real

When I first meet with a client who wants me to edit and organize their closet, usually they have some level of struggle with parting with their clothes. This is normal, and understandable. I try to ease their discomfort in a few ways.

  1. Assuring them that even though they’re getting rid of something, they’re doing a great service to others since I donate the unwanted items to GREAT organizations.
  2. If they’re having a hard time letting go of something because they paid a lot of money for it, I let them know that we can always consign the item – so they can get some money back from having it sold to someone else.
  3. Once the donation pile starts growing and the client sees free space opening up, they begin to get excited about replacing the old items with new ones that will better reflect who they are, and will make them feel fabulous and confident.

Cleaning Out and Donating

Before the holiday, I worked with a client in McLean, VA. She has an amazing closet with lots of space – but it was being overrun with clothes she hadn’t worn in years. We went through her collection, and edited out the pieces that she didn’t love: things that felt uncomfortable, no longer fit properly, or just didn’t bring her joy anymore.

Her “loss” is another’s gain!

Donation piles.

I divided her donations into two piles: One to go to Dress for Success, and the other to the Goodwill. Dress for Success is an amazing non-profit that helps women get on their feet and into the workforce by providing them with proper business attire for job interviews and the workplace. Since they concentrate on career and work clothing, I took out all her office clothes and set them aside to take to their donation center.

The rest of the clothes I took to Goodwill – their Arlington location on Glebe Road is always busy, but very efficient. It only ever takes a minute or two for me to complete a drop-off.

In total, I donated 24 of my client’s pieces to Dress for Success, and another 31 to the Goodwill. If that doesn’t make you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside, I don’t know what will.

Amongst all the things she was donating, she did have a cocktail dress she knew she’d never wear again, but was hesitant to give it away, due to its high price tag. This dress I took to Fillmore & 5th – a great consignment boutique in Dupont Circle.

Fillmore & 5th
Inside Fillmore & 5th

I have a good relationship with Fillmore & 5th after doing an event with them in the fall last year, and it’s always fun to check out their inventory. I filled out the paperwork to consign the dress, and once it sells, my client will get a check from the store – making getting rid of such a pricey item far less painful.

Getting rid of things we once loved is never easy at first. But knowing there are so many great organizations out there who can use these items to help those in need certainly helps the process.

Colleen Bayus photo


Colleen Bayus is a personal wardrobe stylist in the Washington, D.C. area. Her company, Styling by Bayus, provides personal shopping, wardrobe consulting, and closet editing & organization services. Like on Facebook, Follow on TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn. Contact her with questions.

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