purge clothes to donate during the pandemic

Tips to purge clothes to donate

This is a post I’m sharing from my magazine, Style Adventure Magazine. I wrote it last week, but thought it had good tips to share here as well during the pandemic as part of my series of tips.

I hate purging clothes, and I am guilty of letting years go by before tackling it. But there is no time like the present for spring cleaning my closet while I’m quarantined. I can donate or re-purpose items I no longer need. Now is a time some people need extra support. Clothing is necessary, but it’s not a top priority; especially when people are buying up hordes of essentials. Clothing that may not last many more washes goes far down the list when food, medication and toilet paper are scarce.

Spring cleaning your closet may be something you want to look at getting done too.

Purging your closest can be exciting, relieving and overwhelming. But at the end of all the work, it’s so satisfying. 

First Step

Decide how much time you can dedicate to decluttering your wardrobe and then pick the day to do it – or jump right into it! Playing music helps pass the time, and you can have fun while doing it.

I’ve categorized these tips into big, small and medium jobs so you can see which ones fit into your schedule. 

Big Job

Sort your entire closet and dresser into five piles: keep, repair, give away, donate or repurpose. It’s time-consuming and easier said than done, but it’s best to work through it piece by piece. 

Anything you love and wear regularly, hang it back up in the closet or put it back into your dresser. 

Here are two tips to make sure you don’t keep everything!

  1. Focus on quality clothes that make you feel your best. 
  2. Go through this process with someone whose opinion you trust if you’re having trouble.

If you have pieces that you love but don’t wear because they need fixing or tailoring, put them into a “repair” pile. Set a reminder on your phone to take them in for fixing. 

Note: If a year goes by and you haven’t fixed any of these items, you need to get rid of them!

The next three jobs should be more manageable after that. 

  1. If you have family or friends that have the same taste or are the same size as you, throw some items into that pile. 
  2. Put everything else to donate or sell. My only disclaimer here is that it’s not an excuse to give away garbage. 
  3. If it’s too worn out, broken or damaged, consider giving it to a place that recycles used clothing to make new clothing. They may be able to salvage some of it. You can also repurpose them at home as cleaning cloths, items for your pet if you have one… check out this article on Bustle with things to do with clothes you can’t donate.

Medium Job

purge clothes to donate during the pandemic
purge clothes to donate during the pandemic

Rotate your wardrobe. Wash and move your winter items into bins that you can store under your bed or in storage (if you have space). If you’re done with things like scarves, hats, gloves, thick sweaters, boots and your coat for the season, put them away. Bring out your spring and summer clothes and fill your closet with them. 

Disclaimer: I have only done this twice. I am too lazy to go looking for things if weather changes suddenly (I do live in Canada!) and I need to grab something. I have downsized my closet so that everything fits in it. But again – laziness. 

Small Job

Reorganize your clothes so that the current season pieces are out front. This is my lazy annual move! I will tackle the big job once every couple of years and then do this one for maintenance. 

Put one thing that you love but needs repairing by the door. If you keep it at the door, you won’t put off getting it fixed. 

Final Word

It’s a tip that’s been said a million times before. If you haven’t worn it in a year, chances are you aren’t going to wear it again so get rid of it.

An exception to this rule includes evening wear. But, if you have a lot, consider how many special occasions you have that will require one. Get rid of some of them and keep the one(s) that make you look and feel your best!


  1. Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for. Samish Leathers

  2. Awesome tips, I always have trouble deciding what to donate and what to keep..

  3. I think it’s a great idea. I never thought of using some older clothes as ideas for my dog! I have too look into it more! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I like the breakdown into jobs. It makes it seem more manageable as I hate to start doing the big version because of how time consuming it is. But it does make me feel better once I do it and it is a great time to give some items away.

  5. Really love this idea. Thanks for sharing your ideas and tips during the pandemic

  6. I am trying to do that. I realized how little I was wearing before being quarantined. I love the idea of turning some pieces into usable items for pets!

  7. Love this idea. I am sure after the amount of days I’ve spent in pajamas and yoga pants, I can probably better see what I don’t really need anymore.

  8. De-Cluttering is therapuatic especially we are self-isolated. I like how well you have written in simple words. Nice post, much needed! 🙂

  9. I thought this was going to be about how you no longer need any clothes that aren’t pyjamas… XD But this is great too! 🙂

  10. I have some expensive pieces I maybe haven’t worn for a while as they’re no longer in fashion. I store them and, hey presto, a few years later I get to shop in my closet. Case in point, a double breasted black Jil Sander blazer that I bought many years ago got hauled out again a few years back.

Tell us what you think!