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ORGANIZED LIVING: The Back-to-School Closet

Between your kids’ new school outfits, backpacks, and supplies, their already less-than-orderly bedrooms are starting to burst at the seams. And the kids still need a place to stash their band uniforms and sports gear.

Now is the perfect time to weed out—and donate—the clothes your kids aren’t wearing anymore.

Not only will it free up valuable closet space for your kids, donating their gently used clothing gives you a chance to help community members who really could use those items for their children’s back-to-school wardrobes.

 Sorting It All Out

One easy way to tackle the sort-and-purge process is to assign each article of your children’s clothing to one of three categories: keep, donate, or recycle.

Here are a few tips to guide your decision-making process.

  • Keep these clothes: They still fit, are still being worn, and are still in good condition. Leave them where they are or, or if they’re not weather-appropriate, store them somewhere else.
  • Donate these clothes: They don’t fit or aren’t being worn—but they’re still in good condition. That means they have all of their buttons; the zippers work; they don’t need mending; and they’re not stained. Put these items in clean boxes or bags.
  • Recycle these clothes: They don’t fit, aren’t being worn, and are in poor condition. Place them in a container for recycling pickup or drop off, depending on the services available in your community. (See our links to area recycling center lists below.)

Donate—Don’t Dump

While some of your children’s clothing has the potential to be a huge help to others, we don’t recommend indiscriminately dumping everything that your kids outgrew into the hands of a nonprofit.

Make sure the organizations that you want to support actually need children’s clothing, including the types of items you’re offering. And please limit your donations to items that are in good condition.

Every stained, damaged, and un-needed piece of clothing that a nonprofit is left to deal with uses up volunteer time and storage space they’d rather devote to their mission.

Some nonprofits partner with companies that are willing to buy donations that the charities can’t use, but policies vary. It’s best to check to check the organizations’ websites and/or call them to see what they need.

Keep it Clean

Be sure to launder or dry-clean every item of clothing you donate. The clothing should be in same condition you’d want it in if you were giving it to your children.

Some charities recommend using fragrance-free products in case some of the recipients are sensitive to perfumes.

Organizations to Consider

Several nonprofit organizations in the vicinity of our locations have confirmed that they need children’s clothing. Here are their requests and donation guidelines.

Assistance League of Montgomery County

Needs: Children’s clothing and shoes—all sizes

Drop off: 126 N. San Jacinto St. in Conroe,

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays

Phone: 936-760-1151

 

Creative Outreach Ministry

Needs: Children’s clothing, shoes, and jackets—all sizes. (The organization is asking for non-perishable food donations, too.)

Drop off: Angelic Resale at 727 W. Davis in Conroe

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays

Phone: 936-449-4357

 

Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM)

Needs: Children’s clothing for the nonprofit’s back-to-school campaign and for its thrift shops throughout the year.

Drop off: The resale shop behind NAM’s headquarters at 15555 Kuykendahl Road in Harris County

9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays

(Diapers and baby food are needed, too, and can be brought to the Joanne Watford Nutrition Center 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays. Look for the door in the rear marked “Food Deliveries Here.”)

Phone: 281-885-4555

 

Tamina Community Center

Needs: Children’s clothing and shoes, particularly in extra-large sizes

Drop off: 18965 Main St. (next to the community center) in Conroe

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays

Phone: 281-465-4646

Recycling Resources

For Montgomery County residents who don’t have curbside clothing recycling services, a list of area recycling centers can be found at http://www.recycleinfo.org/recycling-montgomery-county.html.

For Harris County recycling locations, visit http://www.recycleinfo.org/recycling-harris-county.html.

This resource will help you find clothing recycling bins throughout the greater Houston area, including Montgomery County: http://atrscorp.com/our-neighborhoods/greater-houston.