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Donate your Clothes that Don't "Spark Joy"

I’m a sucker for books and shows about minimalism, organization and “tidying up.” A few years ago, I came across Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Trying to live a more minimalistic, simple lifestyle is appealing to me because it improves a person’s life in so many ways. In theory, I could produce less waste by consuming less stuff, have less daily clutter to deal with, and be freed up to focus on more important things like enjoying experiences with friends and family. While the main goal might not be environmental sustainability, it’s definitely a key component.

If you’ve read Kondo’s book or seen her new show on Netflix, you know what she asks of each person that she helps “tidy up.” I did as she said: I put ALL of my clothes on my bed and made a decision whether or not to keep each piece by asking myself, “Does this spark joy?” Was the result life-changing, you ask? Actually, it kind of was. After donating many items I didn’t really wear, I was able to actually see all the things that I liked. A couple of years later, after watching her “Tidying Up” Netflix show, I was inspired yet again. I purged even more items and have even started folding clothes in the KonMari method. I told you, I’m a sucker for this stuff.

If you’re ready to hop on the tidying-up train, it’s a great time of year because there are several events coming up this spring where your unloved items can spark joy for someone else.

The Women’s Service League of NCW (formally Junior Service League) is once again taking donations for their event “My Girlfriend’s Closet,” where you can donate your quality women’s clothes, shoes and accessories. This event keeps getting bigger, and they aren’t disappointing this year; they’ve rented the old Hastings building on 9th St, across from the clinic. Shopping starts March 15th, but they are accepting donations at that location and at Brad Huddle Allstate, Town Chrysler Jeep Dodge, and Town Toyota until then. The money raised goes towards homeless in the valley. To-date, they have raised over $500,000 through this event alone. The Women’s League also puts on Prom Dress Giveaway at Pybus, where teen girls, regardless of income, can get a free formal dress, shoes and jewelry. That’s the following weekend, March 23rd and 24th.

Last year's My Girlfriend's Closet shopping event in March 2018. Photo provided by Women's Service League of Wenatchee

If you’ve decided it’s time to go through your kid’s stuff, you can consign it at the twice-yearly Rhea Lana consignment event, which is April 14th through 18th. They rent space in Mission Village on 5th street and accept clothing, toys, baby gear and more. Check out for how to consign or shop.

Shopping used is a fantastic way to reduce your environmental impact, so even if you don’t donate clothes, consider checking out these events. Some of the worst offenders for industrial pollution comes from tanneries that produce leather and from textiles treatment and dying. Cotton, one of the most common textiles, is an extremely water- and pesticide-intensive crop. According to National Geographic, over 700 gallons of water are used to produce just one tee-shirt. By purchasing used clothing and donating your still-wearable clothes, you can help reduce your environmental impact and possibly spark some joy at the same time.

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