Cleaning out your closet? Here's where to donate or sell items

Posted at 4:00 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 11:04:22-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Being cooped up at home may have you taking a closer look at the clutter in your house.

For Joanie Nicholas of All Things Organized, helping clients tackle messes is a full-time job.

It's a profession that has changed in light of stay-at-home orders around the Kansas City metro.

Nicholas now conducts virtual organization sessions via Zoom.

"I would prefer to be hands-on. If I could jump through the computer and reach their cabinets or piles, that's what I'd like to do," Nicholas said.

For those starting a clean-out without the help of a professional, Nicholas recommends starting with a small space, like a kitchen drawer.

"A lot of times once you get going and you get some small successes behind you, that builds some momentum and helps you be inspired to maybe take on a bigger task like your closet," she said.

When it's time to tackle that closet, start with one section at a time, like dresses or shirts.

Nicholas says if you didn't wear something this past winter or the last, ask yourself what would need to change for you to wear it again. If you can't come up with a good answer, then it's time for that item to go.

"If that item sits in your closet for another three years without you wearing it or you give it away right now, that money is never coming back. So the best thing to do is to get it in the hands of somebody who will love it and who will wear it," she said.

But where can you take your unwanted stuff? Here's what you need to know about donations and options for selling items.


Blessings Abound: Donations still accepted

This not-for-profit at 103rd Street and Metcalf Avenue accepts gently used items for resale.

The store is open for contact-free donations, but you must call ahead of time.

Red Racks Thrift Stores: Certain locations open

Some of the stores owned and operated by Disabled American Veterans have been closed, while others are open for donations and shopping.

Here are the locations open for donations:

Independence: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Blue Springs: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
St. Joseph: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Lee's Summit: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas: Donated items not currently accepted

The nonprofit is not accepting donated items at this time. Goodwill closed all 15 retail stores, an outlet store and two donation centers in the metro on March 21.

You can offer monetary support to the organization's COVID-19 relief efforts here.

The Salvation Army (Kansas and Western Missouri Division): Donated clothing, furniture not currently accepted

A spokesman said The Salvation Army asks that people hold onto clothing and furniture for now.

However, the group is accepting non-perishable food, baby supplies (formula, diapers), child and adult hygiene products, and cleaning and sanitizing items.

The nonprofit's food pantries are seeing a huge uptick in demand, and you can donate to those efforts here.

Selling Clothes

Buffalo Exchange: Although the company's stores are currently closed, you can still sell clothing by mail.

You can request a prepaid shipping bag here, fill it up with items and then drop it off at a UPS store.

Buffalo Exchange offers 25% of the selling price in cash, or 50% for in-store credit.

Unwanted items can be returned for the cost of shipping or donated to local nonprofits.

ThredUp: Its website bills itself as the largest online consignment and thrift store.

You can order a free clean-out kit, fill it up and then leave it for your mail carrier to pick up.

The site then lists items that meet its standards, and you get paid when your clothing sells.

Unwanted items can be returned for the cost of shipping or donated to a charity of your choice.

Right now the site is giving $15 to Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks with 60,000 food pantry and meal programs, for every donation kit sent.

Regardless of how you get rid of things, know that decluttering can have positive impacts that go beyond freeing up space at home.

"There is so little that we have control over, and there are so many unknowns," Nicholas said. "But we can control our space, and that can bring such a sense of peace."