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ADDRESS THE MESS - Closet Clean Up

Spring is a great time to purge, donate, organize, and clean. The task can seem overwhelming until you have a plan. Instead of the mindset that your whole home needs to be done at one time, start with one area. Following are tips for cleaning out your bedroom closet. I have done some research to save you time about places to donate gently used clothing and shoes.*

Wedding Dress

You preserved your wedding dress in the hopes that someday your daughter will wear it when she marries. That dream has turned into the reality that she isn’t walking down the aisle in your gown. You don’t have the heart to put it in a trash bag for the donation bin, but don’t fret. You have options.

Some brides are looking for a vintage dress or just don’t have the funds to spend on a new, expensive dress from a bridal salon. A consignment shop is a great solution for both of you. If the shop sells your dress, you will make some extra cash. Meanwhile, the bride will have a beautiful dress without breaking her budget.

Feeling a little sentimental and want your dress to go to someone special? Donate it to a charity that repurposes wedding dresses as bereavement gowns for infants that have passed away. Two organizations to consider are The Angel Gown® Program, and Three Little Birds. Check with the organizations first regarding their gown acceptance policies.

Another option is to see if a local theater or school needs a wedding gown for their next production.

Prom/Bridesmaid Dresses

Proms and being in a friends’ weddings are special times in a young woman’s life. A lot of preparation goes into that one night including finding the perfect dress. The guys on the other hand have it easy. They rent a tux with a bow tie that matches their date’s dress, and then return it to the store the next day. The ladies hang their dresses in the back of their closets

because they may wear it again. Better yet, you may think if you cut off the bottom of the dress it will be more versatile! Okay, we all know that is not going to happen. Consider these options.

Post your dress in a social media group that permits sales. It’s a great way to make a quick buck for a dress you only wore once.

Ask your local high school if they have a program where students can “shop” for free. South Brunswick High School has a successful program called Viking Closet. The community donates prom and bridesmaid dresses and accessories, as well as other items such as coats, and gently worn and new clothing. Students are given the opportunity to shop for prom dresses twice a year.

Business Attire

Years ago, men and women in the workforce dressed in business suits and tailored dresses. In recent years, many companies have adopted a casual dress code. Now these suits and dresses are taking up valuable real estate in your closet.

Don’t wait for the moths to get to them. Donate your business apparel to charities like Dress for Success or Career Closet. These organizations give their clients the clothing and accessories they need to present themselves in a professional manner for job interviews and prepare them to enter the workforce.


Who said you can never have enough shoes?! Obviously not someone with limited closet space. You may think you’ll repair that pair of shoes someday, but it isn’t going to happen. The heels that hurt your feet at Cousin Tina’s wedding are still going to hurt the next time you wear them. And it may be time to throw away those comfy sneakers. I’m just being honest – they smell.

Take a good look at your shoes. Toss the ones that can’t be saved. The shoes that someone else might enjoy can be donated to a local charity along with other items, or you can contact an organization like Soles4Souls that only collects shoes. They’ll find the perfect way to use your shoes to help someone else.

The Hanger Trick

Here is one final tip to sort through your clothes. Flip all your hangers so they are backward. As you wear an item (and have washed it), put it back on a hanger, and then flip the hanger to face forward. After a year, you will see what clothes you wear and which ones you don’t. It’s time to toss or donate the clothes that are hanging on the backward hangers.

Now that your closet is a little less cluttered, take the time to organize the clothing, shoes, and accessories you do have. And don’t forget to sweep/vacuum the floor once a season. Using scented hangers or some type of air freshener will keep your closet smelling fresh all year.

*Moving Crew NJ is not affiliated with, nor receives any compensation from, the organizations mentioned in the article. These are purely suggestions.

Written by Stacey Imber, Co-Owner of Moving Crew NJ, LLC

Moving Crew NJ, LLC, is a family-owned, local moving company that recognizes the difficulties of finding a moving company that will tackle the small moves. Whether it is a large piece of furniture that needs to go into the next room or a home full of furniture going to a new location, Moving Crew NJ will get it there safely, efficiently, and economically. Contact Moving Crew NJ, LLC, at or visit for all your moving needs. No job is too small!

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