Getting rid of DIRTY clothes - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 39 Old 10-05-2008, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I am at my wits end with the laundry. Something happened in August, and we had a clothes explosion, and I haven't seen the bottom of the laundry pile since then. I'm sure there are clothes the baby has grown out of, things out of season, maternity clothes I'm no longer wearing...

Since the summer, we've donated about 10 large black trash bags worth of clothes. We are drastically reducing our clothes hoard. I've got it to a pretty reasonable amount. Weekly laundry is 1 load of whites, 1 of darks, diapers twice, linens once, 1 misc. (special occasion, sports gear, sweaters, etc.). Thats a load a day, with one day off, and I can live with that.

The problem is that I've been washing everything, then carefully going through everything to decide what to donate, save, give to SIL, etc. I can keep up the weekly, but I can't get the old stuff done.

I'm done with it. I'm ready to toss the whole old pile, and its a mountain -- if I haven't seen it since July, I really wont miss it.

Anyone ever get rid of the clothes without washing them first? I don't know what else to do. I'm not getting to them!

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#2 of 39 Old 10-05-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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Maybe offer the bags of unsorted laundry on Freecycle and see if anybody's interested? Just make sure they know they're getting stuff that hasn't been washed in months!

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#3 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 04:16 AM
 
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I have put unsorted, dirty (not filthy) stuff into a donation bin. Not sure it was the right thing to do, but I have done it.
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#4 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Nothing is filthy, its just that I know we wore it. Freecycle could work, but then I have a name to go with my embarrassment. But maybe I'll do it.

Last night I put it all in 2 huge bags. Now the choices are, 1.) get rid of the bags at any cost, or 2.) try to wash them and put them right back into a bag out of the dryer. #2 scares me b/c a lot of that stuff will find its was back into our closets.

I'm working on it...but this middle part of the clothes declutter is getting overwhelming.

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#5 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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If you feel embarrassed giving them away dirty you could bag it and take it to the laundromat! That way you could wash and dry it all at once in a short time. Put it back in the bags and drop it off at a donation site on your way home so it doesn't end up back in your house/closets. I wouldn't even bother sorting it to wash, just stick it in the machines in handfuls.

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#6 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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I think I would get over my embarrassment and freecycle them. I know I always wash things before I use them and I assume other do too.

I would try and sort into rough ages/genders though just because I find things go better then.
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#7 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure donation places wash stuff (I've heard its a great way to get your clothes dry cleaned, lol), so I wouldn't have qualms of donating it! Just do it!
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#8 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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Why not just take a day and wash it all? then donate it?? to me that seems the *right* thing to do.... then again laundry doesnt phase me... ive lost count how many loads a week I do....
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#9 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elephantmargaret View Post
I'm pretty sure donation places wash stuff (I've heard its a great way to get your clothes dry cleaned, lol), so I wouldn't have qualms of donating it! Just do it!
I used to think this too. I have a friend that works at a resale shop here in mid-Michigan and she says they never wash anything before putting it out. She said the cost to wash it is too high. But they do send all of the things that are NOT in sale-able condition to a recycling plant that pays for the fabric and turns it into rags.
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#10 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Oh wow, this was my major hangup this summer! I wanted to WASH everything before I donated it, but then DH would inevitably end up grabbing something out of the wash that was supposed to go, and, well... you know... : it was a vicious cycle! I finally was able to get more on top of it this fall- mainly because both of the kids had major growth spurts, and I had no choice

I have three bags in my living room right now- one for the donation bin, one for my sister, and one for consignment. The donation bin stuff I'm not AS concerned about washing, because as a PP said, most folks are going to wash that stuff before they wear it anyway. If I was freecycling it, I'd just say that I'm in a major declutter, and haven't been able to get around to washing them. Clothes you have to wash first are still a blessing, when you need clothes for your LO! Besides, if it's anything like my pile of doom, these clothes have been washed a few times already, simply because they've been cycled through the laundry a few times before you've been able to pull them from circulation

The stuff for my sister and the stuff for consignment is definitely getting washed, though! What's been working for me so far, is throwing the stuff in with our regular wash, and then to have those sorting bags READY as I'm folding laundry, so I can toss things in as I come across them- and then tie them shut so DH knows they are culls (so he's not "helpful" by folding and putting them away... yeah, it's happened!).

Good luck! It's really overwhelming at first, but things will feel SO much more manageable once you get though this! :
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#11 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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I really, really strongly urge you not to donate dirty items. I find it really infuriating when people donate non-sellable items to charity shops--basically, it's a way to get someone else to throw your garbage out for you. And AFAIK, unless you are talking about a small (church, maybe?) shop, they don't have the facilities or the cash to wash it for you.
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#12 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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I agree with avengingophelia.

I am queen of the laundry problems. My laundry room pile is about the equivalent of four or five bags now. This is a huge improvement from the summer, when most of my basement was clothing!

I have about five or six large rubbermaid bins of folded, clean laundry. I have a closet full of things to give away. And then I have my usual clothing in rotation.

I told you I have issues

So my advice is to wash the laundry and bag it immediately after it has been washed. You will get through the pile. If I can do it, anybody can. Tie the bags up and try not to worry about whether an item ought to be washed hot, warm or cold, and whether it ought to be dried. Just get through it, bag it (when it's clean and dry) and then donate it.
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#13 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I really, really strongly urge you not to donate dirty items. I find it really infuriating when people donate non-sellable items to charity shops--basically, it's a way to get someone else to throw your garbage out for you. And AFAIK, unless you are talking about a small (church, maybe?) shop, they don't have the facilities or the cash to wash it for you.
Yes, all of the above.

My local St. Vincent Depaul store spends over $400 a month in dumpster/trash fees.
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#14 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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Hmmm.

I know our donation place washes everything before they put it out. Even if its already clean.

Perhaps you could call around and find a place that does and drop it off there?

And just because it needs to be washed, doesn't mean its garbage...
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#15 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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I would head to the laundry mat and spend a few hours there but get them all cleaned at once that way and as you are folding you can sort them and then on the way home donate.
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#16 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MonkeyPrincess View Post
Hmmm.

And just because it needs to be washed, doesn't mean its garbage...
From the perspective of a facility with no means or funds to wash clothes, it does. They either have to throw it away or try to sell it dirty. I see both. I frequent the Goodwill Blue Hanger discount store here, and I've seen things with dried blood or feces on them there. Nasty that someone would think it's OK to donate that.
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#17 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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What I would do is... Take the 2 bags that you have already to go and go to the laundry, wash it, Sort it by size or if you know of a drop off place and you can get it done in one shot, do it. Don't worry about folding or sorting if you have a donation site. Just make sure it doesn't make its way back into your house!
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#18 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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I would just take the whole "old" pile....dump on the floor....separate into darks, lights, and whites.......quick wash, dry, and lay flat on a table....all of it, non-stop, until it is all washed dried and laid out flat.

Then go through it. One at a time, one time only. Once you make a decision on where something goes, bag it accordingly, then never look at it again.

It will be done before you know it and you will feel good about where it all went.

I would not donate unwashed clothing.

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#19 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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You said you have one "off" day in your weekly laundry routine? Why not use that day to do one load of the old stuff, and immediately put it in the trunk of your car. Each week, do a load on your off day till the pile is gone and your trunk is full and ready to take to the donation place. Let's face it, if you have an "off" day for laundry, it's just all the more tempting to lose the routine and have the laundry back up!

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#20 of 39 Old 10-06-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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I vote "no" on donating dirty clothing. I don't think our thrift store wash. I second the suggestion to go to the laundromat with the whole "old" pile and wash it all at once. Most likely it would take you 1.5 hours at most and then you can pile the clean clothing into clean garbage bags at the laundromat and drop it off at goodwill on the way back. Don't worry about sorting just wash it all and don't sort by colour. No biggie if you don't do it perfectly.

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#21 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 08:39 AM
 
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i wouldn't donate dirty clothes.. it would be such a huge waste if your local donation center doesn't pre-wash the clothing and instead marks off your bag of perfectly usable clothes as garbage. just designate 2 hours and wash them!

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I would just take the whole "old" pile....dump on the floor....separate into darks, lights, and whites.......quick wash, dry, and lay flat on a table....all of it, non-stop, until it is all washed dried and laid out flat.
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#22 of 39 Old 10-07-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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i wouldn't donate dirty clothes.. it would be such a huge waste if your local donation center doesn't pre-wash the clothing and instead marks off your bag of perfectly usable clothes as garbage. just designate 2 hours and wash them!



ITA with not donating dirty clothes to a thrift store. Either give them away on freecycle (being completely honest about their condition) or bring them to a laundromat, wash them all at once, and then drop them off at the thrift store on the way home from the laundromat.

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#23 of 39 Old 10-08-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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I keep a sack by the dryer and before I make off with the clean dry laundry in a basket to go fold it, I sort it real quick to get the things I no longer need/want and put them into that sack for donation.

It's a quick and easy way to do it and as the bags fill up you can drop them off.
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#24 of 39 Old 10-08-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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I would head to the laundry mat and spend a few hours there but get them all cleaned at once that way and as you are folding you can sort them and then on the way home donate.
that's what i would do to. i agree w/ avengingophelia about not donating dirty clothes.

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#25 of 39 Old 10-08-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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Note on this subject: I was digging around the bins today and came up with menstrual blood encrusted underwear. No joke. The idea that someone would really think it was OK to donate that blows my mind.
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#26 of 39 Old 10-11-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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Our goodwill has a sign that says they don't wash clothes and will throw out dirty donated clothes. I have the same issue as you... the huge outgrown dirty clothes pile, but I have been throwing it in with the regular stuff and I am slowly working my way thru it.

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#27 of 39 Old 10-11-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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I, too, agree... don't donate them dirty... even if they show no visible signs of dirt and were just worn once and thrown into the clothes pile.

I think the easiest thing to do would be to go to a laundry-mat and use the triple-loader washer, put in as much as you can, cold setting. Then dryer, medium setting, and get it all done as quickly as possible.

Seriously, it will go quickly and you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner!

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#28 of 39 Old 10-11-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Just set the washer on cold(so colors don't leak) throw it all in, and have your bag RIGHT by the dryer. As you pull them out, that's where they go. Then carry the bag out to the trunk.
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#29 of 39 Old 10-12-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
From the perspective of a facility with no means or funds to wash clothes, it does. They either have to throw it away or try to sell it dirty.
At my old job, dirty clothes would have had to go right to the trash What a waste! But rules are rules and I didn't make them, but had to follow them.

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ITA with not donating dirty clothes to a thrift store. Either give them away on freecycle (being completely honest about their condition) or bring them to a laundromat, wash them all at once, and then drop them off at the thrift store on the way home from the laundromat.
Yes, either of those suggestions!

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#30 of 39 Old 10-12-2008, 02:11 AM
 
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Try a pregnancy crisis center. They may be able to hook you up directly with a pregnant woman who will be happy to wash the clothes herself.
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