Organize & Clean

It’s Donate-Your-Dress Season: Declutter & Help Someone Else at the Same Time

published Mar 24, 2014
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Any time of year is a good time to cull your belongings and get rid of things you no longer need or want, but right now is the best time of year to get rid of one particular item: formalwear. Spring prom season is coming up and the fancy dresses you no longer need (you know the ones, they’re hiding in garment bags at the back of your closet) can bring a lot of happiness to a young woman struggling to afford the cost of prom.

Many organizations accept dresses all year round (and they are also used by girls having sweet 16 parties, quinceañeras and other special events), but demand is highest in spring. The start of spring is also a great time to donate wedding dresses if you are ready to part with yours.

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This weekend, take a dive into your closet and see if you have anything appropriate (clean, good condition, youthful). I found a bridesmaid dress and my wedding dress and I’m dropping them off this weekend (I found a dry cleaner near me that is a donation drop off).

It felt great finally taking these dresses, which had been languishing in my closet, out. They freed up valuable space and, more importantly, can have a second (and third, and fourth…) hurrah with someone else. Win-Win.

  • is the best place to start as you can search by state for organizations that accept donations. If you can’t find anything nearby, they also list places that accept donations by mail.
  • is another national organization that can help hook you up with an organization in your area accepting gowns for young girls.
  • accepts gowns less than 5 years old to support military brides.
  • accepts gowns from 2008 or newer. They are sold to raise funds for charity.
  • has a long and helpful list of places to donate a wedding dress in the U.S., UK, Ireland and Canada.
  • Check with local churches, non-profits and thrift shops in your area to see what they accept or if they know of anyone in need of a dress.