How to Rejuvenate your Closet and your Wardrobe

The basic steps to refreshing your closet and your wardrobe are simple.  Some people can tackle the steps alone, some can do it with the help of a friend and some need to call in a professional. Alone or with reinforcements, here’s how to go about it:

Go through your closet, picking up each piece of clothing. Decide what you really wear, what you would wear if it were in good repair or fit properly, what needs to be donated or consigned, and what needs to be tossed.

Save the things that need to be repaired or altered and sort the others accordingly.

Organize the clothing that is left in your closet into useful outfits so that you don’t have to hunt for matching clothes when you’re in a hurry in the morning.

When to Shop for What

There is a best time to shop to get the best deals. If you can wait, it can pay to shop at the right time.


  • Bedding
  • Linens
  • Swimwear
  • Toys
  • Treadmills and ellipticals
  • TVs
  • Winter clothing


  • Humidifiers
  • Indoor Furniture
  • Treadmills and ellipticals


  • Humidifiers
  • Small electronics
  • TVs
  • Winter sports gear


  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Spring clothing


  • Athletic apparel and shoes
  • Camping and other outdoor gear
  • Carpeting
  • Small electronics


  • Carpeting
  • Computers
  • Indoor furniture
  • Small electronics
  • Summer sports gear
  • Swimwear


  • Indoor furniture
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Swimwear


  • Air conditioners
  • Backpacks
  • School supplies
  • Dehumidifiers


  • Bikes
  • Gas grills
  • Small electronics


  • Bikes
  • Computers
  • Winter clothes


  • Baby products
  • Bikes
  • Toys
  • TVs


  • Bikes
  • Home appliances
  • Small electronics
  • Toys
  • TVs
Charities and Organizations
This list is just a sampling of available opportunities of places that can benefit from your used items — we can match your items to an appropriate source. Note that fair market value for all donated items should be discussed with your tax preparer.

To find recycling locations


Phone: 708-388-7800
Accepts: Household goods, clothing, sport/exercise equipment, furniture, books, medical equipment (full list available on website)
Benefits: Veterans
Pickup: Yes 8AM-6PM, items must be at door by 7:30AM labeled Amvets
Drop off Mon – Sat 8AM – 5PM, Sun 9AM-5PM various locations

The Ark

Phone: 773-248-1117
Accepts: Kosher nonperishable food, in-dated Medication, Household items, furniture, clothing, appliances under ten years old
Benefits: Refugees of Eastern Europe
Pickup: Northern Suburbs only. Requires at least two large pieces of furniture to send truck.
Drop Off: Mon – Thurs 10AM – 6 PM, Fri 10AM – 4 PM Sun 10AM – 5 PM at 1302 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago
First Sunday of month donations accepted at 3100 Dundee Road, Suite 204, Northbrook

Bridge to Success

Phone: 312-733-9742
Accepts: Men & Women’s professional and business casual clothing, coats and accessories (especially plus size, tall, and men’s shoes) Clothing must be clean and in good condition and on hangers
Benefits: Low/no-income men, women, and youth job-seekers
Drop off: 1236 S. Halsted Street, Chicago

Brown Elephant

Phone: 773-549-5943 (Lakeview)
Phone: 773-271-9382 (Andersonville)
Phone: 708-445-0612 (Oak Park)
Accepts: Clothing, wedding gowns, party wear, furniture, housewares, books, electronics, crutches, wheelchairs and walkers
Benefits: Howard Brown Health Center raising money for families and individuals without healthcare
Pickup: Yes
Drop Off:
Daily 10:00AM–6:00PM Lakeview)
Daily 11:00AM–6:00PM (Andersonville and Oak Park)

Cancer Federation

Phone: 888-875-4066
Accepts: All clothing, accessories, furniture, kitchen items, housewares, electrical appliances smaller than a microwave, bedding, toys, bikes, sporting goods, books, music, movies, tools and hardware, yard tools
Benefits: American Cancer Society
Pick-up: 8AM-6PM, items must be at door by 7:30AM labeled CF

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Phone: 678-580-1976
Accepts: Cell phones
Benefits: Troops stationed overseas
Drop Off: Through the mail (free shipping)

PCRR Computers for Schools Program

Phone: 800-939-6000
Accepts: Computers and related equipment, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD Players, Video Game Consoles, Cell Phones. Hard drives will go thru digital data destruction.
Benefits: Schools and other nonprofits, both city and suburbs
Pickup: Yes –contact for details
Drop Off: 4734 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago Mon – Fri, 8AM – 5:00PM

Donation Town

A nationwide directory of charities that will pick up items (clothing, household goods, books, cds, toys and more — see website for specifics) and distribute them to your desired charity.

website for tips on where/how to recycle

Encore and More

Phone: 847-853-8888
Accepts: Gently used men and women’s and children’s clothing, toys, jewelry, bric-a-brac, collectibles and small furniture.
Benefits: National Council for Jewish Women North Shore
Pickup: Yes, call for details
Drop Off: 1107 Central Street, Wilmette Mon – Sat 10AM -5PM

Freecycle Network

Its all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills

Genesis Electronics Recycling

151 Hastings Drive, Buffalo Grove
Batteries, all obsolete or outdated Computers, Microwaves, Cameras and thousands of other devices commonly used in homes and offices.
6 large items, multiple small items for $95* including up to two console tvs , addtl tvs $15 each
*w/in a 15 mile radius of Buffalo Grove, if further, fuel surcharge of $1 per mile each way
No charge for drop off on electronic items other than tvs
M-F 6:30AM – 3:00PM

Goodwill Industries

Phone: 888-353-6400
Accepts: Clothing, household items, furniture, computers.
Benefits: Training programs for the disabled
Drop Off: Various Locations 9AM-6PM An attendant will help you remove items from your car


Garment Collecting
All stores accept garments in any condition
Garments are sorted into re wear, reuse or recycle
Don’t let your fashion go to waste!
Drop off: Local H & M store

Habitat for Humanity

Accepts building materials, furniture, appliances.
Visit website for locations,

Home of the Sparrow

Phone: 815-271-5444 x41 for pick-up
Benefits: Homeless women and their children in McHenry County & Northern IL
Accepts gently used clothing, jewelry, books, furniture and household items.
Drop off at any of the six “local” thrift stores M-F 10AM-7PM, Sat 1-AM-5PM

Hopeline from Verizon

How to Donate:
In Person: Drop phones at any Verizon Wireless communications Store. To find a store visit the online store locator at:
By Mail: Print a postage-paid label at, adhere it to the box/envelope and mail. Review all shipping instructions carefully and include a return address on the label.
Benefits: Victims of domestic violence.

Junior League of Evanston Thrift House

Phone: 847-328-5778
Accepts: Business appropriate Women’s clothing that is current or timeless, like new or gently used items, clean and on hangers.
Benefits: J.L. operations and community outreach.
Drop off: J.L. Thrift House, 920 Chicago Ave, Evanston M,T,W,F 11-5, Th 11-6, Sat 10-5
Pick up available:

Lamb’s Farm Thrift Shop

Phone: 847-327-9053
Accepts: New and gently used clothing, toys, furniture, jewelry, home décor, books, housewares, electronics and shoes.
Benefits: Residents of Lambs Farm
Drop Off: Tues – Sat 10AM – 3PM 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, IL

Lions Club Intl

Phone: 630-571-5466
Accepts: Eyeglasses, hearing Aides, Ink Cartridges, Cell Phones, Keys, Aluminum Cans/Tabs
Benefits: Visually and Hearing Impaired
Drop Off: Call for local sites, at some Walmart stores, or send by mail (300 W. 22nd Street, Oakbrook, IL 60523)

Merit School of Music

Phone: 312-786-9428
Accepting musical instruments in working order. Also able to coordinate a piano donation to a deserving student
Accepts online payment.

Mt. Sinai Hospital Resale Shop

Phone: 773-935-1434
Accepts: Household goods, designer clothing, furs, small appliances, computers, cell phones and furniture. No mattresses/box springs
Benefits: Mt. Sinai Hospital
Pickup available for: mint condition furniture and other large items
Drop Off: 814 W. Diversey, Chicago, IL Mon, Weds, Thurs, Sat 10AM-5PM, Tues, Fri 10AM-7PM, Sun 11AM-4PM

ORT Thrift Shop

Phone: HP 847-433-1697, Evanston 847-864-6099
Accepts: Quality housewares, clothing, accessories and furniture
Benefits: ORT students’ worldwide
Pickup available for furniture items only in the Evanston area
Drop Off: in Evanston Mon – Sat 11:30AM – 6PM & Highland Park Mon-Sat 10AM-4PM

Poised for Success

Phone: 630-691-1455
Accepts: Women’s in-season or timeless design business appropriate attire on hangers, and accessories
Benefits: Women in the job market
Drop Off: Second Saturday of every month 10AM-1PM 312 S. Westmore/Meyers Rd. Lombard

Purple Heart Veterans

Phone: 708-396-8995
Accepts: Household items, clothing and gently used shoes, No children’s car seats, high chairs, cribs or other items that are sold with safety instructions
Benefits: Veterans and their families
Curbside pickup:

Salvation Army

Phone: 773-725-1100
Accepts: Clothing, furniture and other resalable items including motorized vehicles
Benefits: Provides services to people in need in Greater Chicago, Northern IL and Northwestern IN
Pickup: call 1-800-728-7825
Drop Off: Call for location nearest you

Sarah’s Circle

Phone: 773-728-1014 x 314
Accepts: In kind donations of toiletries, books, art supplies.
Benefits: Women who are homeless or at risk
Drop Off: 4838 N. Sheridan Road
M-F 9:30AM–5:00PM
Call ahead and someone will help you carry your items

The Sharing Connection

Phone: 630-971-0565
Visit website for full list of acceptable items to donate
Benefits: families that are struggling with poverty, fire, flood, job loss, domestic violence relocation, Veterans and more
Pickup: For Furniture only Mon – Thurs
Drop off: Mon – Fri 9AM-3PM, Sat 9AM – noon, closed Sun
5111Chase Ave, Downers Grove


One of the largest recyclers of used goods in the world
Accepting clothing, media, housewares, furniture
330 locations worldwide for drop off
Pick up also available
visit:, click donating or

Soles 4 Souls

Phone: 866-521-SHOE
Accepts: Shoes
Benefits: Low-income families around the globe
Drop Off: Various Locations

The Sports Shed

Accepts: Gently used sporting equipment
Benefits: Sports programs for under-resourced areas
Drop off Locations in Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills

Phone: 630-296-0146
Consignment store with women’s, men’s baby’s and kid’s clothing and accessories

Learn about websites to swap books, DVDs, CDs, video games and more

World Computer Exchange

Phone: 773-316-2944
Accepts: Pentium 4 Computers and hardware, working CRT large screen monitors (see website for specifics), webcams, digital cameras, USB thumb drives, modems, cell phones, printers
Benefits: Schools and institutions in 44 different developing countries
Pickup: Yes for 8 or more computers only
Drop Off: 1965 W. Pershing, Chicago

Zealous Good

Connects people with items to donate with local charities that need them most.
Fill out a brief form online and info will be provided to you on what to do next.