Once you've pruned your closet, you can work wonders on closet guilt by donating your excess stuff to a good cause. You'll be recycling, making a stylish gift to someone who needs it and, most likely, getting a tax deduction.
Remember to get a receipt from the organization to which you are donating, and keep a record of the estimated value of the items. The IRS will allow you to deduct one-third of the total value up to $500.
We've listed some favorite donation destinations below, along with a couple of services that can help you with the weeding process if your closet's got you overwhelmed.
Council Thrift Shops: Benefit the National Council of Jewish Women, which provides counseling, support groups, and art and literature classes to women and children in need. Donations are accepted at various locations from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily. A free pickup service is available; call (323) 655-3111 to schedule. www.ncjwla.org.
Covenant House of California: A center that provides resources such as housing, food, clothing and counseling to homeless youth. Clothing donations are accepted seven days a week, 24 hours a day at 1325 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles. www.covenanthouse.org.
Discovery Shops of the American Cancer Society: All proceeds go toward cancer research, education and aid for cancer patients and their families. Donation drop-off hours vary with store location. www.cancer.org.
Goodwill: Revenue from the many Goodwill stores across the U.S. provides education and assistance to people living with disadvantages including homelessness and mental disability. Visit www.goodwill.org to find the nearest drop-off location.
My Friend's Place: A drop-in center for homeless youth. Donations accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day at 5850 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. www.myfriends place.org.
Out of the Closet: Sales of donated clothing and household items help fund the medical services provided by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Donation drop-off hours vary with store location. Pickup service is available; call (877) 274-2548 or go online at www.outofthe closet.org.
Salvation Army: All proceeds from the Salvation Army's stores go to its adult rehabilitation centers. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to find the Salvation Army family stores in your area.
In Perfect Order: Organizes household goods including your photos and the contents of your garage and also offers a closet clean-out service that focuses on getting rid of items that are just collecting dust. If you just need a bigger closet, they'll build that too. (818) 438-7364, www.inperfectorder.com.
Clos-ette: Based in Manhattan, but with clients all over the world, this closet-organizing service deals with big spenders and celebrities -- in other words, mega-shoppers. Owner Melanie Charlton Fascitelli and her team of organizers offer "closet editing" to help you trim and re-imagine your wardrobe, and will also design and build a whole new space for your clothing and accessories. (877) 803-9797, www.clos-ette.com.