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Sandra Sully: How To Spring Clean Your Wardrobe And Help Those Worse For Wear

I have a problem and I bet you do too.

Actually I think it’s a problem we all have.

I suspect your wardrobe -- like mine -- is chock-a-block, full of clothes you  never wear or repeatedly overlook.

This is not designed to make you feel embarrassed or ashamed, but to let you know there's an easy way you can do something about it.

Every year the average Australian woman will buy 27 kilograms of new clothing and throw away 23 kilograms of old clothing.

Really, 27 kilograms?

Yes, and most of us will only wear 33 percent of our wardrobe and, all too often, many of those clothes are only ever worn once, maybe twice.

For some of us -- who shall remain nameless -- unworn clothes are still tucked away in our closets with the price tags still attached.

This was me a couple of years ago, dressed head to toe from my local op shop in Paddington.

To help you sort out what you don't need  -- and what others do -- Vinnies, Red Cross Shops and Salvos stores have all joined forces with the DoSomething Foundation to launch The Big Spring Clean.

It's Australia’s first national clothing drive to help those in need.

The Big Spring Clean event takes place this Saturday, October 6, in more than 1000 charity op shops around Australia.

The ask is simple: take your unused good-quality clothing down to your local charity op shop.

Now I stress here, GOOD quality only please.

Frankly, if you wouldn't give it to a friend, then don't dump it on charities -- they have enough to deal with.

Long time op shopper Gretel Killeen and waste guru Craig Reucassel are backing The Big Spring Clean campaign.

For Killeen, nearly everything she wears has come from a charity op shop.

”We want people to go through everything at home and get all of the clothing that they no longer want. The clothes that don’t fit, the clothes that they don’t like anymore. We need them to make sure it’s good quality clothing that can be taken down to their local op shop," she said.

Op Shop Week founder Jon Dee said The Big Spring Clean is a great opportunity for Australians to declutter their homes and do something good for someone else.

“This is like a Clean Up Australia Day for people’s wardrobes. By doing The Big Spring Clean, people can clean up their homes and help Australians who are doing it tough.”

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Everything donated will either be given to those in need or sold to raise funds for vital community services, and it's an event the whole family can get involved in.

“This week is National Op Shop Week and many families around Australia have the kids at home on school holidays,” said Dee.

“The Big Spring Clean is a great way to get the kids to clean up their rooms and donate the clothes that no longer fit them.”

The event taps into a genuine desire by so many Aussies to help out and lend a hand.  Every year Australians donate 780,000 tonnes of clothing and goods to op shops, but charities say they need even more to help those in need.

The push to increase donations has the backing of War On Waste campaigner Craig Reucassel.

"If you’ve put on weight or lost weight or grown a third arm, and you have high quality unwanted clothing, you should take it to one of the 1100 charity op shops that are involved. We need as many people as possible to get involved in the Big Spring Clean,” he said.

It's amazing how good it feels to declutter.

So help yourself this Spring and help someone else while you're at it. The Big Spring Clean is on Saturday October 6th.

Find more information on The Big Spring Clean here. 

To find the charity op shops in your local area,  just type in your postcode at OpShopWeek.com.au