Clothes are special to us. Maybe even more so as a kid in the '70s or '80s. When I was in elementary school in the 1970's clothes were expensive I did not have many, I did not have big sisters so they were precious. I think my grandma primarily washed them for me because it seemed like I was always toting them around on the weekends when I went to visit.
I lived with my mom and her boyfriend. I would get taken to Grandma's mobile home in Los Gatos in an old Chevrolet pick up and we would drive 17 back then, it was called 17 not "the 17" or "Highway 17" just 17. It was a crazy road much twistier and nastier than today's road. We we driving over and I remember looking back and my little pink hamper opened and all my clothes were flying out of the back of the truck and were strewn along the highway. I was little but I remember asking him if my clothes would be okay in the back of the truck. I was not assured they would be fine and I was attached to them.
I remember them strewn along side the road and in those days you could turn around and go get them without being killed. We did go back and get them but my favorite patchwork blouse was never the same it was torn and had been run over. I did still wear it until I got teased about it. I had a pair of jeans, some shirts and some pajamas but I never forgot how something special to me got ruined because someone did not believe in physics...
I understand the personal space laundry takes up in peoples lives I watch them lovingly fold clothes the Goodwill would not accept. But I understand they are their clothes, their things, and they are special to them. Recently we had a customer mistakenly leave two sweatshirts we left them out for him thinking he would come back. He came back too late and someone grabbed them. But he left a heartfelt note and the person brought them back. I think the person who took them thought they were free or not wanted.
When people leave clothes we cannot tell if it is because they forgot or because they do not want them, yet typically they contact us if they lost a precious item. I feel bad for the clothes that are new yet stained or torn, and get thrown away. They do not have time to get worn in or be someone's favorite pair of jeans or favorite comforter.
Now clothes are cheaper and the Goodwill has a great selection clothes are not so rare and can be replaced. A new beloved blouse can be found. Yet I do recommend if you are attached to your clothes keep an eye on them at the laundry mat and maybe not put them in the back of your uncovered pick up truck!