You’ve sorted through your clothes, decluttered your wardrobe – and found lots of things you no longer want to wear. What now? Here are some ways to get rid of unwanted clothes that you’re going to love!
Clothes are a tough item in our homes to declutter and organise – because our size/shape/style and tastes are constantly changing.
Fashion comes around every few years, and the lure of the shops is real!
So – why don’t we give ourselves a bit of a break, and get rid of the clothes we aren’t wearing any longer?
There are so many reasons to have less… and so many ways to get rid of unwanted clothes, that there’s really no excuse anymore…
What are you saving by having less clothes?
You spend less time searching for clothes, less time shopping, less time washing and caring for the clothes
Less clothes means you spend more wisely on clothes you really do need.
Other less well known or thought about financial bonuses are the money saved on cleaning, washing and even storing those extra clothes.
Less shopping, less washing, less stress about what to wear.
Some people have so many clothes that a capsule wardrobe seems a ludicrous idea in reality. It is a habit they have gained over the years, and to those people their clothes are a collection and a narrative of their lives.
It is so difficult to get rid of things that mean a lot – and so I have come up with a few ideas that may well be of help. Please be assured that once you have created a smaller wardrobe you will feel freer, you will wear more (as you can see what you have more easily), and you will save money and effort in keeping those items you never actually wear anyway!
How can you find out what clothes you actually use?
One great way of seeing exactly what you do wear is as follows – and this may well be the first thing you need to do to show you exactly how little you end up wearing each month and give you the impetus to start a good declutter.
NB – As always please note that I’m not advocating getting rid of everything you own – merely looking at it and seeing if you really do need it all. You have what works for you – whatever amount that is!
For a month, when you wear an item and hang it up, ensure that the hanger is facing the other way to everything else (start by turning all hangers to face one way).
At the end of the month TAKE OUT EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVEN’T WORN i.e. those that the hanger is still facing the other way. Look at what is left and you will no doubt be shocked at how little you have used.
This may be just the impetus you need to start getting rid of the excess!
7 Inspired ways to get rid of unwanted clothes
So, you’ve now decided WHAT to let go of – it’s now time to find the best place(s) possible to take them.
And there are lots of options! – so I’ve distilled them down into 7 ways that you could consider next time you declutter your wardrobe…
#1 – Swap night with friends
Why not have a swap night with your friends, where you all bring items that you don’t wear anymore, and swap with others?
This is a great excuse for a night in, and you never know what you may end up finding!
As the saying goes, your trash may be someone else’s treasure.
I recently went to a large night like this at the local civic centre – there were beauty therapists and hair dressers doing makeovers, cupcakes and sparkling wine and chocolates to nibble on, and it made a great evening out – I even came away with a couple of ideal pieces that work really well with my other clothes – bonus!
Word of caution – don’t come back with more than you went with (try and make a list of what you need before going), and ensure that what you bring home you will actually wear and suits you and isn’t just more clutter for your wardrobe.
Related: How Understanding Your Style Can Minimise Your Wardrobe
#2 – Sell them & turn your clothes into cash
Why not sell your clothes and make some cash?
It’s an especially good idea for items that still have their labels on (I see you!) – we all have them, those bargains that seemed like such a great idea at the time but we’ve never had a reason or want to wear them…
Places you could look to sell them include:
- Facebook marketplace
TIP – Usually bundles of clothes sell better than individual items – group in size, style, shop etc… and see what’s selling well.
Related: 7 Insider Tips For Selling Things Online
#3 – Recycle Clothes
Why not give your unwanted clothes a new lease of life – even if they’re past their best – by recycling them?
There are loads of options for recycling clothes, including:
- Recycling bins in supermarkets
- Textile banks in car parks
- Your local council may do pick ups for clothes recycling so it’s worth giving them a call
#4 – Donate Clothes
Another great option for reusing your unwanted clothes is to donate them to some place that could really use them and appreciate them.
Some ideas for where to donate clothes are:
- Local charity shops – they are always grateful of good quality clothes – why not help others with items that are just gathering dust otherwise?
- Animal shelters – check what they are looking for as some will be specific for items
- Homeless shelters – again check what they are looking for as some will be looking for specific donations.
- Fill a bag that comes through your door asking for charity donations (this is a great idea because they pick it up as well, so if you find it hard to take donations anywhere, this would work well). I often get plastic bags through the door asking for old clothes, shoes etc… – if you get into the habit of filling these up then it will soon add up – and you know that they’re going to a great cause.
- Search online for which charities do clothes collection services in your area (The British Heart Foundation is one and they also offer a free post donation service if you prefer)
- Look for bring back schemes in your local shops where you can simple drop off a bag of clothes when you’re next there (for example, M&S do this)
- Use Freecycle to donate stuff to anyone who will pick it up – for free in your local area
#5 – Trade them in
Some shops will actually give you vouchers for giving them your unwanted clothes – really!
Check with your usual clothes shops – but at time of writing, H&M and Marks and Spencer were offering vouchers for donations.
#6 – Upcycle them into something useful!
Not necessarily getting rid of the clothes, but getting rid of them in their current form and giving them a fresh lease of life is always a good option…
- T-shirts can be cut up to make instant cleaning rags, or use an oversized adult one for your childs painting shirt.
- An old sock can work really well as a cleaning mitt! (so much easier to wipe surfaces especially shutters or blinds).
- Make sock puppets with the kids – a cheap and easy craft afternoon awaits!
- Use them in the kids dressing up box
- You could make new items for you or other family members to wear – a long skirt can be easily made into a dress if you add a belt, for example.
Related: What Exactly IS Upcycling? – Your Questions Answered…
#7 – Throw them away
Only as a very last resort should you simply throw clothes away. There is ALWAYS a better way – unless an item is really stained or damaged there is no reason to just add to the bin.
Because the stats on how long fabrics take to decay are astounding:
Close the Loop states that non biodegradable synthetic fabrics like polyester, spandex, nylon, … will eventually break down, but this process might take between 20 to 200 years.
How do you tend to get rid of unwanted clothes?
I hope these tips have given you a few ideas, and that you’ll think twice before adding them to the rubbish bin in the future…