Like most people I am gearing up to clean out my closets and looking for ways to get rid of clothes that no longer work for my family. We have closets crammed full of clothes that we don’t wear, there are storage tubs in the garage full of clothes that don’t fit, and I am sure if I looked there would be some shoved somewhere else. The trouble is what to do with clothes that you want to get out rid of but not just toss in the trash to end up in a land fill? These are my top 5 ways to get rid of clothes responsibly.
These days there are dozens of ways to sell your old clothes. The one thing you have to remember when selling your clothes is to be realistic. If you bought that tee shirt on clearance at Target for $5, you are not going to sell it for $10 after wearing it for a year or so. The clothes you will have the best chance of selling are designer or upscale items that are in very good condition.
The other thing to keep in mind is to sell clothes in the right season. If you want to sell a ski coat you will never wear again you have a better chance of selling it in the winter/ fall when people will want it. Not many people are going to be looking for ski coats in June.
Places to Sell Your Clothes
- Consignment Store
- Facebook Marketplace
- Online consignment stores
This is my favorite way to pass on clothes. You know that they will go to someone who can use them, but probably can’t afford to buy them.
When I was in high school our house burnt to the ground a month after moving to a new state. We didn’t know anyone in the community, had no renter insurance, and lost everything. The little town in Tennessee got together and donated clothes, furniture, food, toiletries, every thing really a family 6 needed to start over. The thing they gave the most was clothes. We actually received so many we ended up sending a whole truck load to the Salvation Army. **When you donate make sure you giving your things to a place that will actually help people, not sell the items for a profit.
Places to Donate Your Clothes
- Salvation Army
- Red Cross
- Local Churches (make sure they have a clothes closet)
- Women’s Shelter
- Homeless Shelter
A couple of times a year my friends and I get together for a swap. We have all bring something to snack on and a trunk full of things we want to swap. It started with just swapping purses. Then we added shoes. Then clothes. Now we swap just about anything – even candle holders. This is just a fun way to spend time with your girl friends and go shopping at the same time.
To make sure your swap runs smoothly layout ground rules ahead of time. These are ours.
- No cash ever.
- Everything goes on the table and it is a free for all.
- No stealing what has already been claimed.
- Not all swaps are equal. If you want a coach purse for a coach purse – you should sell it not bring it to the swap.
- No regrets. You can’t call someone the next day and say you changed your mind.
This is something that I have been experimenting with lately. If you have a shirt that you loved but now has gotten a rip on the sleeve you can’t fix? Turn it into a tank top. That skirt with the great print but busted zipper? Turn it into a pillow. Baby clothes you don’t want to part with but you won’t be having more kiddos? Make a quilt. Grandpa’s favorite flannel shirt? Turn it into a memory bear you can cuddle with.
There are books and websites for upcycling your clothes (and other fabrics in your house) for people of all skill levels. You don’t have to be a master seamstress to use fabric glue, but if you are think of all the free fabric you just found in that pile of clothes. So far I have made teeshirt quilts, a lap quilt with my niece’s baby clothes, and pillows out of old shirts. I just bought a book on turning the old embroidered pillowcases into dresses for my daughter. *If you can’t do the sewing part yourself there are people out there who will – for a fee.
Nothing is going to polish the family silver, scrub the tub, or buff out the polish on your shoes like cleaning rags made out of old cotton clothes. I can’t say I have ever tried cutting up a rayon blouse to make a dish cloth, but I have cut up old jeans for hot pads. If you are just a bit OCD – cut them into squares that are all the same size. I usually cut mine into 4×4 squares. They are big enough to clean with but not so large they flop around and make a bigger mess. The kicker with this one is when it gets to stained or tatty then you can throw it away and not feel guilty.
I know there are other ways out there to get rid of your unwanted clothes. If you have a great one leave me a comment below so I can try it out too!