I love a good clear-out. I don’t know what it is about the autumn that makes me want to get my home in order but I always find myself having a clear out at this time of year. Maybe it’s part of preparing for the upcoming festive celebrations, or perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve had 10 months to accumulate more stuff!
Either way, whenever a clear-out is on the cards, I always like to make the most of the items I’m decluttering. I try to find new homes for my things – either passed on to friends and family, donated to charity or (because I’m a frugal gal) selling them secondhand. And that’s especially the case with the clothing in my wardrobe.
I have a bit of a rule that if I haven’t worn something for the past six months and I don’t plan to wear it during the next six months (which tends to cover most seasonal situations) then I probably don’t need that item of clothing any more. Those are always the first things to go on the ‘discard’ pile, along with anything that’s damaged, torn or stained. But what can you do with the clothing you’ve finished with?
1. Sell them
I don’t know about you, but whenever I pull out items from my wardrobe, I find that some of the things I haven’t worn still have the tags on. More often than not, I stick to wearing my old favourites and bypass my new purchases. Which means that I’ve got lots of things (mostly dresses and skirts that I imagined I might wear to a swish occasion!) that are in perfect unworn condition or nearly-new.
In this instance, I think it’s a good idea to realise the ‘asset’ you have and try to recoup some of the money you spent on the item that you never got round to wearing. Even a bit of a return is worth it (it all goes into savings – perhaps for Christmas?) but it does take time to photograph and list your items to sell online – especially if you’ve got quite a pile to clear out.
So, rather than doing multiple selling posts on different platforms, try a time-saving cross listing app. That way, you only need to list an item once and it’ll automatically post it to multiple marketplaces such as eBay, Vinted, Facebook and Depop. It gives you the best change of selling an item and getting back some of the cash you spent on it all those months (or years!) ago.
2. Swap them
Maybe your friends are having a clear-out too? If so, you could consider swapping some items of clothing with them. If any of your nearly new items haven’t found a new home by selling them online, you might want to see if a pal (or two) would like to do a swap. That way, you’ll both refresh your wardrobes for the coming season without spending a penny – which, to my mind, is the same as saving money.
3. Repair them
Often, the reason that I haven’t worn something for the past six months is simply that it has been damaged and I haven’t had time to repair it. If your shirt has a missing button, the hem of your dress has dropped or you need to add a patch to your jacket elbows, do it now. Then you can begin to re-use the items of clothing – which, again, saves you money on having to replace them.
I always find mysterious stains on my clothing – I think it’s too much DIYing that’s to blame! One of my tips for covering up marks is to add a new design on top of the blemish using applique or heat-transfer vinyl. You can revamp an old top by adding polka dots or stars that conveniently cover up any splatters on your clothing or you can simply add badges to cover up marks if that means you’ll get to re-wear your old favourites.
4. Donate them
If you have good quality clothing left over after all the selling and swapping (not those stained/torn ones!), you can always donate them to your local charity shop. They can then resell your clothing to make money for the charity. And while you’re there, you might be able to find something new to add to your newly decluttered wardrobe!
5. Upcycle them
Don’t forget that clothing is made from fabric, and you can always use that material for other projects around your house. For example, I turned some old, holey Fair Isle jumpers into festive cushions for my living room and bedroom. Also, I turned a skull-pattern T-shirt into a Halloween cushion and created bunting from old jumpers so there are plenty of ways you can re-use fabric rather than binning it.
Let me know your own ideas for reusing, recycling, selling, swapping or donating your old clothing in the comments below. I’d love to hear how you’ve made the most of the items you’ve cleared out from your wardrobe.
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