5 Things to Do with Old Clothes When Clearing Out your Wardrobe

Having a clear out of your wardrobe and wondering what to do with old clothes?

This post is all about helping you get rid of those things that you no longer need but in a productive and useful way.

If you’ve read my spring cleaning list post then you’ll know I’m somewhat of an organisation freak. I like things to be clean and tidy and have their old space. In fact, recently I’ve listened to a Tea and Tattle Podcast which spoke all about minimalistic living where the concept of getting rid of all things that are useless to you is a healthy thing to do. One of the ideas that I took away from that is even if you’ve never worn an item that you bought, think about the pleasure that it gave you when you were in the process of buying it. This way, you’ll in no way feel guilty getting rid of items that you know for a fact you’ll never wear. And you know what? It really works because I tried it out for myself.

The same thing goes for items that people have gifted you… my example would be my Russian family bringing me clothes that, unfortunately (and don’t tell them I said this) is SO last season (or 10 seasons ago even!) haha.

Anyway, I’ve written down five things that you can do with your old clothes, which, for me, helps appease that guilt that I feel before I have the need to hoard everything…

1. Sell Old Clothes

It’s always great to get some money for old clothes, especially if the items you’re giving away are in a good condition. In the past I’ve kept things that no longer fitted me just because it was really expensive so selling it off means that I’ll make at least some of that money back.

The first option is use Cash for Clothes UK. It offers around 40p per 1 kilo of used clothing. It’s not much but if you have a lot of kilos it’ll add up and make a nice sum for a new piece of garment ;). I recommend looking around at other options too, in case another organisation that offer money for clothes near you that’ll offer you more but please ALWAYS check reviews to make sure they’re not a scammer.

Then the more obvious options are eBay and Gumtree. I prefer to use the latter first as you don’t need to pay them a commission for your sale because it’s cash in hand. The only problem there though is that it’ll be selling only to your local area, which isn’t as many buyers as it could be on eBay. My advice is try both and see which works for you.

2. Recycle the Fabric

I really enjoy sewing and so upcycling clothes is a lot of fun in my opinion. It’s a thrifty and practical way of using your clothes… but in a different way. For example, you can use old rags to clean your floors or dust the shelves (or even make dog toys!)

One of my top things to do with old clothes is smelly wardrobe sachets. They’re cool because you can make them literally ANY size so you can re-use any of your clothes, even old socks if you wanted to! I also like them as they’ll keep moths away with their gorgeous smelling potpourri. Here’s a tutorial so you can make your own scented wardrobe sachets with old clothes scraps:

Other Crafty Ideas for Old Clothes:

  • DIY clothes – make old clothes into new clothes for yourself or for kids
  • Tote bags – larger clothes, like tshirts and jumpers are great for this
  • Dog toys – Make a rope made out of old clothes that are cut into strips
  • Quilt blanket – use lots of different clothes for a fun effect

3. Clothes Recycling by Giving to Charity

Giving your old things to charity is a generous thing to do. Once you’ve used the items and you no longer want them and you want them out of your way as quickly as possible, why not offer it to somebody else? Charities rely on so many of us to do this year on year and month on month and for good reason as it’s one of the main sources of money (for many of them anyway) so that they can keep on researching and helping the community.

A few charities that I give my clothes to are:

  • Cancer Research UK
  • British Heart Foundation
  • St Luke’s Hospice

This topic is really interesting. In fact, at the end of this month I’m going to a Cancer Research UK Science Lab to get a tour of the hard work the charity’s scientists undertake to recycle old clothes. I will be writing about it via a separate post so be sure to check back. I’ll also link from here so you can find it!

4.  Putting Things into Storage

If you know you’re going to wear particular clothes again and you’re simply replacing them because it’s your winter wardrobe for example and that they’re only ‘old’ for a season or two, then think about better ways of storing them away. Boxes and vacuum packed bags are probably my go-to ways of putting away clothes that I’m not planning to wear for months and I end up using all the space I can under my bed and in the attic. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using other places too, such as a basement and garage if you have those. The only thing I would recommend is to make sure your clothes are well and truly away from any damp because of two main reasons. Firstly, in a few months time your clothes will smell really badly and secondly, the damp may rot away some of your fabric which you obviously don’t want.

What do you do with your old clothes? Comment below and let me know!

This post is in association with the Satsuma company but this isn’t a sponsored post. All photography by Alina Ghost, taken at Living Etc House Tours 2015.

Writer / Blogger on The Fairytale Pretty Picture. Currently working in the head office of a large retail company in London, UK and living in Essex.

1 Comment

  • Such great idea! Love the idea of reusing fabric, and I’m so glad you found Tea & Tattle helpful 🙂 Miranda xxx

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