Hey everyone! So spring is officially here both calendar-wise and weather-wise. Which means I want to get rid of EVERYTHING! No seriously, I have so much stuff and I’ve been feeling so weighed down by that stuff.
But this is a new feeling for me. Before about two and a half months ago, all I wanted was stuff. Now it makes me antsy.
One of the things that I have way too much of is clothes. I wear the same clothes all the time but I have mountains of clothing everywhere. My closet is full, the former laundry room is full of bins of my clothes, and I have coats everywhere. I also haven’t gotten rid of older clothes as diligently as I should, and that’s piled up.
So this year when I switched out my fall/winter clothes for my spring/summer clothes I decided I’d get rid of as much as possible.
I have filled about three large bags worth of clothes! In a previous clear out I had another large bag of clothing as well. I’ve managed to limit the fall/winter clothes I’m keeping to two 5-gallon tubs, which is still a lot but so much better than before. It still seems like a lot but I remind myself that colder weather clothes is so much bulkier than summer clothing.
At first I was going to try and donate the clothes to a women’s shelter I found online near me. However my mom suggested we hold onto it so when we go to Mexico we can take it there for family members to pick through. I love her idea but the fact that I have to continue to hold onto these items is really annoying me. I just want to be rid of it! I’m going to try and separate it out so I can give some items to the shelter and the rest can go to Mexico on our next trip.
Here’s some tips for getting rid of some items you might have in your closet that have worked for me. Hopefully they can help you!
- Be honest, does it fit? If not, say goodbye!
Personally I’ve kept clothes from when I was an XXS or XS but now I wear S or M sized clothing. It made sense to keep the clothing when I was younger because my weight changed very quickly and drastically. My weight has been pretty steady though for awhile and while I am trying to lose weight now, the smaller clothing is not my personal style anymore anyway! So I finally got rid of it and look forward to being able to buy new clothing once I shred the pounds.
- Ask yourself, is it me? Going on from #1, styles change!
For example, in high school I was totally obsessed with wearing polo shirts, but now you couldn’t catch me in a polo! Now I wear a lot of looser blouses. When I worked retail I was required to wear all black, so I wore a ton of black leggings and black cardigans but now I wear jeans to work everyday (no leggings allowed) although I love to wear black tops and still wear a lot of them. The polo shirts were banished long ago but I still had a lot of leggings so I got rid of a few of those. I also don’t like spaghetti strap shirts anymore so I’ve gotten rid of a ton of those as well, although a few I did keep because I can wear them with cardigans.
- Have I worn it since I bought it? (Or last 12 months?)
When I was going through some of my stored clothing and some of the items still had the tags! A lot of it was small sizes or white clothing (which I never wear) so I tossed that into the growing pile as well. A year is usually a good time period to consider as I live where we have four seasons. However if I lived in a more consistent weather area I would probably consider a shorter time frame.
- Is it ripped/stained/otherwise unwearable?
Now I’ve been talking a lot about donating clothing but with ripped or stained clothing it honestly won’t be worn and should not be donated. Instead of throwing the older clothing away I use it as lounge wear (depending on the item of course) or wear older clothes when I work with my dad’s company. He owns a landscape business so anything I wear gets dirty and torn. Older clothing is great to wear because I don’t have to worry about taking care of it. Pinterest has good ideas for how to re-purpose clothing as well. I knew someone in college who took her old cross country and track and field shirts from high school to make into a blanket, so doing a fun project with older shirts can also work to try to keep clothes out of landfills.
- What else can I get rid of in my closet?
I’ve been talking a lot about clothing but you don’t have to stop there! A lot of athletic stores will take older athletic shoes for recycling. You can also donate shoes, especially if you have less commonly worn sizes. I imagine sizes that are hard to find in stores because they are so uncommon are much harder to find for those who can’t afford to shop for them and they may end up wearing the wrong sizes. Also winter accessories if you live in colder climates would be great as well. Hats, gloves, scarves, etc. could be donated to homeless shelters for the winter.
Now I’ve talked a lot about donating because that’s what I planned to do with my clothing but there are other options!
In the past I’ve swapped clothes I no longer want with friends and family. It’s great because I was able to get rid of stuff but also get new-to-me clothing items. Since I’m trying to get rid of stuff and not bring more in, this won’t work for me this time around but it’s been really fun in the past! Otherwise you can go the old tried and true method of donating. Shelters, churches, resale shops, and even some retailers will take clothing donations to reuse/resell/recycle. I try not to donate to places that will only sell the clothing for profit as opposed to using the funds to help people in need so shelters would be my first pick as they can give the clothing to those they help. Keep in mind, certain items like socks can’t be donated if they’ve been worn!
You could also sell older items! I don’t have many pricey items but another good tip I’ve seen is that you can sell higher end items such as designer handbags. That may be a good option if you have your eye on something new and need a way to fund it! There’s also resale stores that will buy gently used clothing or other items as well rather than accepting them as donations so if you do want to get money out of your items you look into that. And I don’t know how common garage sales/yard sales are outside the US but I know I see tons of these in the summer. You might have to check with your city/home association to see what you need to do to have such a sale. For example in my town you have to pay to get a permit to sell and then you can use it a certain number of times within a certain period. Otherwise you can try selling online or find a place where you can set up shop!
These tips came from my desire to get rid of clothes but they could also work if you’re moving or downsizing as well! Let me know if any of these tips were helpful for you. If you have tips of your own, please share in the comments!
Thanks for reading!