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(Almost) Spring Cleaning: 5 Ideas What to Do with your Old Clothes

Becca McHaffie

Yeah, yeah, I know, spring is still (too) far away but I’m already dreaming of warmer temperatures, sunshine on my face and a lighter jacket on my back. To be completely honest, the thought of springtime and, eventually, summer bringing a sense of lightness and freedom, no matter how disillusioned those might be, is the only thing that gets me through these lingering winter months. 

And with spring, and any other bigger change in life, comes a time to do a little cleaning of our minds, bodies…and closets. I absolutely hate it when it’s time to get dressed and leave the house as I too frequently catch myself staring at my clothes, wondering what that dress I haven’t worn for the past five years or that top I bought on a whim thinking rose gold is my color (spoiler alert: it’s not) are still doing in my closet, amongst quite a few other items of clothing I try on almost weekly basis, decide it’s not “it” and then get changed into one of the probably four outfits I wear every time I leave the house, if you exclude dog walking (yoga pants for the win!). 
Granted, my temper might be quite short and privilege really high for me to even get agitated about something like this, but I bet there a quite a few people reading this who kept nodding at the computer while reading that last sentence. 
And no, “maybe I’ll need it at some point” or “but it was gifted to me by ____ (insert a relative’s name here)” are not good enough reasons to keep way too many clothes that just create clutter in our wardrobes and make us think we have a ton to wear when in fact we don’t.

So, if you, like myself, also catch yourself dreaming of spring, want to make some space in your closet and finally get rid of that jumper that your aunt gave you for your birthday when you were 15 with (almost) no guilt attached, here are a few things you could do: 

1. Sell online

There are a ton of websites and apps where you can sell 2nd hand clothing like Asos Marketplace, Depop and Basic Space to name just a few, and if you haven’t heard, vintage is all the rage right now. It helps your clothing find new owners and makes a few bucks. Win-win right there, if you ask me.

2. Hold a charity auction

Can’t be bothered to take photos of your clothes, set prices, reply to messages and do the trip to the post office to send them out? You can always have little get together with your friends, auction all the items of clothing that you don’t want anymore, then donate the money collected to your favourite charity. 

suriya yapin/ Shutterstock

3. Donate them to a homeless shelter

Shelters are usually always in need to clothing, especially in cold winter months they usually lack warm socks, jackets and pants, so why not do a little research, see which ones are in your area and those most needed of some extra support? I bet you’ll make someone really happy.

4. Re-do them

Sometimes I put something I haven’t worn in ages on and pinch the fabric bit or maybe make the skirt a tiny bit shorter or more tailored and I can see a potential in that piece…and then I put it back in the wardrobe and never get to it. Well, I think it’s time to take that piece out again and really see if that alteration would make such a difference the piece would actually become a part of the wearable part of your wardrobe. And if it would, and if you have the time, why not give it a go yourself? You might learn something new (or maybe even find another passion) but if not, I bet there’s a few skilled people in your town who’d make the piece look as you want for a fraction of price of a new one. 

5. Friend swap

Can’t be bothered to really do anything with these clothes, you just want them gone and need an excuse to invite your friends over (although to be honest, you don’t really need an excuse for that)? Get some drinks and some tapas and invite your friends over as well as those items of clothing they’re dying to get rid of and do a swap. This way everyone goes home with something new while not spending a dime.

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