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So you cleaned out your closet. Now what?!
You have piles of unwanted clothing that you have NO idea of what to do with them.
Should all unwanted clothing be donated? What should I do with clothing that is torn? Stained?Out of style? Can they be recycled?
These were definitely questions I had going through my head when I started on my organization journey
I had a ton of clothes, but here is the thing, about 75% of them either did not fit, needed fixed, or just were not my style any more. Getting ready was always a chore. I had to dig through a stuffed closet and piles of shirts and sweaters just to find the 25% that I could wear. It was past time to clean out my closet and get organized!
Before I got started I did a little bit of research to see what I could do with my unwanted clothing beyond donating. I discovered that clothing and shoes CAN be recycled and that some clothing stores will actually take their clothing back and give you instore credit. But more on that later.
I decided that I would divide my unwanted clothing into four categories. Sell, donate, recycle, and fix.
My mess of a closet BEFORE purging. (Any one else cringe at the word purge? )
I totally emptied my closet and laid it all out on the bed. Then I proceeded to organize using my bins. Everything I wanted to keep went back into the closet where I organized by grouping all like items together. Shirts, skirts, dresses, sweaters, etc.
After my closet was organized, I repeated the process with my dresser. I folded my shirts Marie Kondo style. It worked wonderfully and I can see exactly what I have !!
Now let's talk about how to dispose of all that unwanted clothing!
I had quite a few items of clothing that were barely worn or never worn. Instead of donating these clothes I will sell them on POSHMARK. I have had success in the past selling my unwanted clothing on Poshmark. However, I am now very selective about what clothing is sold on Poshmark, because it is time consuming. You have to take multiple pictures of the clothing upload them and be active with sharing to make sales. Then once sold you print out the shipping label and ship the clothing. Poshmark does take a commission so I only post clothes that I can sell for $8 or more. Initially, I did post clothing for less, but hasn’t been worth the money you actually recieve. However, there are other sites such as ThredUp, Mercari, or Tradesy. You can also consign at a local consignment shop or try Facebook Marketplace.
I usually donate clothes to our local thrift shop because I know that the proceeds from our local thrift shop go directly to helping our local community. You can also contact your local homeless shelters and see if they take clothing donations. I have also seen posts on Facebook Marketplace where people will post a box of clothing for free for someone in need. And of course you can always donate to larger well known donation stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army.
There are multiple ways to recycle your clothes. You can cut up unwanted cotton clothing for rags or use local recycle centers. I found this website that was super helpful and they even have a recycling locator! I did find a few online companies that would send you a recycling box butmost had a pretty hefty price tag attached.
Also, stores such as Patagonia will take back their clothing that is no longer wearable. Other stores like H&M and American Eagle offer in store recycling bins at select locations for your unwanted items.
There were also a few peices of clothing in my closet that I decided to upcycle into little dresses and palazzo's for my daughters. I absolutely loved the patterns on a few of my old outfits and could not bring myself to donate, so I am excited to see how they turn out!
Just because your favorite shirt is missing a button or your favorite skirt has a small tear, doesn’t mean you should toss it. Even a pair of jeans or dress that doesn’t fit well can be altered to fit. Find a local seamstress for the harder to fix items, and learn to sew for the more basic fixes. Luckily, I have mulitple family members who know how to sew well so I was able to salvage alot of my favorite clothing that I wasn't able to wear due to tears or poor fit!
At the end of my purging( gross, there's that word again) I cut the amount of my clothing in HALF. My dresser has TWO empty drawers and my closet looks bare. The relief I felt cleaning out my closet was immense!! The perks of cleaning out my closet and getting rid of unwanted clothing were HUGE. I felt so relieved, getting ready is now a breeze and I saved a TON of money! I had a list of clothing I thought I needed prior to the clean out, but after the clean out, I realize that I didn't need most of the items on my list!
My closet after I organized!
Every peice of my unwanted clothing has been either recycled/upcycled, donated, fixed, or will be sold! Not one peice was shipped to the landfill and that makes my hippie heart overflow with happiness!
Are you ready to get started on your organizational journey? Read about how I got started HERE!