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How to get rid of unwanted clothes

It’s all very well and good me saying to sort through your clothes and get rid of loads, but it’s harder to do in practise, and I understand this.

How to get rid of unwanted clothes

Everyone has different clothing needs. The stay at home mum will usually have less clothes than a woman who needs to have work clothes as well, and what about those who socialise a lot or need specific clothes for hobbies and interests? There is no one size fits all.

However, just look at programmes on the TV – Gok Wan has said many times that you can create a capsule wardrobe with very little – the key is getting key pieces that all work together and can be mixed and matched for various looks.

This is something that I am in total agreement of – it’s easy on your wallet, your time, your energy and much more when you have a manageable amount of clothes only – I am going to look at creating a capsule wardrobe in a later post so watch this space!

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What are you saving by having less clothes?

TIME

You spend less time searching for clothes, less time shopping, less time washing and caring for the clothes

MONEY

Less clothes means you spend more wisely on clothes you really do need.

Other less well known or thought about financial bonuses are the money saved on cleaning, washing and even storing those extra clothes.

ENERGY

Less shopping, less washing, less stress about what to wear.

Some people have so many clothes that a capsule wardrobe seems a ludicrous idea in reality. It is a habit they have gained over the years, and to those people their clothes are a collection and a narrative of their lives.

It is so difficult to get rid of things that mean a lot – and so I have come up with a few ideas that may well be of help. Please be assured that once you have created a smaller wardrobe you will feel freer, you will wear more (as you can see what you have more easily), and you will save money and effort in keeping those items you never actually wear anyway!

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How can you find out what clothes you actually use?

One great way of seeing exactly what you do wear is as follows – and this may well be the first thing you need to do to show you exactly how little you end up wearing each month and give you the impetus to start a good declutter.

NB – As always please note that I am not advocating getting rid of everything you own – merely looking at it and seeing if you really do need it all. You have what works for you – whatever amount that is!

For a month, when you wear an item and hang it up, ensure that the hanger is facing the other way to everything else (start by turning all hangers to face one way). At the end of the month TAKE OUT EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVEN’T WORN i.e. those that the hanger is still facing the other way. Look at what is left and you will no doubt be shocked at how little you have used.

This may be just the impetus you need to start getting rid of the excess!

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What ways can I actually start to get rid of my unwanted clothes?

  • Why not have a swap night with your friends, where you all bring items that you don’t wear anymore, and swap with others – this is a great excuse for a night in, and you never know what you may end up finding! – as the saying goes, your trash may be someone elses treasure. I recently went to a large night like this at the local civic centre – there were beauty therapists and hair dressers doing makeovers, cupcakes and sparkling wine and chocolates to nibble on, and it made a great evening out – I even came away with a couple of ideal pieces that work really well with my other clothes – bonus! – Word of caution – don’t come back with more than you went with (try and make a list of what you need before going), and ensure that what you bring home you will actually wear and suits you and isn’t just more clutter for your wardrobe.
  • Sell your clothes on ebay and make some money back – especially items that still have their label on (we all have those purchases that seemed like a good idea at the time!). Usually bundles of clothes sell better than individual items – group in size, style, shop etc… and see whats selling well.
  • Freecycle clothes
  • Get an honest friend to sit by your wardrobe (glass of wine in hand often helps!) and slowly work through each outfit you have – they will give an honest opinion whether or not to keep it!
  • Can you create an outfit with all the items in your wardrobe? I have lost count of times when I have seen someone (me included) buy a great top only to find that it goes with nothing when they get home, and then they keep it “Just in case” – what a waste of time, energy AND money!
  • Charity shops are always grateful of good quality clothes – why not help others with items that are just gathering dust otherwise
  • Supermarkets often have recycling areas for clothing and shoes – these are great for items that are more used and wouldn’t be accepted by charity shops
  • I often get plastic bags through the door asking for old clothes, shoes etc… – if you get into the habit of filling these up then it will soon add up – and you know that its going to a great cause. You don’t even have the excuse of having to take it to the charity shop – they will come and pick it up for you this way.
  • Only as a very last resort should you simply throw clothes away

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How to get rid of unwanted clothes

How do you tend to part with your clothes that you no longer want/need? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below….

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7 Responses to How to get rid of unwanted clothes

  1. Mili Sep 27, 2016 at 1:29 am #

    I recycle items at H&M, donate to my children’s school nurses – they can always use clothes in the primary and elementary levels and contribute to the schools bottom line with Schoola – a great initiative. Most recently donated to a charity all my father’s suits/shirts/ties that were warmly accepted. Look around locally and you will be surprised at the contributions you can make.

  2. Chrissy @ Organise My House Jul 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Glad that you are getting a return on your hard work Christine! It’s always good to see a clear benefit.

  3. rachel Feb 6, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    This is such great advice. I find it really hard to get rid of clothes that aren’t damaged, etc. It’s that whole ‘guilt’ thing. I think it was on your blog (possibly) that you recommended The life changing magic of tidying book. I love her approach, that if something doesn’t ‘spark joy’, it’s time to go. She says to think of the purpose an item had in your life, so even if it’s something brand new with tags, you may have needed the happiness of the actual purchase at the time, so the item has served its purpose. I’ve scaled my wardrobe down so much, and am trying to focus on buying simple, classy new items that will go with different things, so sticking to a colour theme, etc.

    It really does feel good to create so much space and simplify things.

    • Chrissy Halton Feb 6, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Hi Rachel – glad it has helped, and so happy that you are feeling great about organising and getting things under control! – Have a great weekend x

  4. Joyce Hepher Nov 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Great idea about putting hangers facing the other way. Tahnks

    • organisemyhouse Nov 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      No problem Joyce – its the simple things that really work!

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