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How to Get Use Out of Clothes You No Longer Wear

April 23, 2022 4 min read

If your closet is full to the brim with old clothes you haven’t worn in years, or that don’t fit anymore, then maybe it is time to go through your closet and have a declutter. It can be difficult to let go of clothes for many reasons. Some garments might have sentimental value, and you simply cannot part with them. Some are almost unworn, and you’re just waiting for the right occasion to wear them, while others might not actually fit anymore. Instead of needlessly taking up precious closet space, here are a few pointers to help you make the most out of old clothes.

Why Do People Hold Onto Old Clothes?

Psychologically, there are two primary reasons why people hold onto clothes they no longer wear. One reason is that people feel anxious about the idea of throwing away an item of clothing that they might actually need in the future, like that ski jacket from years ago and that has only been worn once. The second idea is sentimentality. People love looking back and reminiscing about old times, and looking at old clothes can make people feel good about themselves. For example, that beautiful ball gown you wore to a friend’s wedding might evoke feelings of sweet nostalgia, but does it still fit, and will you actually wear it again? If these reasons resonate with you and you are wondering how to get use out of clothes you no longer wear, there are plenty of ways you can reuse old clothes instead of trashing them.

Turn Them into a Sentimental Keepsake

Some parents hold onto their children’s old clothes for nostalgic purposes, and although they will never be used again, they simply cannot let them go. Instead of taking up valuable storage space, you can turn them into a sentimental keepsakes instead, like a t-shirt blanket. T-shirt blankets are a great use of old clothing, and they are simple to create for those who enjoy sewing. Alternatively, those who are not natural crafters can send old t-shirts to a reputable t-shirt blanket company that will do the hard work for them. A t-shirt blanket makes a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. They are also lovely to keep and enjoy for yourself too.

Hand Me Downs for Future Generations

Another way to use old clothes that you and your family no longer wear is to stow them away safely and give them to future generations. Special hand-me-downs can become family heirlooms, such as an embellished jacket or a stunning wedding dress. High-quality cocktail dresses and other evening attire also make great heirloom clothing. Not to mention, old baby clothes that are made using quality fabric and hardware can also get a second life in the future.

Turn Old Clothes into Cash

When cleaning out your closet, you might come across expensive clothes that are either brand new or barely worn. Whether it’s because you can no longer squeeze into them or you have not found the right event to wear them, turn these unwanted clothes into cash. Selling off old clothes is a great way to de-clutter your closet and make some extra cash at the same time. There are plenty of online marketplaces where you can sell old clothes, with some sites specializing in certain niches. For example, Etsy and Poshmark are great for vintage pieces, while Vestiaire is ideal for designer clothes. Alternatively, you can sell high street clothes that are still in good condition on general online marketplaces like eBay. When selling clothes online, it is a good idea to include clear photos and honest descriptions to avoid unhappy buyers and returned items.

Create Gorgeous Curls

Did you know that you can create gorgeous curls using items of clothing? Cut an old t-shirt into strips that are approximately 2 inches wide and 5 inches in length, then wind a small section of hair around each piece until you cover your entire head. It is a good idea to spritz a small amount of water on your hair if you want bouncier curls. This DIY method is surprisingly effective, and you won’t have to spend an extortionate amount of money on hair curlers.

Create a Dog Toy Your Pooch Will Love

One of the reasons your beloved pooch enjoys snuggling up to you is down to the way your natural scent is. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, and having your scent around them can bring them happiness and comfort. With this in mind, why not get rid of old clothes and turn them into dog toys? Old jeans can be cut up into strips and tied in the middle to create a durable plaything, while old t-shirts can be rolled up and braided to create an excellent tug of war toy.

Donate to Charity

Clothes that no longer have any use in your closet can be loved by someone else if donated to charity. Whether it’s a winter coat, you never use or old office wear that you don’t need anymore, there are many charity shops to choose from. Alternatively, you can donate clothes that don’t fit to homeless centers, refugee organizations, and to foster care programs. Decluttering your clothes for a good cause is a worthwhile way to empty your closet.

Use Them as Rags

A great way to get rid of old clothes that are obviously worn and cannot be sold or donated is to repurpose them as rags. Simply give them a good wash, then cut them up into squares or rectangles. Old cotton t-shirts and dresses make great dust cloths, while soft sweaters, sweatshirts, and sweatpants can be used to buff surfaces. Clothing rags can save you from continuously wasting money on cleaning pads and paper towels.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Recycling unwanted clothes, which can no longer be worn anymore, can give them a new lease of life. In the United States, there are many places that have textile recycling programs or clothing recycling programs. A quick search online should bring up results for your local area.


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