31 March 2009

Major Clearout Ahoy! But What To Do With Those Problem Items?!

I've had several bags of clothing stashed around the bottom of my closet for a few months, piled to overflow point. I had to deal with them last night, no question (see mess on bed for proof!) - they were in the way of my storage and just looking at them made me frustrated. These were full of all my 'problem items' - things I can't decide whether to keep or not, for various reasons such as:
- I spent lots of money on it but it doesn't actually suit me!
- It was a gift from someone: I love the person but don't like the gift!
- I went through some trouble to get it, eg. bus journeys, store exchanges, etc., but now I don't like it so much anymore!
- It's too big/small for me now, even though it's cute
- Someone I adore said they liked it, so I should keep it if other people think it looks good on me
- It's too 'out there', but I might wear it in the future
- etc.

There are SO many reasons why people, including myself, keep items we don't wear. There is no point keeping any of these - having these items around made me feel guilty, annoyed, stressed and other negative emotions. Definitely not what you want to feel when you open up your wardrobe! Getting dressed is supposed to be a pleasure, not a chore.

Here are some creative ideas to detox on what to do with those troublesome garments:

- Sell them! Ebay is my personal favourite, & so useful for making money if you have the time to spend on listing items, taking photos, packaging, etc. If you have anything designer which you no longer wear and is in great condition, check out a local dress company which will sell your item and pass the money on to you.

- Give it to a charity shop who you support. Charity shops will be infinitely grateful for just about anything you have to pass on to them, providing it's clean and re-wearable (so no old dirty underwear!). You will feel fantastic knowing that you're raising money for a good cause. Personally, anything I can't sell on Ebay goes straight to the Cancer Research shop, as cancer is and was a cause of much sadness and suffering among members of my family, so it feels wonderful to be helping such a positive cause.

- Re-use. Be creative! This great book Generation T, is a great source of inspiration on fashionable, wearable and sexy ways to re-use your old t-shirts. Visit the link and buy it from £5-8 on Amazon.

- Give to a friend. If you think a certain dress or t-shirt would look perfect on a friend, ask them if they'd like it instead! I often save clothes I don't want anymore which my friends have previously complimented me on, and asked them if they would like it instead. If your friend(s) live(s) locally, make a day of it and have a fashion swap together. If your buddies are further away, email them photos of things they might love - if they want them, wrap them up in pretty paper and mail them off. Just make sure it's clean & in good condition first! I always feel better knowing my unwanted clothing will be worn & loved by someone I know rather than a stranger.

- Recycle. I am a believer in never throwing any clothing away, ever! If it's unable to be cut up and reinvented and not in good enough condition to sell or to give to the charity shop, there are special bins around for textile recycling, for example at supermarkets and car parks. Even though helping the environment has turned into such a cliche these days, I think this is much more positive than simply chucking an old top in the bin.

I may edit this in the future - I hope this helps someone and helps other people to gain control over their own rebellious wardrobes!


  1. This is a really good post.
    I think people are far too quick to just throw things away, there will always be someone who would like the things you don't want anymore.
    If I have to clear my wardrobe out I offer the clothes to my friends (offline and online) and then if they don't want I will try Ebay and if that fails give it to a charity shop.

  2. Thank you! <3

    That's so true - I'm somewhat of a defender of unwanted clothes..no-one's allowed to throw any out in this house! Something wonderful and positive can always come out of something that's no longer of use to you, & that can be applied to so many other areas of life too.


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