Spring Cleaning: The Clothes

Now that we are getting all our gently-worn and never-worn shoes out of the way (shoe drive info HERE), I’ve come to the conclusion that clothes are the next step.

As great as it is to “give back” and donate to charities, sometimes you might want to “get back” as well. So, in the spirit of World Recycle Week (starting April 18th), it’s the perfect time to take all your unwanted textiles (clothes, fabrics, etc) to H&M, where you can even get a little voucher to get $5 off your next purchase of $30+. More info can be found on their Facebook event page.

So now comes the hard part, how do you filter out your closet?

It’s pathetic how many times I will look at a shirt that’s already pilling, and think to myself “but it serves so many memories!” Of course it does, that’s why it’s falling apart as I type, and that’s why, it’s got to go.

If it’s pilling, has a hole, has irremovable stains, or cat pee in it (this happens when you have a cat at home), it has GOT TO GO. No questions asked, no nostalgia allowed, whether it goes in the garbage, or goes to towards an “all textiles allowed” donation, it simply cannot stay at home. You can throw in your single socks in there as well.

The too-small stuff? Well, that’s a tricky one. Some of it can still be used. I had a pair of flared jeans in a beautiful hot pink print that I wore when I was 12, and most recently they were at least 2 sizes too small on my waist, and the slightly-flared bootcut was completely not my style anymore. So I took them to my seamstress, and she worked her magic… By taking fabric out of the calf/ankle area, and putting it into the waist, she made them my current size and style. If a magician of a seamstress can’t fix it, donate or pass it down.

If it’s “resellable” so to speak, and you can’t just let it get donated that easy, try selling it on eBay or Kijiji. I can’t even tell you how many people I know that sold some of their not-so-high-end designer (Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Ted Baker) stuff on those websites. If you’ve dry-cleaned or washed it, it’s good as new, and you’ve put it up for a reasonable price, you might even be able to make a buck or two off of it. Though not clothes, I recently sold three Kate Spade purses to the same buyer off of Kijiji. Opened up some space in my closet, pocketed some cash – cha-ching!

Of course, the plan of reselling is flawed. How are you going to resell a worn $50 Zara top for anything worth driving to a meeting-point? You’re not. That’s where your friends come in. Maybe not so much anymore, but at some point me and my girlfriends loved getting together for “fashion shows” where one of them would go through her entire closet, deciding what to keep and what to toss, and let the rest of us go through the tossed pile, before donating all the rejected pieces.

This spring, I plan to do a serious clean-up of my wardrobe. I’ve realized that I end up coming back to the same few shirts, or the same couple pairs of jeans when I’m choosing what to wear. I’ve subconsciously picked out my own closet essentials, and I’ve started investing in pieces that may be a little pricier than fast-fashion stores, but will last me much longer.

What kind of tips do you have for cleaning out your closet? Any donation places you rely on most?

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