We live a fashion conscious society. From name brand, designer clothes for babies to moms who are willing to pay $100 or more for jeans or have a pair of boots for every day of the week, we often have more clothes than we need (or can afford sometimes).
Recently, I read that, “Only about 5 percent of old clothes are thrown away in the U.S. is discarded because it’s truly ‘worn out,’ in the sense that it’s threadbare, has holes in it, or is horribly stained. The rest is simply thrown away because it’s out of fashion, or we’ve out grown it, or we just don’t like it any more” (AARP Blog).
What should be done with all of those old clothes?
Children’s Outgrown Clothing
If you have outgrown clothes from your children, consider these ways to dispose of them and make extra money:
1. Sell them online - You can make a tidy profit from selling your kids’ old clothes on the web. I recently sold my children’s outgrown summer clothes and earned about $200. That was enough to buy them clothes for this year! Then, next year I will sell their clothes and make money to buy the next year’s. Plus, selling products online is a lot more environmentally friendly because they get reused and stay out of the landfill.
Ebay is a great place for the casual seller, but if you’re going to sell clothes on a continuous basis, you might think about starting your own website so that you keep all of the profit. It’s easier than you think too! Just register a domain name and then find a couple of ecommerce website templates that are inexpensive. Finally, pass out your website’s address to friends and family so that can help spread the word.
2. Donate them to a local charity.
There are plenty of places that are looking for nicely used kids clothes. Think about donating to Goodwill, a thrift store, or a battered women’s shelter. Remember, you can use the donation as a tax credit next tax season.
3. Hand them down to a family member or friend.
I was the youngest of 4 girl cousins, so every year I got a few bags worth of my cousin’s outgrown clothing. I enjoyed receiving these clothes because they were often in styles and designs that my mom would not buy for me.
When it comes to buying your own clothes, do a little experiment. Place all your clothes in the closet with the hangers facing in the same direction. Then, as you wear your clothes throughout the month and wash them, put those clothes you wore back on hangers and hang them the other direction. At the end of the month, you will be able to see just how many of your clothes you have worn and how many have just sat in the closet.
If you are wearing less than 50% of your clothing, there are two things you can take from this experiment—first, you may want to clean out your closet and get rid of those clothes you don’t actually wear. Second, you may want to buy fewer clothes so you don’t end up wasting your hard earned money and the clothes as they sit in the closet.
Women are taught to love to buy clothes, but perhaps we should reduce the number of clothes we buy. In addition, when it is time to get rid of those clothes that no longer fit or that we no longer wear, it is better for the environment and our wallet to sell or donate those clothes rather than just throw them away.
**Photo by dansays on Flickr**