Full Closet? 4 Tips on What to do with Old Clothes


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Many of us have our closets stuffed full of clothing we never wear. Other clothing may be packed into boxes or storage containers that are filling our attics, basements, and garages. While some clothing may need to be stored seasonally due to a lack of closet and drawer space, to have boxes of clothing in every room of your home is not normal. If you have clothes on hangers, clothes in boxes, and loose clothing items in every room or your home and covering every surface, then you are probably a clothing hoarder.

Clothing is one of the most commonly hoarded items and contrary to what you see on television, not all hoarders have OCD or other compulsions. So how do you know if you just hang on to clothing you can’t wear for too long or if you are a bona fide hoarder? A real hoarder tends to hang onto everything, not just clothing. The reasons both hoarders and non-hoarders hang onto clothing items are varied.

One Day This Will Fit Again

Many people are reluctant to get rid of clothing that no longer fits because they are hoping that one day the clothing will fit again. As we age, most people tend to pick up a couple of pounds per year, and we find that after a few years our favorite clothes no longer fit. No one wants to throw out their favorite pair of jeans, the perfect little black dress, or the football jersey worn to all your favorite team’s games. However, most people don’t ever wear these items again. If you haven’t been able to wear the items after several years, it is past time to get rid of them.

Waste Not, Want Not

Many people hoard clothing because they really don’t know what else to do with the items, and they don’t want to waste them by throwing them out. Even though you may have gotten a really good deal on something, if you’re not wearing it, it is being wasted, right?  There are much better ways of seeing the item put to good use than just using it as a closet decoration. Sort through the clothing, and then make a plan for each category of items so that nothing will be wasted.

Consignment Shops

If you have been hoarding clothing that still has the tags on it, why not gather it up and take it to a consignment shop. The shop will sell the items for you, and you get the money minus the shop’s commission. Not only will someone else be putting those items to good use, but you will also be making some money in the process.

Have A Closet Swap

Invite some of your similarly sized friends over to go through your piles, boxes, and stacks of hoarded clothing and let them take what they want. You may even get to see the items on your friends at some point, and you will be happy to see them put to good use. In return, your friends probably have some clothes hoarded away as well. Each friend can take a turn offering up the hoarded clothing to get rid of unwanted items or things that no longer fit.

Thrift Store

If you haven’t the time or the inclination to sell or swap your clothing, don’t throw it out. Make a donation of all items that are in decent shape to a thrift store or Goodwill. Most thrift stores donate proceeds to help fund local charities, so your items will be benefitting your community.


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