What to do with the clothes your kids have outgrown
I’m jumping for joy because it’s officially spring! Hooray! The thought of longer and warmer days ahead is pretty exciting. Spring is traditionally a time of renewal, and a great time to de-clutter and ‘spring clean’ the house.
The wardrobes are a great place to start your spring cleaning because more space in the wardrobe keeps the clothes you do love neat and tidy. At home I tend to start with the children's wardrobe because it’s usually a simple matter of which things they’ve grown out of (rather than a weird existential dilemma about what my clothes mean about me). Depending on the age of your kids, they might be up for helping out but a bit of bribery could be required! If your kid is too little too help, or not keen to try things on, pick out a t-shirt and pair of pants that you know fit well so you can compare the size of the things you’re not sure about. By far the messiest but most effective method is to start by pulling every single thing out of the wardrobe and drawers, and sorting through piece by piece (I also like to vacuum/wipe the shelves down at this point but that’s not essential).
If an item is regularly worn, not falling apart and it suits your kid, fold or hang it neatly and it goes straight back- this is the easy part! You can easily see how much awesome stuff you have and spot the gaps where you might need a few new t-shirts for example, or one more pair of shorts.
Here comes the not-so-simple part- what should you do with all of the other stuff? Don’t panic, you can thoughtfully re-home all of those clothes!
Pick Out the Treasures
If you have clothes that are in good condition and come from great brands, you should definitely make them work for you! The easiest option by far is dropping those threads into Use-Ta! so we can sell them for you. If you’re not local or prefer to DIY, buy-swap-sell Facebook groups, Gumtree and eBay are all good places to make some money. This is great because your treasures are treasured all over again!
Share the Love
Is there a younger sibling, a cousin or neighbour that could get a wear out of these clothes? Hand them on! It’s such a joy seeing those clothes being used again, and your family or friend might really appreciate having spares for childcare, or comfortable clothes for the weekend.
If you don’t have anyone to hand things on to, find out if there are any family-specific charities in your area that pass on hard goods. Here in Melbourne, St. Kilda Mums do an amazing job helping families in need, as do Big Group Hug. If you’re further afield you can use Planet Ark’s search service to find a charity near you that may accept your second-hand clothes.
There are always a few things at the end of our wardrobe clear out that are just.... gross. It might be because of stains that just won’t come out (banana anyone?), or because they’ve been worn so hard they’re coming apart at the seams, these clothes are just done! But they still have value if you do some research and give them to the right people. Check if your local op-shop bags up rags to resell to textile recyclers and steer clear of the ones that don’t, as they just dump unwearable items in landfill. Look for textile recycling bins, or pop in to H&M as they collect used clothing for recycling.
If you’re the crafty type, I’m sure you can come up with some cool ideas to re-purpose your clothes, like turning socks into sock puppets or t-shirts into bags. If you have a local Boomerang Bag network, join a sewing circle and make some new friends while helping the environment.
Alternatively, soft cottons like t-shirts, singlets and bedding make fabulous cleaning rags. Cut them into handy squares and use them in place of paper towels for dirty jobs.
I hope this post has given you some motivation to dive into those wardrobes and give them a good spring clean, and given you some ideas of what to do with the clothes you’re no longer using. If you’d like to sell with Use-Ta! head over to our ‘Sell’ page, and if you have any great spring cleaning tips I would love to hear them!