7 Ways to Recycle Old Clothes + Goods

If you read my post on the "Throw Out 100 Things Challenge," you know I got rid of quite a big of clutter recently (especially clothing). I've also posted about my goal to focus on quality vs. quantity when it comes to buying new clothes. While I'm working on simplifying my apartment, I don't like to actually throw anything away if I can help it. I've donated 3 big boxes to Goodwill lately and have a feeling I'll be doing another round of simplifying soon.

I've been testing out different ways to recycle clothing + unwanted goods:

Donate to Goodwill or other charity

  • Always a good option. There is no shortage of people who could use help.

Sell on Craigslist 

  • This is a good option for big items, like furniture + appliances. When we moved into our current apartment, it already had a washer and dryer, so we had to sell our beloved units. (I was quite attached to that hand-washing option!) Just be careful using Craigslist- talk with the person on the phone first and don't let them inside your home if you can help it. We've never had a problem with the site, but we've all heard about the movie.

Trade items on Freecycle.org

  • I've never used this site personally, but I know friends who have. I absolutely love this idea. "It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and keeping good stuff out of landfills."

Sell on eBay

  • eBay is good for higher priced, specialty items (like designer handbags). I used to be able to sell decent name-brands but this has been harder in recent years and not worth the time and effort.

Sell in a Facebook yardsale group (now called Marketplace)

  • I've had varying success with this option, but it's much cheaper than ebay. You get cash and don't have to worry about shipping. I often feel shady like a drug dealer or something when meeting people, though haha. You can find a local group by searching for your location + yardsale. Then you'll find related groups in the right sidebar so you can choose the most relevant for your needs.

Sell at a consignment shop or Plato's Closet

  • Plato's Closet is an excellent option for lightly-worn young adult type clothing. I've had great success selling brands like American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, etc. The last time I stopped by I sold 7 items for $26.

Sell on a consignment website

  • There are a few websites out there like Thredup.com.

  • I decided to try Thredup.com, but was very disappointed. They provide a calculator on the site to estimate how much you'll get per item. I sent about 30 items, including Express business pants and similar brands, and expected a little bit of money per item according to their website. They accepted 6 items for $5.76. The website claims they donate the remaining items to a charity (but doesn't specify which charity). It's not so much that I wanted the money, but I felt mislead by their website and calculator. I would have much rather donated the clothing to a charity of my choice if I knew I would have gotten so little.

**This is not a sponsored post and is not in conjunction with ThredUp in any way. It's just an honest review or a method I tried.


What are your favorite ways to recycle clothing or other unwanted goods?

3 Comments

Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Throw Out 100 Things Challenge {Refreshing + Therapeutic}

Jess Lively, one of my favorite bloggers, has posted her Throw Out 100 Things Challenge twice, and just reading about it always inspires me. I finally took the plunge this weekend and it felt AMAZING. Here's the gist:

"Going through our stuff and identifying what we don’t need, use, or love is a lot like giving our home a facial. Plus, regular exfoliations control clutter and highlight what we don’t want to acquire in the future. Though the term “throw out” is in the challenge title, I trash as little as possible. Most items are donated, recycled, and passed on to someone new. I believe that each item as has its own “life cycle” independent of our lives. We are simply the stewards for our items as long as we need, use, or love them. After that time has passed, it is our responsibility to take the items someplace where they can be used and appreciated again. That said, I’m also a big proponent of the ventilator test: If you suddenly died, and your loved ones had to deal with your stuff, would they toss it out? If so, don’t keep clutter because you are sad to see it go in the trash. It will go there eventually. Don’t let it stress you out in the meantime."

Simply bring more awareness to future purchases.

De-cluttering goes so much deeper than just stuff. I've been focusing on simplifying my life and living intentionally. This means focusing on my goals, focusing on what's truly important, how I want to feel + how I want to live my life. I've also been focusing on investing in quality items, as well as tools to help my business run more smoothly (or reduce stress!).

Once I got started on the challenge, I couldn't stop. I have over 200 items including clothes, shoes, expired bodycare/makeup, expired medicines and supplements, etc. to donate, sell or toss. There was something therapeutic and refreshing to lessen the clutter and donate items. Plus, I re-organized some items in the kitchen. Since I work from home, my surroundings affect my work and stress level. When my house is messy, it gives me anxiety and makes it hard to focus.

For my nicer clothing items that I no longer wear, I requested a bag from Thredup. You can get a price range of what the item is worth before sending it, and what they don't accept, they'll donate. Sounds pretty good to me!

In Jess Lively's latest challenge, she offers 7 THROW OUT 100 THINGS TIPS. These came in handy while I was going through my stuff (especially number one and three.)

1. Set an intention. No surprise here, right? One great place to start is to create an intention for your wardrobe and home that can help guide your exfoliation choices and shape your environment according to your vision.

3. Take photos of emotionally important items. Sometimes we keep items we don’t need, use, or love because they are tied to a memory we are afraid we might forget. Rather than save the item itself, take a photo (or make a video!) and create a memory book so the memory stays and the clutter goes.

I have more work to do, but this has been an eye-opening start. I'm going to focus the second half of the year on living intentionally, somewhat minimalist and examining my wants and goals more deeply.

Does de-cluttering feel as good to you? How often do you go through your things?

Stitch Fix Review: Clothes Shopping with Intention

This is not a paid review, and I have no affiliation with Stitch Fix. However, if you sign up under my link, I will receive a $25 credit when you receive your first fix. Spread the love!

I've been obsessing over the Stitch Fix* boxes on bloggers sites for about a year. I've been hesitant since I work at home, and therefore my clothing variety has pretty much diminished. Let's be real- casual has taken on a new meaning.

However, it's also helped me realize that I tend to wear the same few items over and over- the ones I invested a little more money in. I have a bad tendency to buy quantity over quality when it comes to clothing, so I have tons of cute cheap clothes that fall apart in less than a year.

With Stitch Fix, it's like having a personal stylist and shopper. You get to choose the price range for each item, how often you want your fix and add specific notes for the fix. For example, for my first fix, I requested a handbag. Your fix also comes with photo ideas for how to wear the items (with clothes you may already own.)

The details:

  • $20 styling fee upfront, but you get to deduct this from the items you decide to keep
  • set a schedule for your fixes (like monthly) or schedule as the mood strikes
  • set up a detailed style profile + include twitter and Pinterest links (gives your stylist a better idea of your personality)
  • choose the price range you're willing to spend for each category
  • 25% discount if you buy all 5 items
  • 3 days to decide which items to keep
  • the shipping is free to return any unwanted items
  • $25 for each person you refer

Keepers:

Top Collage: Navy, lace dress with brown belt and deep-V back.  I wasn't planning to get this one because of the price, but my fiance talked me into it.

Bottom Collage: Striped dolman-sleeve top. I don't usually do stripes and wasn't sure about the fit of this, but the quality was nice and I figured I'd try something different. I also haven't tried colored skinny jeans, but these were very comfortable!

My stylist must have taken a lot of hints from my Style Pinterest board. I definitely recommend you set up a style board or even a specific Stitch Fix board on Pinterest!

Fails:

Top Row: White top with braided detail. I liked the braided detail but the fit was terrible. My fiance said I looked like a blob. Bottom Row: Vegan, lead-free handbag. It's okay, but I don't like such bright gold detail, and I'm not a big fan of that shade of brown.

++++++++++++

Overall I'm really happy with my experience. I feel like I can shop more intentionally because I give my stylist detailed directions, choose my price ranges and choose when to schedule a fix. I can also try each item on with things I already own. No more grabbing things just because they're on sale only to end up not wearing them or having them fall apart. Not to mention the experience is fun, and I don't have to spend time looking for the items!

6 Comments

Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!