Almost all of us have old clothing and shoes that are taking up much needed space in our closets. Now that springtime is coming, it is time to declutter, and a great place to start is the closet. Cleaning out the closet may be easy for some and be dreaded for others; especially if it is the kid’s closet. A good closet clean out and decluttering is an awesome way to create some valuable closet space. But, we don’t want you to just run through the closet and THROW AWAY all those old clothes and shoes; we want you to repurpose, reuse, recycle, sell or donate your old clothing and pairs of shoes. That way you can continue their use and keep these items from filling up our landfills or harming our environment.
Did you know…
Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that thrown away textiles make up over 5% of all landfills in the USA?
And, less than 15% of unwanted clothing is actually recycled?
Also, the average American throws away an estimated 70 pounds worth of textile waste each year?
Sorting Out Your Closet
There are several options for you for what you can do with your old clothes and shoes. These options tie into how you go about cleaning out the closet. There are places that accept donations for old clothing and shoes. There are places where you can sell your old clothing and shoes. And, there are even ways to reuse and repurpose your old clothing and shoes. So when you start with the cleanout, you will want to make up several sorting piles; a donation pile, a selling pile, a reuse or recycle pile, and a toss away pile. These piles are what will help you sort out your items for whatever purpose you want them to be.
As the sorting starts, it is important to know what items go into what sorting piles. You can add items of clothing that have been worn very few times and are in excellent condition to the selling pile. This pile can consist of name brand items that are in excellent condition and still have a value.
There are nationwide companies that will buy your clothes and resell them. Kid’s and adult clothing, as well as shoes and accessories can all have value. If their condition is great they can be sold to these companies. Stores like Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor and Once Upon a Child will buy your clothing back from you depending on condition and other factors.
There are also a host of websites and apps that will give you the chance to make some money on your old clothing and shoes with just a few clicks on your computer or smartphone, including eBay, thredUP, Letgo, swap.com, Poshmark and Tradesy.
Donation items need to be in great condition also. The worst thing to do is use the donation pile as your “trash bin” to get rid of all your clothes items. Donation companies like Salvation Army Retailers and Goodwill Thrift Stores thrive on quality products that have a resell value. An old pair of jeans with holes all in them or worn out tennis shoes are not what these companies need. There are donation locations all over the US where you just pull up and drop off the items to donate. Help these companies out by giving the items you want to donate a little cleaning before donation.
Reuse or Recycle Pile
A reuse or recycle pile is great for older shirts and fabrics that may have seen better days. These items can be repurposed or recycled into rags or other items to extend the lives of these items. There are companies that will take your old fabrics, no matter the condition, and recycle them into items like home insulation, pillow stuffing, car seat stuffing, and even “new” fabric made from recycled fibers. Nike Shoe Company collects old athletic shoes from any brand and grinds them up and uses that recycled materials to create basketball courts, sports fields, tracks and playgrounds. They even had a pair of signature basketball shoes come out a few years ago for an NBA player where the shoes were made from recycled shoes that were collected from their Nike stores.
Throw Away Pile
At this point of the closet decluttering, the Throw Away pile should be minimal because of the options for what you can do with your old clothes and shoes. Only throw away those clothing items and shoes that are beyond repair or are too far gone. Keep in mind that if everyone in the U.S.A recycled their clothing and textiles for one year instead of throwing them away, we would save over 30 million metric tons of carbon emissions. Saving 30 million metric tons of carbon emissions is the same thing as taking ALL of the cars in Los Angeles off the road for one year. That is a massive environmental boost!
Hit Your Closet Hard
Having sorting piles for selling, donating, recycling, or tossing away gives you a major assist on the decluttering of your closet. It’s up to you at this point to LET GO of the items that are no longer worn or don’t fit or are out of style. Be thorough with your closet, assess everything in it, and get rid of those clothes and shoes and accessories if they are no longer a part of your wardrobe. If you haven’t worn an item for more than a year, are you really going to wear it again? If those shoes don’t fit, why are they in the closet?
Clothing and Shoe Resell and Donation Locations
Search the web for the clothing resell stores or donation locations in your area. Don’t just throw away those clothing and shoes, help yourself and others, and most importantly help the ENVIRONMENT by reselling, donating, recycling or reusing your old clothing and shoes!
Selling, Donating, Recycling in Las Vegas
To sell your clothing in Las Vegas, check out Buffalo Exchange – Las Vegas located at 1209 S. Main St, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104 in the Arts District.
For donating your clothing and shoes, check online for the nearest Salvation Army or Goodwill Thrift Store that is able to accept donations of your items.
For shoe recycling, you can drop off old shoes to the Converse Factory or at the Hurley Factory Store located at the Las Vegas Premium South Outlets just a few minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip on Las Vegas Blvd.