So, if you read our last installment, now you've identified a pile of things you no longer need, wear or want. Congratulations! Luckily we're ready with a great list of ways to get those unwanted garments out of your house without visiting a landfill.
1. Host a clothing swap for your friends. This is a fun way to gather the gang for coffee, cocktails or wine without selling anything (you can probably list all the at-home party sales companies popular in your area), yet everyone still gets some benefit. Everyone gets to pass along some unwanted items and potentially get something new to take home without spending a dime! If you want you can even have a themed party: business casual, weekends, travel, or accessories could all be the central theme. A really thoughtful hostess will arrange for those unwanted items to disappear after the party so no one has to schlep home their undesirables.
2. Resell. OK, this one will probably take some effort on your part, but you may reap back a small reward for having invested the time. Of course, usually only the cream of your cast-offs will sell, so hand select items to try this with. Resale options include consignment (check local shops, their rules, and choose a dealer you can work with), garage/yard sales (where you are likely to recoup only pennies on the dollar), and online sales. The options for online resale are growing daily, but the granddaddy is probably eBay. If selling online, be sure to describe your items honestly and fully. Sometimes even slightly damaged goods may sell if you are meticulous in your description.
3. Donate. This option is rife with ethical considerations. The charity you donate to, is of course, your choice. Some things to consider might be what works are supported with the funds raised, how much of each donation goes to support these charitable works, and what is done with any "non-salable" goods. For instance, some groups sell clothing not perceived to be salable in the US to foreign second hand goods markets, others sell them to be made into rags for cleaning, or to be made into fiberfill for soft-goods. Don't forget that you are generally entitles to a tax deduction equal to the resale value of the items donated. Check with your tax professional for details.
4. Give away. Not quite the same as either donating, or swapping, where chances are, you are getting something in return (a tax deduction or another item of clothing), giving your clothing away entails exactly that - giving. Think hand-me-downs for grown ups. If you are tired of a perfectly serviceable sweater or coat, perhaps another family member could get some use out of it. At the office where I work people often bring in items they no longer want and leave them in the break room. If nobody takes them in a week or so they are donated to the charity next door. You can also use your local Freecycle online group to give items away for free.
5. Restyle or re-use. Well, the last stop on our list does not exactly remove the item from your home. However, restyling two or more old garments into one new, upcycled one is all the rage! Think how crafty you'll feel as you make something new and chic out of something that just hung in your closet unloved and unworn! Or, if you are really never going to wear it again, make it into something completely different - a rug, a potholder, a fort for little ones - the possibilities are endless! And, if you really can't think of anything, you probably need some cleaning rags, too.