You did it – you pulled clothing items from every closet, wardrobe and drawer in your house and checked each of them to see if they spark joy. This means the hardest part of tidying your clothing is finally over. But what happens next? What you do with your items after you’ve determined they no longer spark joy matters. Learn more about how to mindfully discard your clothing items below.
Rehoming or Repurposing
After conquering your massive pile of clothing, donating or discarding items that no longer spark joy may seem like the easiest way to get them out of your hair. But, the best way to show our belongings the care and respect they deserve – even after you decide to part ways – is to rehome or repurpose them joyfully.
Start by asking family members, friends and community members if they are interested in what you’re discarding. Even if they no longer fit you or your style, cherished items and the memories attached to them may still feel especially joyful to a loved one. Clothing for babies and children is often especially coveted as their wearers often grow in and out of them quickly. If you are or were pregnant, you can easily repurpose maternity clothes for regular wear after pregnancy – especially if they feel comfortable or you like their design!
Choosing a specialized apparel donation program – gender-affirming clothing swaps, wedding and prom gown closets and secondhand career wear initiatives, to name a few – is another powerful means of using clothing to cultivate joy for those who need it most. For items that cannot be rehomed, get creative with repurposing! Give these items a new function by turning them into furoshiki, cleaning rags, reusable makeup rounds, beeswax food wraps and tote bags.
By listing clothing, shoes and accessories that once brought joy for sale, it allows them to spark joy for someone new. These resale platforms ease the process of finding homes for items that no longer spark joy for you but may for someone else. Explore our discarding resources to find one that matches your needs.
If reselling clothing items isn’t something you’re interested in, you can always donate to a cause of your choice – we’ve compiled a few different ones here. Check your local thrift stores to see which clothing items they are currently accepting. Before giving an item up, ask yourself if you would feel comfortable giving it to a friend, family member or neighbor. If not, it may be time to repurpose or recycle the item instead.
If you have old, tattered clothes that can no longer be donated, it may be time to recycle them instead. Many organizations have established textile recycling programs that you can drop off or send your old clothing items to – you can find one that fits your needs here.
Once You’re Done
After you have finished mindfully discarding your clothing, be sure to shop intentionally moving forward. If it matches your ideal lifestyle, try purchasing only from brands that support ethical consumption and eco-friendly production practices. You can also purchase secondhand from many of the platforms you previously donated items to! Most of all, make sure to use your newly honed joy check skills to only choose items that spark joy.