If you have lots of clothes that you never wear or just don’t have the space for at home then we have plenty of ideas to help you put them to good use. From making t shirt yarn to helping out a charity, you’re sure to find a new use for your unwanted clothes on this how-to list.


Are you the kind of person who has more than one wardrobe for their clothes? Do you have clothes in cupboards, shelves, or even in the loft? If this is you, it’s time to reclaim some of your precious space at home and have a clearout of all those unnecessary clothes.


According to most fashion experts, if you haven’t worn an everyday item within the last year then it’s time to get rid of it. Special outfits don’t need to follow the same rule but, remember, if you keep them for too long they may no longer fit of simply look dated.


So if you are ready to get started donating, upcycling or recycling then here are 12 of our favourite ways to…

Make use of unwanted clothes

  1. T Shirt Yarn

    T shirt yarn is made using old t shirts. You can find out how to make the yarn on any number of Youtube videos and you don’t have to be super creative to do it. Using the yarn you can then make lovely heavy blankets for winter evenings, fruit bowls, candle holders, place mats or rugs – the list is endless. It’s a great way to upcycle and reuse some of your unwanted clothes.

  2. Local Dog Rescue

    Local dog rescue facilities often need your unwanted towels, blankets and sheets. Did you know many of them can also make use of your old clothes? They won’t be able to take any items with zips, buttons or other easily chewed and swallowed accessories, but jumpers and t shirts are great, providing bedding for the dogs. Why not do something lovely and charitable with your old clothes and help keep the local homeless dogs warm in winter?

  3. Store It

    If you have valuable clothes, seasonal clothes or an excess of clothes you still want to keep but you don’t have room for, why not consider somewhere like Cambridge Self-Storage? Our storage units are all secure, clean and dry and enable you to keep the clothes you don’t have time to sell right now, or that you want to wear when it is colder or hotter, without them taking up excess room in your home.

  4. Customising

    There may be some of your old clothes that simply need a bit of redesign to make them wearable again. If you are handy with a sewing machine you could resize them yourself. Alternatively, you could watch some handy tutorials online on how to add buttons, bleach patterns in, or add motifs or new designs to them. Why not take an old jacket or t shirt and turn it into a completely new item of clothing?

  5. Upcycling

    The material from your clothes could be used to upcycle various items in your home. Why not recover an old foot stool, or the dining room chairs that are looking a bit too shabby and not enough chic? If you have clothes with a particularly funky pattern or design, why not place that design on something else such as a cushion cover so you can still enjoy it, just in a different way?

  6. Curtain Ties

    Old scarves can make really cool curtain ties. If you want the scarf to look really cool with the curtains, choose contrasting colours or patterns. Alternatively select a scarf that matches the curtains to keep the look neutral.

  7. Gift Wrapping

    There are lots of tutorials online that show you how to knot scarves and other material, enabling you to turn it into gift wrap. This is a fabulous way to upcycle, save money and give gifts with a really unique gift wrap.

  8. Keepsakes

    Some items of clothing you may be holding onto because they mean something to you. Perhaps they belonged to loved ones who passed away, or they were worn by an old pet, or your child when they were born. There are companies now who can turn your sentimental fabrics into keepsakes. Teddy bears, blankets and cushions are just some of the options you can choose from. Recycling the sentimental clothes in this way means you will have something you can hold and pass down through the family. The clothes will be enjoyed more than they would just kept in a box or bag, so it is a lovely and worthy investment to make.

  9. Sell Them

    You can sell clothes in lots of different ways. Sell them on car boots if you’re not looking for much per item. If you sell clothes from 50p to £1.00 you’ll be surprised at the nice little chunk of cash you get just from a morning of selling. Alternatively there’s Ebay, or clothes recycling shops where you will get the bare minimum for your clothes, but you will still get something.

  10. Donate Them To Charity

    Charity shops always need donations, so if you clothes are in good condition (clean, free from stains, holes and marks) pop them down to your local charity shop, clearing your home and helping others at the same time.

  11. Homeless Shelters

    Some homeless shelters accept winter coats and jackets. If you have winter coats and jackets you want to get rid of, consider dropping them off at your local homeless shelter.

  12. Swap With Friends

    Why not have a clothes swap party with your friends where you each take clothes of a similar value and swap them with each other. Alternatively, simply take your black bag to your friends house before you go to the charity shop and see if they want anything for free. They might have had their eye on one of your dresses or tops for a while and be gutted if they find out you’ve gotten rid of it!