Check Your Closet


Is it Time to Declutter Your Closet?

How many of us keep things around “just in case” we ever need them again? And how many of us end up throwing those things out after they’ve taken up room in our home for nearly a decade? Evidently, a lot of us: up to 90% of our waste doesn’t get recycled, and 80% of landfills are things that could be recycled. This includes plastics, electronics, furniture, and even clothes. So what can you do, as citizens of Harford County, do to combat this? Recycle, upcycle, and donate.

The Perks of Consignment

Taking your old items to a consignment is a great way to get rid of items that are still usable, but not useful to you anymore. There are stores that specialize in various products right here in Harford County. Kids growing out of their clothes faster than you can buy them? There’s a local consignment store for that. Looking to refresh your closet? Check out high quality clothing consignments in your area–you can buy and sell, so you’ll get a whole new wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Consignment is great for the community as well. Just think: a beautiful dress you accidentally shrunk in the wash could have a second life in someone else’s closet, and make them feel as wonderful wearing it as you did. Plus, you’ll line your pockets a bit in the process. Supporting local businesses also has a lot of benefits for your community. But, what do you do when you really can’t bear to part with something? Upcycle it! 

What Is Upcycling?

While recycling something usually means reusing the product or its parts for the same original intent, upcycling is taking something no longer useful and making it into something new. You can upcycle just about anything–whether it happens to be household items or kitchen scraps and trash. By far the most popular (and fun) option? Clothes. As they say, “everything old is new again” and you can be the one to make it new. Keeping up with current fashion trends should give you some fun ideas for your outdated pieces. Here are some ideas for quickly revamping your favorite pieces:

  • Cutoff Shorts: The easiest of upcycles, cutoffs are a classic for jeans with rips, stains, or awkward lengths. Try the jeans on, and mark them at a flattering length on your leg–then, just take them off, and use fabric scissors to cut across the pant legs. Toss them in the dryer with a towel and a shoe to fray the edges, and you’re good to go.
  • Fringed Crop Top: Again with this project, you’ll want to try the top on, and choose a length you’d like it to be. Use a ruler to mark half inch sections along the bottom of the shirt, and cut them vertically to your desired length. Trim the bottom hem off the shirt, to get rid of your markings, and simply pull on the strips of fabric to give them a more natural shape–and you’ve got a trendy, summer-ready look.
  • Tie-dye Anything: Though your first thought may be summer camp, this easy going pattern is making a resurgence–stick to one or two colors, and dye classic pieces of clothing, and you’ll feel less like a hippie, and more like a boho queen.

If All Else Fails…

If your clothes aren’t up to par with consignment standards, or you can’t think of a way to upcycle it–donate them. You’ll be helping out people in your community who may not be able to afford their basic necessities, or something from your closet could spark an idea for another upcycler. You’re keeping your own house clutter-free, bringing happiness to members of your community, and keeping those items out of landfills. Find out where to donate, and remember–one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

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