With the change in season, September is a great time to try out new styles. But that doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your closet and start building a new wardrobe from scratch. You can get a whole new look just by working with what you already have!
From keeping your clothes in good shape and patching them up to swapping with neighbors and properly disposing of all the pieces beyond repair, we'll have your wardrobe looking like new without wasting a thing.
1. Wash clothes in cold water. Clothes we love to wear tend to wear out quickly. By washing in cold water, washing less often (when possible), and skipping the dryer, you can help these clothes stay as vibrant as the day you bought them, and keep them around a little bit longer, too.
2. Invest in patches. As for any clothes that are beyond those care tips above? To squeeze the last little bit of life out of these clothes, try your hand at sewing up tears or adding patches to cover holes or worn spots. (Some types of patching will even fix rain boots that have sprung a leak!)
3. Wear your clothes for their unintended purposes. Make the most out of everything in your closet by styling your clothes in all different ways — for example, your favorite scarf could also double as a headband or even a poncho, depending on its size. This allows you to get more out of what you already have, which means you won’t be constantly shopping for new clothes… and no one will accuse you of being an outfit repeater.
Read More: Intertwined: Three Ways to Wear a Scarf
4. Tailor hand-me-downs. Hand-me-downs don't always have to look second-rate. To put your own spin on an old piece of clothing, get it tailored to fit you. And once it fits, you can add a patch, stitch on a new design, or change up little details like buttons to really make it your own.
Read More: 5 Ways to Make Hand-Me-Downs Better
5. Arrange a swap party. Hand-me-downs don't always work when limited to family, so expand your horizons! Swap clothes with neighbors — they're like the siblings you never had.
6. Raid a thrift shop. Shopping at places like thrift shops can also be a lot like coming into hand-me-downs, but you get to choose what you want — and there's usually a lot more to choose from. Freshen them up and make them your own the same way you would hand-me-downs.
Read More: 5 Ways to Raise Thrift Store-Loving Kids
7. Recycle old eyeglasses. Items like eyeglasses can be tricky to get rid of. You can't really hand them down to anyone you know, and recycling the individual materials (lenses and frames) isn't really possible. However, nonprofit organizations like Lions Club International have a different solution. They accept your old glasses by mail or drop-off, and reuse the lenses and frames for those in need.
8. Sell silver for gold. You might be hesitant to clear out those treasures in your jewelry box, but if they’re broken or outdated, you can sell them to get recycled and make some room (and $$$) for new bling.
Read More: Proper Green: Silver, Gold, and Broken
9. Clean out the closet. When it's time to make room for some new (or “new”) clothes, do everything you can to give the clothes you’re done with a second life. Donate gently used clothes, and get creative with clothes that are too worn to be passed along — they might be able to be used as rags, be upcycled as bedding by animal shelters or as art materials by schools, or even recycled at special drop-off locations.
10. Use kitchen tools for storage. Yes, you read that right. Old dishes and cups that you were looking to get rid of could be the perfect tools to organize your jewelry. Our favorite kitchen-to-closet switch is using a cheese grater to hang your earrings from, so you can display them all at once (it makes it easier to choose which to wear!).