smartthread blog

You've 'Tidied Up' – Now What?

Many people know Marie Kondo from her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but just a few weeks ago she launched her new show, Tidying Up which has taken many by storm. If you’re not familiar, I recommend you check it out on Netflix! Households – large, small and in between have been working to clean out their homes, abiding by Kondo’s method of tidying by categories: clothing, books, paper, komono (kitchen, bathroom, garage and miscellaneous) and finally, sentimental items.

That first category, clothing, is top-of-mind for me and the members of SMART. If you’ve watched the show, at this point you’ve most likely already gone through the process or emptying your closets, your drawers and your seasonal bins all in one place. You’ve sifted through, taking a look at each item and decided whether or not you’d like to keep it – thanking the garments that you’ve chosen not to keep a long the way. If you’re like many of the families and individuals featured on Tidying Up, you’re left with bags upon bags of clothing and other textile (any fabric made of interlacing fibers) goods.

But, what do you do with them? First and foremost, I must urge you not to just toss your textiles in the trash, banishing them to our nation’s overflowing landfills where they negatively affect our environment. Instead, I encourage you to consider donating them to your local charity or thrift store. If they can’t resell your old clothes, they’ll work with a for-profit company, like many of our SMART members, to ensure they are properly recycled. “Wait, charities and thrift stores recycle my clothes, even if they can’t sell them,” you might ask? They sure do – as long as they are clean, dry and odor-free!

Other alternatives?

  • Contact your local homeless shelter to see if they have a use for your items. With winter in full-effect here on the East Coast, there are many people in need of a warm coat, long-sleeve shirt or pair of mittens.
  • Seek out a donation bin in your community! Did you know clothing collection bin operators and other for-profit textile recyclers play a vital role in national recycling activities, diverting nearly 4 billion pounds of used clothing and other textiles from landfills each year?

As you can see, at SMART we’re all about improving our environment, one textile at a time. We invite you to learn more about our association and the work of our members here. You can also visit us on Facebook and Twitter for weekly craft ideas and other great articles and information to help get yourself up-to-speed on all things textile.