May Use It Up Challenge – Clothes

The November Use It Up Challenge is here and it's all about tackling sentimental clutter.

Gather your pants, shirts, sweaters, and socks, it’s time for the May Use It Up Challenge. With the weather having shifted from the colder winter months into spring, now is the perfect time to have a good look at your wardrobe. Before you pack away your winter clothes for another year, let’s take some time to apply the Use It Up Challenge to ensure you are keeping what you need. I know what you’re thinking. “How can you use up clothes?” Well, the answer is simple, you wear them. Wear them until they are worn out or in the case of children until they have outgrown them. And when that happens, you can turn them into cleaning rags or, if they are truly used up, toss them.

In the previous months, we have tackled notebooks, candles, cleaning supplies, and craft supplies.

May Use It Up Challenge

What is the Use It Up Challenge?

This is a monthly decluttering challenge that focuses on using the items instead of simply getting rid of them. This helps to reduce waste and also gets your money worth out of those items. Each month, a new category is chosen and we will focus on that category all month long. However, you don’t have to stop once that month ends. Keep decluttering and using up those items all year long. It will have a huge impact on your home and life at the end of the year.

If you are joining in, be sure to share your progress on social media using #IHUseItUp. I’d love to see how everyone is getting along with the challenge.

Where to start?

Since we are focusing on clothes this month, you will want to gather all of the clothes that you have. Make a big pile. Yes, it’s going to look messy for a while, but this will put it all into perspective. Seeing all of your clothes piled up on the floor could very well make you realize you own more than you need. But we will be working on that throughout the month.

If you want to, create four piles right off the bat. One for each season. After all, we want to go through all of our clothes, not just the ones for the current season. In fact, starting with four distinct piles may even this entire process easier.

What’s next?

This is going to be the most time-consuming part, but it will be worth it in the end. You need to try on all of your clothes. Do they still fit? Is there a rip that needs mending? These are all things that need to be determined. Just remember, if your shirt does need mending, to set it aside and then actually mend it! Don’t let that shirt sit for weeks or months on end waiting for a small rip to be fixed.

Any clothes that are too big or too small can be put into a donation pile. Maybe a friend or family member could use them. If not, there are always places looking for clothing donations. Seek them out and see if they will take what you no longer need.

What about pieces that are worn but still have some life in them? They could be turned into work clothes for when you are doing outdoor tasks. I often set aside a few pieces that are showing quite a bit of wear and then use them for yard work. If they are truly beyond use, then cut them up and turn them into cleaning rags. Make those clothes last as long as possible, even if they are beyond wearing them.

Remember those pants you have been holding onto for years hoping you will fit into them again. Its time to move on. Get rid of them.

Clean and store

Once you know which pieces you will be keeping, its time to put them away. Now is the perfect time to give your winter clothes a good cleaning before they are put into storage. You don’t want to find them in bad condition come next year. Repeat this for all of your clothes. Put them away nearly and in their proper places.

What will I be using up?

Like you, I will be giving my wardrobe a thorough inspection. Now, I did declutter my clothes about two years ago, so I’m not sure what I will find that needs to go. But I am going to make sure everything I am keeping will be worn regularly.

Will you be joining in on the May Use It Up Challenge?


  1. That’s such a great initiative. The clothing industry produces a lot of waste and each one of us has a part in it. You initiative will help reduce this waste to the maximum extent possible.

    1. Author

      Thank you. It’s worth trying to use the clothes you already have before rushing out to buy new ones.

  2. I recently went through my clothes and haven’t bought any more since. Now that I need them I can’t go shopping to get any! 🙂 Great pointers!

    1. Author

      That’s great that you were able to do that. Ha, go figure. I need to get my son some clothes but of course, it’s not happening right now.

  3. I’ve paired down my clothes so much to what I love and wear that they fit on one rack on the short wall of our closet and four collapsible bins!

    It is so therapeutic to go through the wardrobe. We’ll be going through my husband’s thick winter clothing soon and putting a few things in the attic to save room.

    1. Author

      That’s great! I cut my clothing in half a couple of years back and it made such a difference, I no longer had to dig through unloved pieces to find what I wanted to wear.

  4. Quarantine has deifnitely put this into perspective for me! What do I actually enjoy wearing and what needs to go?
    Great post!

    1. Author

      Yes, it’s a great time to reassess your clothing needs.

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