Today in the decluttering sentimental items series we're decluttering our high school or college clothes. You know those sweatshirts or t-shirts you've been holding onto because they bring back so many memories? Even though they're tattered and torn or don't fit anymore. They could be clothes you bought with your school's crest on them. Or they could be uniforms you wore while on various teams or clubs.
Why high school / college clothing is hard to let go of
It's hard to let these items go because they bring back SO many memories of our younger years. They represent hard work and determination.
But, they often sit in a box or bin in your attic or basement. Or clutter up your closet or dresser even though you don't wear them. Either way, they've become sentimental clutter.
Tips for letting go of high school / college clothing
Here are a few tips to help you let go of these special clothes:
- Focus on living in the present rather than in the past.
- Think about how you can use the space these items are currently taking up for something that brings you joy now.
- If an item no longer fits you, think about how someone else would be able to enjoy it and then donate it.
- You can also check with your alumni association or online alumni communities and possibly sell it. You can even donate the proceeds back to your school.
- You could take pictures of these special clothes to make it easier to let go.
Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display high school / college clothing
If you want to keep some of your high school or college clothes, pick your absolute favourite(s) and find a way to repurspose or display them. Here are some suggestions:
- You can buy shadow frames for jerseys to display them on your wall (affiliate link).
- Or a jersey hanger that allows you to hang your jersey on a wall (affiliate link). This is a cheaper option than a shadow frame but the jersey is exposed to dust.
- If it's hats you've decided to keep you can get a hat holder (affiliate link) or cap rack (affiliate link) to display your sentimental hats.
- Or you can make a quilt out of your favourite shirts (same idea as I shared in the decluttering baby and kids' clothing post).
- If an item is worn out in some places but you can still salvage a crest or logo, you could frame just that part. Or maybe frame that part along with a picture of you wearing that item back in the day.
- You can make a bag out of your sentimental clothing. (pic and link from BOBB)
Here are some ideas shared by members of the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group:
- "I had a sweatshirt from senior year in high school that I kept for a long time. I used it when I was painting! I finally realized that I get too hot in a sweatshirt painting, so I didn't need it. Since I had enough use I was ready to let go."
- "I had a cheer uniform that I let my girls dress up in when they were little, once they left that stage I was ready to pass on to a thrift store...someone wants to dress as a cheerleader for Halloween, right?"
- "You can cut out the front design and wrap around a canvas to hang on the wall, or I've used small or large quilting hoops to act as a frame to hang too!"
- "If you sew, you can turn sentimental clothing items into pillows, a lightweight throw, or dish towels. I've recently made cloth diapers with some old t shirts too."
This is a pre-fold diaper made from some old t shirts.
Here's a t-shirt logo in a vintage metal quilt hoop.
This one is a vintage seed sack framed but same idea.
Here's a stack of no sew cloth wipes made from old kids clothes.
One member's daughter actually made herself this skirt from her mom's old shirt.
And here's a bag made out of a t-shirt.
Get the instructions to make a bag from a t-shirt in this post from Rebecka at Bake Craft & DIY. This is a child's shirt, but you could easily make a cloth bag for yourself from one of your shirts.
I love all of these ideas because it gives you an opportunity to keep enjoying the memories associated with your high school or college days!
Don't Start Your Decluttering Journey With Sentimental Items
Just a quick reminder that if you have "regular" (non-sentimental) clutter in your home, it's better to deal with that first and set aside your sentimental clutter until your home is less cluttered. Decluttering your everyday items will likely make more of an impact on your daily life than sentimental decluttering will. And sentimental items are generally more difficult to tackle so it's better to build up to them.
Whether you're decluttering sentimental items or general clutter, join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group! You'll find lots of encouragement, motivation, and tips as we all declutter our homes and lives together. You can find more details about the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge here too.
For More Decluttering Sentimental Items Tips
Want more tips? Check these the 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series!
Or the Decluttering From A to Z series from last October!
If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.
Do you have old school clothing you've been holding on to? Are they treasures or clutter? If you're having trouble letting go, what is holding you back? Is there a way you can use, display, or re-purpose your high school or college clothing?
As you declutter your school clothing, take pictures and share them on social media using the hashtag #declutteringsentimentalitems so you can inspire all of us to declutter our sentimental items!
If you've decluttered your school clothes, what helped you decide what to keep and what to let go of? How have you displayed your high school or college/university clothes? What tips can you share for those who are having trouble letting go of their school clothing?
If you've got a picture of how you displayed or re-purposed your old school clothing, please share it in the comments or on one of the series' social media posts. I'd love to see how you are giving honour and respect to your sentimental items!
Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!
I link up at these great parties - Check them out!