Monday, January 9, 2012

What to do with used lingerie?

Dear GoodJoan,

Yay me for decluttering. I cleaned out a whole drawer in my dresser yesterday to make room for things that I really don't want hanging in my closet. I ended up clearing out a whole drawer of lingerie. I kept a few things, but found a lot of things that were maybe worn once or twice that either no longer fit or don't appeal to me. None of them were hugely expensive, but everything together filled up a paper grocery bag. Now, what to do with them? I don't know if Goodwill takes and resells used lingerie? I feel funny listing it on freecycle. What would you do?

Congratulations on the decluttering!  It's such a great feeling to free up space and lessen the chaos around us!  Now, on to your question.  I see a few possible things you can do with your bag of goodies.

The simplest is to just throw it all away.  It's a bag of old underwear, it's clutter, it's ok to throw it away.  I know that's hard to do though, especially when you feel like some things still have some use and some value, so if you cringed at that first suggestion, let's move on.

You can safely sell or donate bras, teddies and nightgowns and things like that, but not panties or anything worn as underwear.  It's a sanitary issue. In addition to Goodwill and the Salvation Army, consider a local women's shelter, or even a local 'dress for success' program!  If you think the tops could fetch a few dollars, and don't mine the work involved, post them on ebay.

You could offer the items to friends or family. If you know someone who's been losing weight, a new assortment of pretty panties in the right size might be a real blessing and they won't be as concerned about cooties as ebay.  All the same, you should wash the items and sanitize them with a disinfectant rinse, like Lysol, before passing them along.

For the non ebay friendly items, like already worn undies and socks, both clean and dirty, you can use an online classified site, but you'd be selling them as a fetish item at that point, which may or may not appeal to you.  If you'd like to go that way, Nina Koske at Brokelyn has already written a tutorial for getting started! It seems there's quite a bit of money to be made in that market!

Of course, you could go in a whole different direction and re-purpose the items into other things.  You could go the traditional route and use old cotton bottoms as dust rags, or in the garage.  Or you could go more creative!  Cut up the panties into squares and triangles and make a patchwork blanket.  Cut out strips and stitch into fabric flowers!  There's even a pattern for making an old bra into a purse!

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