One Genius Way to “Declutter” All the Clothes and Sheets You Can’t Donate

published Dec 1, 2021
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a woman organizes clothes in living room of her home.
Credit: Getty Images/Susumu Yoshioka

Recycling is a relatively simple and high-impact way to prevent trash from overflowing in landfills, as long as you have something you can do with your stuff. (And, of course, as long as you do it right.) Compost your food waste and paper, recycle your LaCroix cans and cereal boxes, and donate all those household goods you can’t use to someone who needs them more than you. Easy enough, right?

Well, when it comes to textiles, not quite. Yes, old clothes and even bedsheets can usually be donated or given away. But if the reason you’re getting rid of those things in the first place is that they’re gross or unusable, you probably don’t want to drop them off at your local Goodwill. So you end up with all this “soft trash” cluttering up your house. What’s the best way to deal with it? 

If you’d rather add some decor to your space than spend an afternoon researching “how to dispose of underwear,” this popular video on TikTok has a super simple hack for you. First, just buy an unstuffed pouf or throw pillow cover on Amazon — like this pouf, which comes in several colors and textures. If you have kids and a lot of old bedsheets, you could also use one of these clever stuffed animal storage beanbags

Then comes the important and fun part: Stuff your chosen vessel to your heart’s content with everything you want to get rid of but can’t donate — torn bedsheets, stained T-shirts, old tea towels, decluttered intimates, and anything else you’d consider “soft trash.” 

It’s a win-win for you and the environment. You get an aesthetically pleasing pouf or beanbag for your living room, kids’ room, or nook without shelling out money for the insert. Even better, your would-be-trash textiles get a new life, and you don’t have to think for another second about what to do with your old underwear.