You might cherish your old military uniforms given all the memories they hold. Or maybe you — or your spouse — are tired of them taking up space in the closet. When the time comes to unclutter, what should you do with those uniforms?
The easiest way to get rid of any uniforms is to dispose of them, and there are a handful of ways to do this. The first is to simply throw them in the trash. It is cautioned that if you decide to trash the uniforms, you should remove any insignia and names on them. Some individuals even go as far as cutting or ripping the uniforms to avoid any reuse. Others have found it best to burn their old uniforms to avoid any possible stolen valor. Another option is to check with a local base, as some military installations have shredding programs for old uniforms.
If you aren’t comfortable with trashing a uniform, consider donating it. As with disposal, you should remove any insignia and names when donating. One of the more convenient places to donate uniforms is at a thrift store. Though thousands of uniforms end up in thrift stores every year, it might be best to donate them to a military thrift store or one close to a base. If you’re looking for your donation to go a little further, you can give your uniforms to organizations that help veterans, such as Sword & Plough or your local Airman’s Attic. Other options include school drama departments, local museums, or VFW or American Legion posts.
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Maybe you’ll want to put the old uniforms to use. Some individuals prefer to keep their uniforms intact and put them on display in a shadow box along with their awards. Others repurpose their uniforms to craft a wide array of projects, including turning the uniforms into bags, aprons, and even wreaths for the holidays. But others choose to get an active use out of them. You can wear them when doing household work such as working on the car or cleaning out the attic or when going paintballing, mudding, or hunting. Be aware some services have stringent restrictions on when you should and should not wear a uniform, so even if your service is in your past, it might be best to consider those rules.