When de-cluttering your closet, you might find many shirts that either don’t fit you or simply aren’t wearable anymore, and cutting them from your wardrobe is definitely a way to clear up more space. But don’t throw them away just yet!

There’s more that you can do with old shirts without having to turn them into piles and piles of discarded textile waste. In fact, you’ve just found the perfect excuse to get started or continue your hobby of sewing and crocheting.

Here are a few ways to make use of the many shirts you no longer wear – and brush up on your sewing skills to boot:

1.  Make a yarn basket

Cutting shirts into strips and weaving them into baskets can give you a new use out of old shirts as well as clearing them out from you closet. These new adorable containers aren’t just practical – they can be adorable gifts to give friends and family on any occasion.

2.  Make a tote bag

Another way to repurpose those shirts and tank tops you have lying around is by making them into tote bags. Simply cut off the sleeves, turn them inside out, sew the bottom closed, and then turn them outside-in again – and voila! – easy bag!

3.  Make braided bracelets

Old cotton shirts can be cut into thin strips and woven together with rattail cord to make braided braceletsthat you can pair with your new casual wardrobe as new accessories.

4.  Make chew toys for pets

Love your little mutt but hate having bite marks on your footwear at home? The good news is you don’t have to spend as much effort anymore – simply take your old shirts and weave them into new dog chew toys. The best part is they’re totally washable.

5.  Make stuffed toys

With a few shirts and a little bit of creativity, you can make stuffed animals to give your kids or give as gifts to your friends for any occasion. Just grab your stuffing and your sewing kit and you basically have everything you need to get started.

6.  Make an apron

The bottom half of your old button-down polo can be repurposed into an apron, and a few extra scraps of patterned fabric can easily be sewn into it to give it just a little bit of color coordination that you’ll want to be wearing while cooking.

7.  Make upcycled pillows

Shirts with faded prints are especially great for making into adorable pillows that add plenty of personality in any room or area they happen to be in. You can even make as many as you want because of how easy they are to make.

There’s no denying that sleep is essential, but busy schedules often mean that you need to stay awake longer to finish tasks. One all-nighter isn’t too bad once in a while, but one too many and you might be at risk without even knowing it.

In fact, a habit of getting too little sleep forces your body and mind to adapt to this cycle. While this looks like a good thing at first, it’s actually not. This can lead to all kinds of health problems, like heart problems and weight gain.

This is what’s known as sleep deprivation, or “sleep debt”, and its costs on physical and mental health can be mounting over time the more time you stay awake and the less time you have for rest.

How to Know if You Have Sleep Debt

If you think you’re not getting enough sleep, try watching out for these signs that you have a significant amount of sleep debt:

  • Caffeine – Keep track of how many cups of coffee you need to take throughout the day to feel functional. The more cups of coffee you drink, the more likely you’ll have trouble sleeping at night.
  • Sugar/high carbohydrate food cravings – Just like the caffeine, sleep deprivation leads to cravings for foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Moodiness – It’s hard to focus on anything when you’re fuzzy-headed or irritable, and being prone to mood swings is a big sign that you’re missing out on the sleep you need. This is especially true if you’re constantly feeling groggy during the day, only to still be working until the late hours.

Repaying Your Sleep Debt

Now that you know the signs and effects of being sleep-deprived, here’s what you can do to repay your sleep debt:  

  • Limit your naps – Napping during the day will make it difficult for you to sleep at night, but taking an hour or two in the afternoon to nap can supplement the lost hours of sleep for night shift workers.
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills – Unless your doctor has specifically prescribed sleeping pills due to any underlying medical condition, avoid taking them as much as possible.
  • Sleep earlier than you normally would – Remember what time you would usually go to bed at night and set your normal sleep schedule back by about fifteen minutes.
  • Prevent distractions – Turn off all screens and lights before going to sleep to allow your body to return to its natural circadian rhythm.

Keep in mind that booting your sleep cycle is a process. Sleeping in on one night or over the weekend isn’t going to bring you back to your normal sleeping schedule, but it’s a constant work in progress to improve the quality of your sleep.