Who wouldn't want this closet?! {Source.}
Who wouldn’t want this closet?! {Source.}

Having a closet full of clothes that you never actually wear is the worst. It’s all an illusion. I mean, you see tops and dresses and skirts a plenty when you look in, but since you don’t really like any of it, you feel like you have nothing to wear. Recently I was basically at the point where I wanted to throw away everything I owned and start again, so I knew that the dreaded closet cleanse was a must. #SpringCleaning. While the actual process of cleaning and clearing through your wardrobe kind of sucks, the benefits–less clutter, better organization, room for new purchases, and potentially $$$–do not. If you’ve been putting off a closet cleaning session of your own, take this post as a sign to get it done. Here’s how to do it right…wine and a new Britney-centric playlist optional.

Step 1: Get it all together. Wash everything. Make sure all of your clothing is in your closet–none in the hamper, in the dryer, or strewn about your bedroom. Same thing goes for shoes and bags. You’re going to go through EVERYTHING. From there, Step 2: Separate. Make four piles: Keep, toss, donate, sell. After you’ve organized things into each category, immediately hang up your “keeps”. What goes in each pile? The keep is self-explanatory. If you love it, keep it. Be as ruthless as possible with this, though: if you haven’t worn it in months, if it doesn’t fit you right now, or if you simply aren’t excited about it, don’t keep it. Toss pieces that are seriously outdated, stained, faded, or hole-y. This is stuff that no one would want, or would find useful. The donation pile is for clothing that is salvageable–stuff that’s in decent condition, but just doesn’t fit/speak to you/isn’t in style. Take these to Goodwill, or your favorite local donation center. The sell pile is where the magic happens. This pile is for clothing that’s in great shape–think new or like new, currently in style, and in season. Clothing that other people would actually want. Selling is Step 3. Here, you have options.

  • Option 1: Consignment.

Back in the day, consigning your used clothing used to be somewhat of a hassle. Now, thankfully, there are plenty of stores–including chains Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, and Clothes Mentor, for starters–that will evaluate your clothing while you wait, and then buy them from out outright, on the spot. Typically they’ll give you an even better deal on your consignment items if you opt to receive store credit instead of cash. I like going this route when it comes to selling my clothing because it’s incredibly easy, fast, and virtually stress-free. Check Yelp reviews to see which stores will offer you the most cash for your clothing, what specific buyers are looking for, and which shops to avoid all together. Even after doing this, it’s always a good bet to stop in and shop the stores you plan to sell to before you bring in your clothing, to make sure that your offerings really fit their aesthetic. Many of these stores also feature a list of preferred brands on their websites. Also keep in mind that while some boutiques are great resale stores to SHOP, the same doesn’t always go for selling. Do your research and be prepared! I learned this lesson the hard way when once sold a large bag of clothing and a mint-condition Michael Kors hobo bag to a resale shop and only got $35 for all of it. They turned around and sold that bag–the very same DAY–for $32. Awesome deal for the bag’s new owner, very shitty deal for me. That all being said, get comfortable with the idea that you will probably be offered a lot less for pieces than you initially paid {and sometimes even less than you expected}, and try not to get TOO hung-up on a seemingly low buy rate. You want these clothes gone anyway, remember. The money is just a perk.

  • Option 2: Online Resale.

Since we live in an increasingly digitally-dominated world, online resale/consignment is also an option. Similar to in-person stores, sites like Threadflip, Twice, and ThredUp allow you to send in your gently-used, in style clothing for consignment consideration. After consulting their preferred brands lists and registering as a seller, any of the above companies will send you large bags with pre-paid shipping labels for you to stock with your unwanted wearables. Fill up your bag, send it back in, and the retailers will assign a value and price tag to your items. Typically, anything they choose not to accept will either be donated to Goodwill or sent back to you. Before you sell, you can peep the sites for typical prices, or check out their estimated payout calculators. In some ways, this process is even more effortless than in-person consignment, since these sites just send you a bag and you mail in your clothes! Be aware, though, that the value they assign to your pieces may be even lower than what an in-person shop would offer, and that payout times, terms, and options may vary. Again, try not to get too attached or upset! Some sites buy outright for a lower rate, some consign {at a price they choose} and pay you your cut only when/if your items sell, and some provide cash OR store credit. Explore all of your online options and read FAQs and fine print carefully. For more information about the world of online consignment and all of your selling options, check out the super-informative “My Small Little Business” post catalog from Healthy Fashion Girl!

  • Option 3: Straight-Up Online Sales.

DIY girl? If you have the time, patience, and photography skills, selling your items yourself may yield a larger profit. There are a few online apps and marketplaces that have streamlined the process of selling your clothing, most notably Poshmark and Tradesy. {Hipster and blogger-loved Depop is another new addition to this category!} With these services, wannabe sellers simply upload a picture and assign a price to their goods, which go live in their personal “closet” or storefront. From there, other users can see them, like them, make comments or offers, and ultimately, buy them. You set your own price, but the selling services get a cut. The major benefits to using a site like Poshmark over something like eBay or Etsy, though, are that it’s simple, the sites handle most of the seller/buyer negotiations and shipping details, and that your goods will be in front of a fashion-focused community of buyers. Don’t want a company making any money on your clothes?! Set up a PayPal account and sell your stuff online independently. If you have the time and patience, it’s totally doable. This route allows you to set your own prices, shipping costs and locations, and gives you the freedom to sell whatever you want. This strategy can work especially well for vintage items, luxury and high-end pieces, and cult-favorite brands. You can try your hand at independent selling by creating a “shop my closet” blog, Facebook page, or Instagram account. Hashtag like crazy! Want to shop my closet? I’m working on it! Watch this space!

…that’s pretty much it. Follow these steps, choose your own donating/selling adventure, and enjoy your freshly-cleaned closet! You won’t believe how good it feels to have a clutter-free wardrobe that contains ONLY the items you truly wear and like. And hey, extra cash and good karma is never a bad thing. Wins all around!

Have you started your spring cleaning yet? Is a closet cleanse in your future?



2 comments on “I Just Cleaned Out My Closet {& Maybe You Should, Too}: Tips & Tricks for Making the Mo$t of Your Spring Cleaning”

    • Yes! So true. Sometimes you find the best stuff that’s just been hanging out in the back of your closet or in drawers!

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