Do you wear everything you have in your closet? Truly think about that. I am going to guess that you don’t. Take a look at your closet, move through the hangers and think about when you last wore each item. First you come across your favorite black silk top, the one you seem to wear at least once a week. That one is a keeper! Then you move that hanger aside and next you see a dark red dress, it is simple and pretty, and you remember buying it a year ago. Again, try to think about when you last wore it? You packed it for your Christmas vacation, but never actually ended up wearing it. So then you go back farther and start thinking about the past few week and months. Suddenly you realize you can’t remember the last time you wore it….. This should be a sign, maybe it is time to take the red dress out of your closet? But then you start to think: but it is cute, and its from Madewell, and probably over $150, so your not going to give it away. You spent real money on it! And it could be perfect to wear to 'that' dinner next week.
That my friends, is my typical thought cycle any time I clean out my closet. Usually, most things that I consider giving away, I can easily talk myself into keeping. I may not have worn it recently but I feel like it could be great for ‘x.’ However, lately I am trying something new; I am trying to regularly clean out my closet! I am trying to keep everything a bit simpler and manageable. For the past few years, I have always been jumping around from place to place: from being home in Maine, to college, to vacations, and to internships. All this traveling has led to lots of packing and rearranging of my clothes and possessions. Be it packing for my fall semester at college or a two week vacation, I always know what jeans will be my first choice and what sweaters are my favorites. I have come to learn what my favorite and go-to items are, and other than that, do I need much more?
This has led me to add semi-regular closet clean outs into my yearly routine. In the last year, I would say I have probably cleaned out my closet at least five times. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but each time I find a few things that I realize I no longer wear. Don’t get me wrong, my closet is still pretty full of clothes! But now, it is just more of an edited and paired down collection!
So you clean out your closet, but then what do you do with the unwanted items?
Do you donate the clothes or try to re-sell them. I have found that using the website ThreadUp is the perfect solution! (I think I first heard of ThreadUp over a year ago on the blog, A Piece of Toast.) I would describe ThreadUp as the middle ground between your local consignment store and Ebay. It is as simple as sending a big bag of unused clothes through the mail and then having the potential to make some money from the resale of the items. I think this is the best resale option for clothing right now. Over Christmas, my cousin was telling me that she tried to take some old clothes to Second Time Around. Her atempt was a total failure because they wouldn't accept half of the items and she for what they did take, she only made $6. I quickly told her that she had to try using ThreadUp (and then realized it was about time I wrote about ThreadUp here on Simply Elegant as well.
ThreadUp allows you to take a whole pile of clothes and attempt to send them all to ThreadUp. They will then sort through and either consign the items that have value, and then donate everything else. Simply log on to ThreadUp, create an account, and order a donation bag. You then ship it back for free and have the possibility to sell on the items. You will not be making anything close to big chunks of cash, but I have been pretty successful so far. After sending in full bags to ThreadUp more than five times, I have made from $65 up to $110. It just depends on what you send. But I can bet you that more often than not, it will be a lot more money than you will make at Second Time Around. If you don't feel the need to make money from your slightly worn items, you can still use ThreadUp and donate the profits to make to charity. A win, win!
If you set new goals for 2016, and one of the is to be more organized, then cleaning out your closet is a step in the right direction! I would suggest a resale site like ThreadUp for everyday clothing and accessories, if you have a designer item or handbag, The Real Real or Shop Her's might be the better option. I would love to know, do you all clean out your closet regularly? If you have any tricks on determining what pieces to keep and what clothes to let go of, let us know in the comments below.
*Note: this post is not sponsored by ThreadUp or any of these services in any way, they are simply websites I use regularly and find very helpful that I wanted to share.