We're officially on the house hunt and hope to move from our apartment sometime in the next few months. To get a head-start on packing, I'm decluttering our belongings room-by-room. The less we have to pack, the less we have to move, right? Plus, I'm trying so hard to learn to live with less overall. #Minimalism
I'm no fashionista, but that doesn't stop me from overflowing my closet with tons of clothes from time-to-time. What starts off as a simple capsule wardrobe easily becomes "Oh, this is cute," "Might as well get two of these," "I think I need one of these." Story of my life! My consumerism is a total problem. Working on it, y'all.
Anyway, I knew that about half of my closet was altogether useless and it needed to be tamed. Here's how I clean it out, make a few bucks and get rid of the excess:
1. I took everything out of my closet. EVERYthing. I like to spread out all items out on my living room floor when I'm decluttering, just to have some Netflix going on in the background. It's also much easier to see the damaging situation on your hands when you see ALL your items filling up an entire living room. Seriously, it's like a mountain range of clothing.
2. Very meticulously, I inspect every item and add it to a new pile. I like to categorize the clothes into 4 different areas: Keep, Sell, Donate and Throw Away.
KEEP - This pile always has the toughest criteria - Does it actually fit? Can you wear it both to work and casually? You don't have more than one of these, right? Can you wear it as more than one outfit? There's always a few pieces that are exceptions to my rules, but I try to be really strict on myself. Get a friend to help you judge, if you can't trust yourself to do this step!
SELL - The clothes that end up in this category have a name brand, or are fairly recently purchased. I end up splitting this category into two sub-category piles: Plato's Closet and Clothes Mentor. These two local gently-used clothing stores offer cash on-the-spot for clothes. I decide which one to take them to by checking their preferred brands lists on their websites. Plato's Closet accepts young mall-like brands (your Forever 21s, Vans, Xhilirations, etc) while Clothes Mentor is a little more upscale (but also accepts Merona from Target and Old Navy). I pack these up in recycle grocery bags and see what the two stores will accept.
No, you're not going to make your money back on these clothes you give to these resale stores, but it is nice to get some instant gratification for the few items that do make the cut. From my most recent trip, they only ended up accepting a few items at each store, but I made a little over $20 and that's a win in my book!
Whatever they don't accept, I'll pass along to my friends or try to sell in a Facebook resale group.
DONATE - These clothes are still in good shape, but may not be as new or as well branded as the "Sell" clothes. I don't send anything to a thrift store with major holes, scratches or stains. Remember: they need to be able to sell those items, so it's not a place to just throw your trash! Be sure to get a receipt and add it to your tax deductions.
THROW AWAY - This pile usually has very little, but there's always a few things that need to go here. Basically, it's reserved for anything not wearable (stains, dirt, holes) or not sellable (socks, undies, bras).
3. Once you have your piles established, start taking those "Keep" clothes back into your closet. I love this part because I get to organize (by type, then color) and I always end up smiling ear to ear when I'm done hanging everything back up.
If your closet looks a little bare after this process, that's a good thing! Don't get down on yourself and think you need to run out and buy more to fill it back up (I'm reminding myself of this all the time). Less is more. Less is more.