As a Phoenix desert resident, my “spring cleaning” generally takes place somewhere between summer’s 115 degree temperatures and winter’s rainy monsoon season. However, when I lived in the great Midwest, that distinct turn from winter weather to sunny spring always inspired me to open the windows, air the place out and get to cleaning.
I imagine those of you in New York are gearing up for that much desired weather about-face. As you prepare to usher in chirping robins and skinny squirrels who’ve reluctantly crawled out of their cozy hibernations, start thinking about your own spring cleaning. And, more specifically, organizing your wardrobe.
Below I’ve briefly outlined what to do with garments you no longer want to keep. Let the list inspire you to get rid of things, if not for more closet space than for a little extra dough in your back pocket.
1. Store it
Let’s face it. Going through your closet isn’t a black and white process. You have a “keep pile,” a “toss pile” and a “Eh… I’m not really sure what I want to do with this yet” pile. The lattermost is the trickiest. After all, the last thing you want to do is regret your decision to toss something out. Anything with sentimental value, for example, should be kept. Designate a box for “maybes,” label it as such and then thoughtfully re-visit the clothes again on another day.
2. Sell It
As someone who frequently moves, my favorite part of spring cleaning is getting rid of things (fewer things to pack up later). What makes it even more fun, though, is cashing it all in. I’ve become quite good at this and, honestly, could write a whole book on the process. I’ll give you a few highlights and tips below, though.
– Sell it online via online via eBay or Craigslist. Craigslist is fee free, but it will require more of your time and the ability to coordinate your schedule with buyers’ schedules. High end items in good condition do best. I prefer eBay because it’s less work.
– If it’s vintage (especially high end), consider selling it on Etsy. Especially if you have a lot of it. You’ll have to pay seller fees, but the Etsy platform attracts thousands of buyers willing to spend money on high quality. Always take attractive pictures and detail blemishes, dimensions and any pertinent information.
– Head to a local consignment shop. This requires the least amount of your time and you won’t get the whole profit, but at least you still make money on your goods. Always call ahead to see what the shop needs most and bring your garments clean and on hangers.
3. Give It Away
There will always be a few garments that others don’t want. For example, clothing that shows its age or has tears, stains or pilling are not going to sell. Consignment shops will simply reject them and online buyers won’t bite. For these, let’s call them “unwantables,” your best bet is to simply donate.
You have several options. First, you can offer them for free on websites such as Craigslist and Freecycle. This is nice because anyone who claims them will come to you.
Alternatively, you can donate them to local homeless shelters or thrift stores. Donating to a registered charity allows you to claim tax deductions. Always ask the organization for a proper form.
4. DIY it
If you’re crafty (or want to be crafty), thoughtfully examine any “unwantables” and re-invent them. For example, old frocks with pretty patterns can easily be turned into throw pillows or re-cover an old chair. Check YouTube or Pinterest for thousands of ideas.
You can also upcycle an old garment by adding to it or changing it in some way. Again, lots of ideas are available online. The below blogs are some of my favorite DIY Fashion blogs — let them inspire your own creations!
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 09:00 AM
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