The first time I de-cluttered my closet, I donated everything. I just wanted it all out.
Boy, did that NOT work. For so many reasons.
Fast-forward a few months later, and I was back at square one again. I needed to de-clutter because in that short time, my closet was overflowing, yet again. Only this time, it was mostly with items I just refused to let go of the first time, but couldn't bring myself to wear. I needed a way to ensure that I could purge my closet once and for all and still feel as if I was accomplishing something.
I needed clothing closure.
Now, I try to make some cold hard cash from my closet by selling my gently worn clothing. Because this way, I feel like I'm a.) creating a stress-free, minimalist lifestyle, and b.) making some money my family can use for ballet lessons, trips to the zoo, you name it. This way, I feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment on multiple levels.
So without further ado, here's how you, too, can sell your clothing and make some much needed cash!
What to Sell
As you de-clutter, you will have made your piles. This is where your sell pile comes in. It should be made up of clothing that is:
- Gently worn
- Currently in style
The higher the quality, the more well-known the brand and the better the condition, the more likely you will be able to sell the item, both quickly and for top dollar.
That means your items shouldn't have any rips, tears, stains or odors; sweaters shouldn't have any pillling; and shoes shouldn't have much (if any) wear to the undersoles.
Where to Sell
1. Facebook Groups
First things first; you are going to get the most bang for your buck if you can cut out the middle man. So that means knowing your target market and how to reach them.
For example, I am part of several mommy group swap pages on Facebook so I always start there because I can swap or sell directly to the buyer. No shipping costs, no fees, no tax hassles. However, it can take a lot of work. You still have to take photos, post them, describe them, manually keep track of who wants what, figure out drop off/meet up places, etc. If you have the time, energy and patience (especially if it takes a bit of time to sell), then this is a great place to start. Keep in mind, however, that if you sell online in this way, be careful! Meet in public places, always let someone know what you are doing or take someone with you.
2. Consignment Shops
If you don't want the headache of taking pictures, writing descriptions, posting and dealing with customer service, consignment shops are the way to go. Yes, they take a percentage of the sales of your items - they need to keep the lights on somehow. But they do take your items off your hands immediately so you get that instant gratification. Some will pay you on the spot, while others will pay you once your item sells. Either way, if you want less hassle and a quick buck, consigning is your best bet. (Check out my favorite consignment shops in Charleston here!)
Sites like eBay, Letgo and Poshmark will yield you the biggest earnings for your items. Yes, it takes lots of time, and selling fees and shipping fees can dip into your profits, but think of these sites like garage sales - on the global level. Somebody, somewhere, may be hunting for your item and is willing to pay top dollar for it. If you're looking to get all you can out of your old stuff, selling online can net you the most cash, perhaps even break even or make a profit. For example, my friend bought this adorable Marc Jacobs bag at a ridiculous clearance price from Nordstrom Rack, and after growing bored of it after a year (it was still in immaculate condition), sold it on eBay for $12 MORE than what she paid for it originally! So not only did she make $12, but she basically had a free Marc Jacobs bag for a year. Now, I can't guarantee that it can happen to you, but if you're looking for opportunities and possibilities, selling online is the way to go.
When all else fails...
If you aren’t having much luck on Facebook, eBay or consignment, just go ahead and donate your items. (Check out my favorite donation facilities in the Charleston area here!) You can get a receipt for your taxes, but most importantly, you are helping others in need. And you are taking a huge step toward living the de-cluttered lifestyle! When you keep items that only provide you happiness and add value to your life, plus help others, we all win!