The Closet Clean Out is the first step to getting your clothing, shoes and accessories out of your life and into someone else’s, with your wallet reaping the rewards. You are also doing the planet a favor by extending the life cycle of these items. Win-win all around.
Most people dread the closet clean out. But you don’t have to. I host two clothing swaps each year, and my items are ready to go in less than 10 minutes. Here are my tricks.
- You MUST adopt the rule “If I Haven’t Worn It In The Past Year, It Goes.” You HAVE to stick to it. There are only 3 exceptions: formal wear, maternity, and basics. If you start making exceptions, the rule becomes worthless, since it doesn’t force you to wear items throughout the year for fear of the reaper. To make it easy to remember, you can turn all the hangers the other way (note the start date!), use a different color/style of hanger, or fold them differently. (see image at right)
- Borrowing from the OJ Simpson trial, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Seriously, how long are you going to try and fit into that size 0 dress? The year rule is plenty long. Sell it before it becomes worthless.
- There comes a point in the life of the most comfortable shirt you have ever owned when it dies. There is no shame in that. Nothing lasts forever. Except Twinkies. But let’s not go there. Get both of them out of your life. At least your loved shirt might make an amazing rag.
One to consider: keep good quality basics. Items like well-made black skirts or pants can last forever, with the proper care. Skirt lengths and some pant styles drift in and out of fashion, but everything always come back into style at some point. I feel like this can be an exception to the One Year Rule, depending on the quality, how timeless it is, and the resale market.
**This is the first in a five part series on how to make money on your used clothes, shoes and accessories, complied with the help of summer intern extraordinare, Elena Vorm.**