What to Keep, What to Sell


Closet Clean outAs the snow melts and the weather begins to heat up let’s shed those winter layers and move onto some cute Spring frocks.  That means it's time for some serious Spring cleaning and closet detoxing.  And what better time to figure out what you should keep and what you should sell then during a closet purge?!?!

We’ve broken down the closet clean out into 4 easy steps.

Step one; Get in the Zone:

It can be hugely satisfying to have a completely cleaned and organized closet. But, as I’m sure we all know, it can also be hugely overwhelming when you open that closet and half of it falls out onto the floor because it's been months since it was last put into place.  So be kind to yourself before you start the process. Set yourself up for success by setting the mood. Grab a glass of vino, queue up a great motivational playlist and get ready to dive in.  Make sure you have a realistic mirror nearby to check yourself out, some cardboard boxes or bins at the ready to categorize your closet and post-its to make sure everything gets labeled as you go.  Label one box Donate, one Consign, one Memories and one Storage. Now you are ready to go!

Step two; Start Purging:

I find it easiest to purge category by category. Doesn’t matter which category you start with but do all sweaters at one time, then bottoms, shirts, blouses, dresses, etc.  Some like starting from the top of the closet and going down. Others go right to left.  It really doesn’t matter what methodology you use, it's just important to make sure you are getting to everything in your closet.

I find it easiest to use The One Year Rule on the first pass. Go through every piece of clothing and accessory in your closet.  If you haven't worn it in the last year, it's time to part ways and make room for something new. Next it’s time to Divide and Conquer.  Of the things that you have not worn, decide what is meant for charity and what is meant to make money for you! Put them into the bins you’ve labeled Donate and Consign.

On your second pass of the closet, you need to start trying things on.  This is where your tunes and your wine will help the process.  Make sure you have a great pair of heels nearby so you can see how things will look once you’ve polished the look with shoes.  One by one either hang the item back in the closet if you’re loving the way it looks, put it into the donate box if the item has served its full purpose in your life, add it to your consignment pile to make you some money or put it in the storage bin if you don’t expect to wear it again until next season.  

Make sure you’re aware of your emotional attachment to your clothing during this part of the process.  Some may be worth keeping even if you don’t think you will wear them again.  These items can be put into a Memory bin if you have the room to store them.  Be very selective about what you put into the memory bin.  There should be very few items in this category.  We all enjoyed playing on our high school sports teams and all the tshirts we collected as a result or that college crop top phase that lasted a year or two too long, but there really is no place for either of them in our lives today.  What may be worth keeping though is your high school varsity jacket or the top you wore when you first met your love.  The items you keep should have serious sentimental value.

Step three; Organizing Time:

Now that you have everything separated it's time to organize.  You will organize your closet and the items that you will consign.  Let's start with some quick tips for closet organizing.

I like to section off my closet by category.  If you’re lucky enough to score a walk in closet space, that would mean double racking certain areas so all of your tops are together. Your long pieces and dresses will hang out and your pants will stand alone too.  I even like getting down to the nitty gritty of hanging worktops in one area and play tops in another.  I happen to have a cardigan/long cozy sweater fetish so they have their own section as well.  Your closet sections should make sense to you and you should be able to see every piece when you look into your closet.

Once your sections are set, I go back through and color organize each section.  I start with whites, move to neutrals, into color shades starting with the lightest version of that color and then end with black.  It helps me get dressed in the morning if I know I want a black top and they are all hanging together.

Onto consignment organization. Consigning and donating is the best way to remain fashionably environmentally conscious. But not all consignment stores are created equal.  It's important to research what each consignment store takes so you can figure out where each of your items should go. Here are a few quick tips on how to consign:

:  There are many consignment shops out there. Some sell J.Crew, others sell Hermes. Make sure you bring the correct merchandise to the correct shop. The J. Crew store may love to see your Hermes bag, but they won't get the most money for you, they don't have the right clientele.
Ask Around:  The good consignment shops have good reputations. Their customers AND their consignors appreciate their honesty and expertise and are usually willing to tell you about it.
Call First:  Consignment shops may be overstocked or need specific items.  Call first and ask specifically about the items you are hoping to consign.  It may save you a trip.

Once you know where each item should go it pays to make sure they are in the best condition they can be. This way you will realize the most for each piece.  Click here for some information on how to get everything spruced up and ready to consign. 

Step four; Unload it Today!:

Once your items are categorized for donation, storage and consignment, load up your car or seal those boxes and get them out of the house/bedroom.  Do it now and don’t wait.  You are in the zone and it is top of mind today. If you wait to do it tomorrow, tomorrow will easily become next week and then next week will become next month.  Before you know it you will be tripping over these boxes on your way out the door to the beach!  Just get it done today.

Phew!  Now you can kick back and look at your gorgeously organized closet and finish that glass of wine.  It really is so much easier to get dressed when you can see everything you have right in front of you.

March 24, 2021 — Tamara Gates

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