Guest post by Elysha Lenkin
A new year feels like a fresh start, a blank slate, a time to refresh and start anew. With the start of a new year, many of us feel the urge to purge. To clear the clutter from our spaces and add some breathing room to our homes. When decluttering, sometimes a big challenge is figuring out what to do with the stuff you’re getting rid of! Today I’m excited to introduce a guest post from Elysha, a holistic stylist, who helps her clients live their best lives and look great while doing so! Elysha is here with a great list of resources for what to do with clothes you are getting rid of.
Are you ready to fully embrace minimalism?
Do you want to take control of what fills your time and your space? Giving yourself more time, space and freedom?
Are you ready to completely declutter your home and your life and start experiencing the benefits of minimalism?
If you said “yes!”, check out my new course, Simply Uncluttered. It is a complete and thorough step-by-step guide to decluttering your home. Giving you all the tools to embrace a life with less and completely change your life!
It can be challenging deciding what to do with clothes you’re getting rid of
After taking the time and effort to declutter your clothes, the last thing you want is to get hung up on what to do with the clothes! When you’re decluttering, it’s best to get the items you’re letting go of out of the house quickly. Letting them hang around makes it too easy to second guess your decluttering decisions. And it also means your home stays cluttered and you can’t start experiencing the benefits of owning fewer things.
But sometimes it can be a challenge to know what to do with the clothes you’re getting rid of. Maybe you want them to go somewhere where they can be used and appreciated. But you aren’t sure exactly where that is!
Knowing what you can do with unwanted clothing lets you get it out of the house quickly and easily. Elysha’s post offers a wide variety of options for clothes you’re ready to get rid of. Get them out of the house and start enjoying the space you’ve created in your closet and drawers!
Need more guidance and encouragement to declutter your clothes? Check out these posts!
If you’re still in the decluttering phase of cleaning out your closet, check out my series on decluttering your clothes and creating a capsule wardrobe. These posts offer a bunch of great tips to effectively declutter your clothes. Helping you transform your wardrobe into one you look and feel great in!
Without further ado, here is Elysha’s post!
What to do with clothes you no longer need or love
Once you’ve gone through the process of your closet clean out — figuring out which items you love and want to wear, and letting go of those things that no longer serve the person you are today — you’re faced with the next step in clearing — getting those bags of unwanted belongings out of the house and into the right place.
There are many options to explore. I am going to share the recommendations I provide to my personal styling clients in the hopes that this resource list will be of benefit to you.
The easiest and most rewarding solution is to find someone who will find value in what you no longer need. The expression one person’s junk (or clutter!) is another one’s treasure is 100% accurate when it comes to clothing and accessories. It’s amazing how the dark green tunic top that was shoved to the back of your closet can become someone else’s go-to piece.
After you’ve compiled your bags of giveaways, invite some friends over to see if they love what you’re clearing out. You could also turn this into a clothing swap where everyone brings things they are ready to let go of. Just make sure that you’re only offering gently worn items. Your sweater covered in moth holes and your shoes with no soles won’t be of much value to anyone else.
Once your friends have picked through your bags, you could donate the rest, often for a tax deduction. With a wide range of organizations that take clothing donations, it’s good to know where your stuff is going and how your contribution helps.
Here are 5 places to donate your clothes after you no longer need them:
Dress For Success collects new and nearly new suits or other business appropriate attire to empower disadvantaged women. Helping them achieve economic independence by entering or reentering the workforce. In order to qualify for a suit from Dress For Success, women must be referred by a social services organization. This helps refine the process so only women who are serious about getting jobs are eligible.
To donate here, check the map of affiliate locations to find the one closest to you. To determine if your clothing is donation appropriate for this organization, ask yourself if you would feel comfortable wearing your garment in an interview. As that is what they are looking for. They dress women to get hired.
The sales from your gently used clothing at Goodwill help fund job training programs and employment placement services for people who have a difficult time entering the job market. Donations are made easily here with drop off locations around the country that provide tax receipts.
If your things don’t sell after a month, they are sent to Goodwill outlets. Which are bargain basement venues that sell items very cheaply by the pound. From there, your unsold items go to auction, and after that – if still unsold – they move onto textile recycling through organizations like SMART. Most of the clothing that ends up at SMART is sold into the US used clothing industry or sent overseas to meet a demand. Textile recycling organizations are a good place to donate your items in less than good condition. Visit American Textile Recycling Service to find a drop box near you.
Your gently used shoes supply people in impoverished countries around the world who have never worn shoes. Giving them the opportunity to wear yours. To make your donation process as smooth as possible they have partnered with Zappos for Good to ship your shoes (and gently worn clothing!) for you.
4. The Arc
Donations to The Arc help provide support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Their mission is to promote and protect rights while helping these individuals live an ordinary life.
With thrift shops around the country, they accept a variety of donations including clothing and jewelry which are tax deductible. You can drop off at a local chapter or schedule a pickup.
If you’re looking to connect with a charity and schedule a pickup, but you aren’t sure what is located nearby, this website helps facilitate your donation by providing you with a complete list of charities that service your area.
You could also contact your local social services agency or checkout Homeless Shelter Directory to locate a shelter near you as they often accept clothing donations, and put them into immediate use.
Here are 5 more options for used clothing you’d like to sell:
For those items that you don’t love or need anymore, but you know they still hold immense value — so much so that you’d like to sell them instead of donating — there are plenty of opportunities to do this as well online.
To complement your closet clean out, there is a “clean-out” kit which you fill with your clean and undamaged goods. A prepaid shipping label is provided, but there is a small fee for expedited service. You will be compensated for any items they are able to sell, and the rest is recycled. They also accept donations for tax receipts if you prefer to go that way.
While they do have a website, I suggest downloading the app for your most user-friendly experience. To sell your stuff here, simply snap some photos, fill in a description and set the price. There is a whole social side to this app which includes following your favourite closets.
When your item sells, they provide you with a prepaid, pre-addressed shipping label ready to be put on the box then dropped off at USPS. (You can also arrange for a pickup.) Seller fees are based on the cost of what you sold. If it’s under $15, Poshmark takes a flat fee of $2.95, instead of the usual 20% for items that are sold for more than $15.
As soon as you click into Vinted you are greeted with the words, “Ready to declutter your wardrobe?” It’s a membership site, meaning you need to create a profile and give your email address to browse. Vinted is similar to Poshmark in that you snap a photo, fill in the description and post your listing. The seller’s fee is 19% although they do offer special deals where they only take $2 off a sale for a limited time.
If you’ve got designer labels that you are looking to unload then The Real Real is worth checking out. Known for their luxury brands and strict authenticating process. They work with only an approved list of designers for clothing, fine jewelry, handbags and watches. (If you send them something that they deem inauthentic or it isn’t on their list of approved designers, the return of your item is at your expense. )
When you consign with The Real Real, they set the price of your item, take pictures and handle the sale. Expect to receive 50% of the selling price for items sold under $200, 55% for items sold for between $201 and $1.5k, 60% if the item sells for under $9,999 and 70% if it goes for $10k or more.
Tradesy carries a range of brands from Zara to Chanel so you can sell anything in your closet as long as it is in good condition. To create your listing: upload photos, provide a detailed description of your item, set your price and choose your preferred shipping method. You don’t have to worry about returns with Tradesy. If your buyer isn’t satisfied with the item they return it for a store credit. And unless they determine your item had an inaccurate description, you keep your earnings. Which are 80% of the selling price.
A note about selling items
While it can be tempting to try and earn some money for your valuable items, selling your stuff can take a long time and may require a lot of energy. Interested buyers often ask a lot of questions about your item. Including you providing measurements, taking photos of yourself wearing the item, or other random things that people ask when they are considering making a purchase. And more often than not, these questions do not lead to a sale. It’s important to keep this in mind as it could drag out your closet clean out longer than you intended.
Figuring out what to do with your stuff that you no longer love or need requires some planning. You may decide to divvy it up between your friends, charities and consignment. Just make sure to build this part of your clean out into the process. You don’t want to end up with your bags of unwanted stuff lingering around. This will only serve to move the clutter from your closet to another area. And if you’ve done the hard work of clearing, you deserve the reward of a clutter-free home.
I hope you enjoyed Elysha’s guest post. One of the challenges when decluttering your clothes is figuring out what you’ll do with the items you’re getting rid of. Elysha’s post gives you some great options for all kinds of clothes you’re decluttering. Thanks Elysha for sharing your knowledge and providing us with this awesome resource list!
Where are your go-to places for clothes you’re getting rid of? Do you donate clothes you’re decluttering? Have you tried selling any of the clothes you’re letting go of? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Elysha Lenkin is a holistic stylist who helps self-improvement seekers live well and look awesome through personal style, holistic fitness and mindful living. Her site, Mind Body Soul Stylist, is a wealth of information and inspiration on styling from the inside. You can find Elysha on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.