Keep, Sell, or Donate? Cleaning your closet effectively

The thought of going through every piece of clothing and organizing your closet sounds like the worst possible chore. It takes a lot of effort (mentally and emotionally) to figure out what to keep, donate, or sell. Once you get the whole ordeal over with, you’ll have a clean closet filled with things you actually wear and maybe some money in your pocket! I recently went through my entire closet and cut my wardrobe in half. I dreaded the idea and was worried that I would regret getting rid of so much. The whole experience ended up being super therapeutic while teaching me a lot about marketing and e-commerce. I want to share what I learned and what I did to make it a good time!

How to clean your clothes effectively without feeling like a chore

Invite over a friend

Going through your clothes alone can be tiring. You’ll probably also get distracted by Instagram or YouTube. It’s best to invite a friend who can be honest and help you stay on track. My boyfriend (Andre) helped me go through my clothes a decide what to keep, sell, or donate.

Andre recently got rid of more than half of his own wardrobe, so I knew he would be very helpful. I would pick a cute shirt that I never wear and say, “It might be cute for a special event!?”. Andre was very good at reminding me that I don’t need it and it would be better off with someone who will actually wear it. You may also have a better time convincing your friend to help by letting them know that they get the first pick at your closet!

colourful closet, keeps
A few of my “keeps” after organizing my closet

Order in and have some drinks!

To really make a night out of your clothing purge you should order in! You don’t want to spend hours going through your closet just to spend more hours cooking. It’s a lot more fun to have food show up at your door. Andre and I ordered from our favourite vegan restaurant in London, Ontario – V Food Spot. To learn more about V Food Spot, check out a previous post where I talk a bit more about how good their food is. It’s also important to have a refreshing drink nearby to keep you alert and quenched. Andre and I shared a couple of beers, but I’m not saying it has to be alcohol. Have whatever you want! You could have coffee, tea, kombucha, whatever gets ya going and excited. Plus, you’ll need something to help the food you ordered go down.

Follow this flowchart

Here’s a flowchart you may find useful. I put together a step-by-step approach to determine whether to keep, donate, sell, or repurpose your clothes!

As you determine the fate of each piece of clothing, place it on its respective pile (keep, repurpose, donate, sell). Once you’re all done sorting your clothes, it’s time for the next step!

Organizing The Clothes You Keep

I know organization isn’t for everyone, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t feel good when you take the time to do it! You don’t have to be a total Capricorn to implement this step. There are just a couple of easy tips I’ve learned along the way to keep up with my closet organization.

  • Construct a double rack in your closet. This helps to maximize the space in your closet, especially if you share it with someone. You can also organize the top rack for tops and long dresses, and the lower rack for all your bottoms.
  • Take advantage of vertical space and wall mount shelving to maximize your storage and floor space.
  • Use metal shower curtain rings to organize and hang your belts. This has helped to minimize the space they occupy while keeping them easily accessible.

Repurpose

It’s best to repurpose any clothing that is not in good condition. There is no point in donating worn-out clothing as it won’t sell in the thrift store. Worn our clothes will sit in the thrift store and eventually find its way to a landfill. To ensure the item gets the most use possible before throwing away, try to find a new purpose for it. If it’s a comfy old T-shirt, use it as a pajama top instead of buying pajamas. For worn-out pajamas, turn them into rags for cleaning. Old rags are good for cleaning the floors, cars, appliances, and other greasy objects you don’t want to use your nice kitchen towels for. For those who are handy with a needle and thread, you could repurpose parts of the garment. For example, reusing a zipper in good condition, buttons, or even rework the garment into a new item!

A few items I am going to sell

Donate / Hand-me-downs

Items that are in relatively good condition but have been worn many times won’t sell well. The same goes for any low quality/fast fashion brands such as Ardene, Forever21, and George. Considering the cost of Canada Post shipping and the time you would put into a well thought out listing, the pay off will be extremely minimal. You can get away with selling really good condition H&M and Zara items, but any tiers lower isn’t worth it. People aren’t very interested in buying and shipping low quality used clothing. You are better off taking the minimal loss and give the item to someone who needs it or will get more use out of it. Check out my post on clothing donations to better familiarize yourself with the facts and the best ways to donate!

Sell

You may have clothes in your closet that still have tags attached or you only wore a couple of times. These can be a bit more difficult to bring yourself to donate, especially if the piece was pricey. I held onto a pair of vintage Levi’s because they were cool. I never wore them because they were too small for me and they just took up space in my closet. In this case, it is totally worth it to sell. Even if you don’t make back the amount you originally spent, it’s a couple of more bucks in your pocket for something that otherwise sat in your closet.

If you are willing to take high-quality pictures, ship items, and make a quality store, it is worth it to create a Depop or Poshmark account. You can make a bit more money than consignment stores offer as you are skipping the middleman. If you are very busy or can’t be bothered, then a consignment store such as Plato’s Closet is the way to go!

My Depop bin

To Sum up

I hope I was able to inspire you to clean out your closet without feeling like a total chore. I’m by no means trying to convince you to get rid of your clothes, especially if you love them. check out my previous post where I talk about clothes I’ve had for a long time. I’m just trying to get you to let go of the things you don’t use or are just sitting in the back of your closet taking up space. These items would be much better off in a home that will use them. If you are interested in the clothes I’ve decided to sell after clearing my closet, check out my Depop!

Let me know what you do to spice up your clothing purge 🙂

Thanks for reading and talk soon!

Em

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