Wardrobe Rebuilding: What to do with those unwanted items?

Happy Monday!! Oh gosh, I can’t even thank you guys enough for all the kind words and support on the last post on building a minimalist wardrobe this year. All the comments, pins (holy wow, 80+ repins?!), and emails were really awesome and I’m hoping to help answer your questions throughout the year as I feel my way through this process through trial and (probably a lot of) error.

To prep for this wardrobe rebuild, I started with a closet purge. I’m not going to go into the purging process because there are a handful of really great methods that have been posted by other bloggers in the past. Kendi did a really great post in 2010 with lots of tips and tricks for determining whether or not to keep or purge an item from a closet. I highly recommend reading her list of “rules” if you’re stumped on where to start. So what happens after cleaning out the closet? What are the options for those unwanted items? is the big question I found myself asking a lot last year.

tips-for-closet-purging

Above is a sample of the goods that I pulled from my closet in my final purge. Last year’s experiment in style made me realize how much I truly love and constantly gravitate towards neutral solids. While patterns and colours were fun to play around with, I rarely wore an item more than 3 times. As I grow older and want to be more conscious about spending habits, knowing what I like in the clothing department will help me stay focused when shopping. No more rationalizing impulse purchases of neon floral dresses! So what to do with those unwanted items?

Here are the options I always consider: sell, donate, or trash, in that order. There are pros and cons to each…

Sell: Online vs Offline
One big question is Why sell? Not everyone wants to sell their used clothes because it does take more time, patience, and work. I chose to sell so that I could start a piggy bank for the wardrobe rebuild. Purging almost 40% of my closet and then attempting to smartly rebuild it over the next few months is not exactly the most wallet-friendly task.

Online: There are a lot of options for reselling used clothing in today’s day and age. Poshmark and Twice are popular options today. Poshmark requires you to take your own photos and list the items yourself, but you also get to set your own prices. Twice takes care of all the photo taking, pricing, and shipping, but that also means you need to accept the offer pitched by the Twice team for the value of your items. To be fair, I’ve never used either of these services, but have seen other bloggers praise both!

Offline: This is my favourite route to go. I am personally a big fan of Crossroads Trading Co because of their aesthetic and selection of items in the shop matching well with mine (aka greater chances they’ll buy my pieces than pass on them). Other options are Buffalo Exchange, Beacon’s Closet, or locally owned consignment shops. A big pro of selling offline is getting rid of multiple items at once, but that also means only being able to bring seasonal items in to sell. I usually bring bags of goods once a season, even if I’m sorting the items in my “discard pile” constantly throughout the year. One con of going this route is that it highly depends on the buyer at the store to decide if there’s a style fit for your items in their shop, and the purchase price they will take your item for. I’ve been doing this for a year now and am starting to get the hang of what to look for when putting items into the “for Crossroads” pile each season so that 90% of my haul gets purchased by the shop girls.

Donate
When items get passed on from the selling route, I’ll donate them. If you decide to not sell and donate a large amount of items, one pro is getting a tax deduction. I usually pass on the tax deduction, but this is helpful to keep in mind for large donations!

Trash
Ok, I guess there aren’t many pros to this one. Honestly, I only ever consider this option for clothing items that are not in good condition. For a piece that’s extremely worn out or has holes that can’t be fixed, I’ll put this in the trash pile. It saves time for those at donation centers from having to sort through the unwearable pieces.

Is anyone else rebuilding their wardrobe this year? I would love to hear about your experiences with any of the above!

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  • Don’t forget the option of gifting to a friend ;) Real question though, will you please elaborate on what to look for when putting aside clothes for crossroads and buffalo?

    • haha oh yeah… totally forgot, even after sending those shoes off with you! :)

      I will definitely work on a post for tips on selling to Crossroads! I haven’t ever sold to BE, but I’m guessing they follow similar guidelines.

  • I just found your blog a few days ago and I’m 110% head over heels! Seriously, I love everything about your blog.

    I’m going off to college (hopefully somewhere on the east coast, very different from Texas!) and I’ve worn a uniform at school for the past 13 years so I’m attempting to rebuild a wardrobe that works for various climates and that fits my newly found style. IT’s been quite a process, but I started by putting all the clothes I wear often on one side of my closet, and the things I don’t wear on the other side and moved items back and forth as I saw fit and for me that was really helpful! Now I just have a massive pile of clothes, but I’m definitely going to use some of these tips!

    Toyosi
    http://standard-t.blogspot.com

    • Hi Toyosi! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. College is exciting and dressing for the east coast gets super fun in the Fall/Winter because of the climate and being able to layer!

  • First stop is my little sister but yeah, i’m donating a lot or selling them offline through a garage sale my friend’s holding. I’m just glad to purge more than anything. Who knew I had so many clothes??? I mean I knew but seeing it all in bags and still having a full closet? Wow, I did not utilise a lot.

    • Oh yes, donating to siblings and friends is always on the list too! I actually just unloaded a few pairs of shoes to a friend over the weekend. I am totally on the same track about not realizing how much STUFF I own as a whole until doing a closet purge. Crazy to see it all at once, but it also feels gratifying to get to start over :)

      • IT’S CRAZY! I had to pack for a longer trip and wow there is soooo much I don’t use. Might as well give it away.

  • I, too, have a constantly rotating pile of “to be sold.” (the best resale shop in Austin is Uptown Cheapsakte, and I live around the corner, so I’m there a LOT.) I think it’s fun to see what the shop girls take versus what I think they will, or what they take a different time. I’ve shopped on Poshmark, but haven’t personally sold anything because I’m bad at mail. Womp womp. If you listed on Posh I would very likely end up buying all of your old clothes.

    Also, the former non-profiteer in me wants to mention that women’s shelters are always looking for clothing donations (and all kinds of donations tbh). The power of the right outfit is SO real, and your old blazer or blouse could help someone nail an interview with a job who really needs it and can turn their whole life around thanks to your donation. Also bras!

    xo nicole
    writeslikeagirlblog.com

    • Thank you for the reminder about the shelters, Nicole! I’ll have to look into these in Seattle. I have a few blazers that I was thinking of taking to sell next season, but I might go straight to the shelters. You’re totally right– outfits make or break a situation and when we feel amazing in one, it really shows!

      I don’t know if I can commit time to uploading to Poshmark, but I might do a mini IG Sale at the end of this season depending on how much stuff I have left after the last closet purge. It would be AWESOME to see how you style some of the pieces!!

  • There is only one place even remotely near where I live that buys used clothes to sell and it has weird hours and times for you to bring in things (it doesn’t buy on a Saturday or Sunday which makes it hard as it is 100 miles from me). So, I want to try it, but…. Twice and other online stores can be picky about what they take to sell (they have specific brands they ask for), but if they do not accept your items, they will either ship they back to you (you pay for shipping) or they can donate them for you. They send you a receipt for the donation too, for tax write offs. White Glove is another, similar service though I haven’t tried it.

    Like Nicole, I’d echo the idea of donating to places that need it, such as women’s shelters. Local colleges may also have groups you can donate too, such as ENACTUS groups. Many of those kids don’t have the funds to get interview clothes but are needing to start the job hunt on graduation…

    Anyway, I’m so excited to read all about this journey of your minimalist wardrobe!

  • sweetsandhearts

    I’ve been better at getting rid of stuff I don’t wear, but I’m still such a fashion hoarder. Congrats on the 40% purge (wow!). I took some stuff to my local consignment store (it’s like Buffalo Exchange, but less cool and…lots of jeans from Hollister). They only took three things (all for F21) and offered me $3 in cash. I hate them. I’ve had a good experience with Thredup though! I tried it a couple of times already and they’ve taken a lot of my items. They pay decently, and upfront too. The downside is you have to pay to have the rejected items returned to you (or they can donate them), so it’s not so bad.

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