So now that you’ve pulled all the unwanted items from your closet, how do you decide what to sell, donate, or discard?
Start by making 3 piles/areas for sorting
Each pile should correspond to either selling, donating, or discarding. I’m a super visual person, so it helps for me to have everything laid out on the ground to start before forming each of the areas and piles.
How to decide what to sell
Crossroads Trading is one of my favourite places to sell to, mainly because their customer base (at least in Seattle) casts a wide spectrum of styles of clothing that they’ll choose to buy. At the tail end of every season, they’ll put out a set of flyers at each store to give customers an idea of what they’re looking to buy for the upcoming season. The card below was put out around the end of February, since their Spring buying started in mid-March. Having a good idea of the direction of items they’re looking for helped to determine which pieces of Kim’s should be added to the “Sell” pile.
Since closet purges usually aren’t season-specific, Kim had a bunch of pieces that weren’t appropriate to try to sell for the Spring. For all of her Fall/Winter pieces, we made a separate sell pile for her to bring to Crossroads in September. One of the best tricks I learned about selling to Crossroads is to always stay on trend and be season appropriate with the items you bring in. The stores don’t like to have to store inventory for future seasons, so it saves everyone (you, the buyer, etc) time if your haul only has items specific to the season they’re buying for.
When to take your goods to Crossroads
Now that you’ve identified what’s season-appropriate, it’s time to figure out when to go to Crossroads to try to sell it. I’ve had the biggest success rate of items bought from me at the beginning of the season. Since the store is usually trying to start or build up their inventory for the upcoming season a week leading up to the next season, I’ve found that it’s crucial to get to the sell counter at this time. I encouraged Kim to take her haul at the beginning of March, since their Spring season officially started in mid-March.
She took all of her floral-printed skirts, pants, and tops, along with all of her chiffon and Coachella-looking tops to sell and said just over 90% of her items were purchased! So what about those other items that didn’t sell, or didn’t make the “sell pile”?
According to Value Village, the average family household throws away 280 pounds of clothes each year. Say what?? 280 POUNDS?! That number absolutely blows my mind, but doesn’t surprise me since our marketplace has shifted towards fast fashion over the years. To get the point across, Value Village set up a 10’x10′ display in Westlake Center this past weekend to showcase better ways to reuse clothing that we no longer want. Instead of throwing it out, we, as conscious consumers, are being asked to rethink the lifecycle of our clothes and alternative options to throwing clothes in the garbage when we’re ready to purge them from our closets.
How to determine what to donate vs discard
As someone who loves to thrift, I think a lot about the condition of items I would be willing to buy. If there are holes or stains in the item, I’ll put it in the discard pile instead of the donation one. Even then, I try really hard to keep the discard pile as small as possible. Instead of throwing clothes away, I’ll try to repurpose them as rags for cleaning.
Hope the clothes sorting goes well! T’is the season for Spring Cleaning!!