Style & Beauty

How to Recycle Your Clothes

At least once per year I like to do a closet purge, meaning that I go through all of my clothes and make piles for donating, throwing away and resale. By resale, I mean I take them to a local resale shop and I sell my clothes for cash or in exchange for something new.

You can resale clothes online, but I honestly don’t have time to take pictures, post them and then package them for shipping when they sell. I find that selling at a physical store is more convenient and straight forward.

I wish I could purge my closet more often, but the reality is that as a mom of two, there just isn’t time to do this as much as I used to.

If you are in need of a serious closet purge and are looking to sell some clothes to either get something new, or make a little extra cash, then here are my tips to get organized and get the most for your clothing!

Time

Going through your closet of clothes, shoes, purses and accessories takes time.

Before having kids, it was easy to find a few hours to sort through everything, but now it is a little more challenging.

Plan ahead and choose a time that you know you can have uninterrupted for a couple of hours. I usually do my closet purges in the evenings when both kids are in bed.

I like to play a little music, get in my pajamas and start digging in. I actually enjoy going through my closet because I often find pieces that I have not worn in a while. It’s a great opportunity to clean and also remind yourself of what you already have.

Research

If this is your first time, you will want to set aside some time to go online and look for clothing resale shops in your area so that you can call them and ask what items they are currently looking for. This way you know if they are taking more summer items, or sweaters, or are in need of shoes, etc.

Once you know, you can create seasonal piles and have bags ready for different seasons.

I don’t always take all of my clothes at once, I will just organize them and fold them nicely and wait until the appropriate time to sell them. For example, I won’t be selling heavy winter coats in June, but come early Fall, I can grab my winter bag and sell those clothes.

One other thing to keep in mind is to make sure you know where to sell vintage items. Not all resale shops buy vintage, but there are some that specialize in just that. I usually have to go to a separate shop to sell my vintage items.

For you moms, try searching for family resale shops that will not only purchase your clothing, but your kids clothing as well!

Kids grow out of their clothes so quickly, I feel like I always have gently used items of theirs that I can sell along with mine.

Deciding What to Sell

This can actually be challenging because many of us don’t want to purge our closets for the following reason; “well what if one day I decide to wear this item and I no longer have it.”

This used to be me all the time and so I would keep things for years and never wear them. My general rule of thumb is that if I have not worn it in a year, it’s time to purge it. The only exception are some of my handbags and special occasion dresses. Otherwise, they have to go.

Once in a while I will have brand new items with tags that I have never worn because I can’t find anything to wear it with. Purge those as well. Yes, they are brand new but if they are just sitting there unworn, what is the point?

Side note: I no longer buy clothes unless I can come up with three outfits in my head that I can wear it with. This way I can minimize the problem of “I have so many clothes and nothing to wear.”

Gently Used

When sorting through your clothes for resale, make sure you are looking at each piece you want to sell carefully. If there are stains, holes or blemishes they most likely will not sell.

I always look at the sleeves, armpits, seams and front to make sure there aren’t stains or yellowing around the armpits and sleeves. I also look at the seams to make sure they aren’t coming apart.

Sometimes a simple fix like sewing a button back on or fixing a seam is all you need to make your item sell-able. I’ve also removed stains and sold those items as well.

For bags, make sure that they are clean inside and out and that the straps are in good condition. The same goes for shoes, I’ve actually taken shoes in for repair before selling! I had a few pairs of higher end shoes that had some wear so I had the sole and leather touched up for $10 and was able to resale them for much more.

The bottom line is, they should be in Gently Used condition, meaning that they look practically new and well taken care of.

I love having new items and I find that organizing and purging my closet helps me keep my clothes updated, saves room in my closet and saves money in the long run. Why not trade in something that you no longer wear for something new?

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