Assuming you have already read Closet refresh part one, and are prepped for the job ahead, and yes I am going to call it a “job” becuase lets be honest us it is a tall task- especially if you are embarking on it after sometime. Let’s rump into the actual assessment.
- Set up an area for keep, donate, sell, alter/update and trash/recycle. Some will tell you to use bags, I like to use piles so I can access what I am putting in each along the way. I also like to have a pad of paper and one side is shopping list/ the other alterations
- Start with a sort pulling out items that you “LOVE” the go to items that you wear on repeat, and wish you had bought two of. Access these items, are they in good condition, will they be something you will continue to wear net season? As yourself if I could only keep 10/15 things from my closet to wear on repeat what would those be?- these are the items you keep and can place back into your closet
- Now we move to the remainder of the items in your closet using some questions to guide you.
- When accessing occasion items – honestly ask yourself- Will I wear it again? I find this works better than the age old question of “Have I worn it in the last 6 months” Meaning that black dress you bought for a gala, that still fits, but it is sitting in your closet is a timely dress and would work well for a future wedding or charity event. So keep it. On the flip side if you find yourself thinking “this dress would work if I loose weight” or “it doesn’t really fit great, but ___ event was a blast, and I received complements on the dress ” that is a no go.. place the dress in a sell/donate pile
- When accessing the day to day.. try on the garments you are unsure of and ask yourself.
- Does this garment feel good on me?
- Do I receive compliments on this item?
- Is it comfortable?
- if you are like me and own several similar items – is the most flattering/best quality of the xx number of black sweaters I own..
- What is the cost of upkeep of this item. Meaning does it require regular dry cleaning? is it worth it? Sometimes the effort of hand washing/price of dry cleaning is simply not worth it. Note I use this filter for my day to day clothing, and not for occasion items.
By now you have gotten thru the hardest part and by now likely have significant piles of keep, sell/donate, tailor/update & recycle/trash…. Things to think about to further assess each file.
- KEEP- does each item in the keep pile coordinate with 2-3 other garment in your closet, or will they require you to add items to your shop list? If you can think I would wear this skirt with xy&z then it is still a keep.
- Sentimental/must keep but won’t wear items- Set a limit for yourself. for me it is one plastic tub for my husband and I- in the tub we have my high school letter jacket, cheer uniform, my husbands late dads army jacket, etc, etc. When accessing if I need to keep an item I think would a photo work? What will I do with the item in the future? etc. Only you can set this boundaries for yourself. My advice is to focus on the sentimental importance of the item, and not look at cost of the garment. Meaning that pricey Tiffany necklace I received for high school graduation. While I could argue I need to keep it, it is a go- I have photos with the item, but my tastes have changed and it is now collecting dust- it could have a new life in rotation in another persons wardrobe..
- CANT DECIDE- you can access this two ways. I typically will hang the item back in my closet on a backwards hanger. Personally setting an “expiration date” for the item. Meaning if I wear it and place it back in my closet within 6 months the hanger will go back to normal and it is a keep – added to the rotation of my wardrobe. If 6 month comes and it is still hanging on that backwards hanger it is a go no questions asked.
- I have also had friends place a twisty tie on the hanger with an actually expiration date
- Sell- I am a big fan of uploading items in good quality to Tradsey, not only does this allow me to get a few bucks back from my purchases, I can then use the money towards purchasing new items for my closet. I only upload new and/or gently used items to my closet. I like the site as it allows me to upload various photos of each item and include a description. The site allows me to set the price, but does suggest one based off price paid, and other similar items listed. Once sold the site allows me to ship the item with a printable label or allows me to have a shipping kit sent to me for use complete with label, box/bag, etc. I receive 91% of the purchase as site credit. I can also choose to withdraw 88% of the purchase price to my checking account.
- There are a few other sites some of my friends use
- Poshmark- This has more users than Tradsey. But only gives 80% of sales on items more than $15 & takes $2.95 on items less than $15. Since the majority of what I sell is over $15 I didn’t find this to be as beneficial.
- TheRealReal – I have not sold on this site, but have purchased from it. You send your item to the company, they photograph and price, and list. They take 60% of the sale. This is a site for designer clothes/bags, etc.
- Ebay, Thredup are two that I have minimal experience with but are also good options.
- There are a few other sites some of my friends use
- I suggest donating to a charity you have researched or support. I personally donate to the local Refuge House, a shelter and agency for victims of domestic violence and there families.
- If you have items that are not in good condition you can drop them at your local Goodwill and label them recycle. They will sell them off to a textile recycle who will give the fibers a new life in a different form (think insulation, or carpet padding) Let the person know at drop off that the items aren’t good for resale.
- Old Shoes- I drop mine at a Nike store. you can bring up to 10 pairs at a time and drop them at the store. They will take the rubber and fabric from the shoes and use it for playground surfaces or recycled Nike shoes. Learn more about the program here