What To Do With Your Unwanted Clothes

I literally have piles of clothes sitting in my floor right now because I just cleaned out my closet. I think I need your help.
— Brittany
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I see it every day. People do a great clean out of their closets - they have multiple trash bags full of items that no longer fit, show wear and tear or just generally aren't their style. They load those bags up in the car and then.... they just sit. What a waste! I take a few approaches for getting rid of unwanted clothes with my clients when I do a closet clean out.

  1. Resell. For most of my clients, resell stores are the quickest way for them to make some cash back from their gently worn items that they no longer want. Most resell stores buy items on specific days, may have a limit on how many bags you can bring, or may want clothes brought in a certain way (i.e. folded in bags, on hangers, etc.), so give them a call or check their website to find out. You will also want to make sure your clothes fit that store's clientele, are in the appropriate season, and within 2-3 years old (typically, unless vintage). Usually, you can drop your items off or wait and will have cash (or store credit) within a few hours. 
  2. Consignment. For your nicer, high-end designer items, consignment may be the way to go if you don't want immediate cash. Again, contact the store to find out when they take clothes (some are by appointment only), the brands they take (some consignment stores will take brands such as J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, while others will only take items that appear on a runway, think Chanel, Chloe, Prada, etc.). Note the store's policies - some will allow you to pick up your clothes that don't sell, but you may have to keep tabs on this yourself or they will donate the item at the end of the selling cycle or charge you a fee to retrieve it. However, if you have unique, nice, designer items, you will get a higher price for them via consignment than resell. This is the best option for designer bags especially. 
  3. Donate. If none of your clothes fit the resell or consignment bill (or you've already taken bags and have a few items that weren't taken), donate them that day. The longer you wait to donate, the longer the clothes sit in your car. Most thrift stores such as Goodwill will give you a tax receipt which can be helpful come tax time. This way, you can at least deduct the value of your donation and not feel that you have wasted a ton of money on clothes you have just given away. You can also consider giving to a worthy cause such as Dress for Success that supports getting women back into the workforce who may need business or business casual attire. Retailers such as H&M and Nordstrom will even give you a percentage of store credit when you bring in a bag of items to be donated.

Shopping and buying #2ndhand1st is one of my favorite past times. Have resell/consignment questions? Want to know what stores take the most items? Need info on a national resell chain? Have your own favorite second hand store you want to share about? Please send it to sydney@chicstripes.com or here. I'm happy to share my trips and tricks and always love learning about new ways to shop/sell #2ndhand1st. Happy shopping!