Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Path to Minimalism: Wardrobe & Consignment

Over the past year, I decided I really needed to get serious about minimizing my wardrobe. I’m a confessed shopping-hater (seriously, malls make me want to cry), so it always baffled me why I ended up with so many clothes. It is easy for me to blame my mother on this one, who can’t deny that she buys me clothes even if I don’t ask for them. But there had to be a reason why I kept so many of them. I think I finally figured it out - my frugality actually works against me when I try to cut down on clothes. My thought is always “Well, what if I need this? I don’t want to have to go out and buy this again.” But there came a point in the last year where my closet just annoyed the crap out of me. Way too many clothes. I decided it was time to GET SERIOUS about my desire to be more simple and attack my closet. I had two goals: consign what I could sell, and swap/donate the rest.

1) When I moved to DC almost two years ago, I discovered a neat little consignment shop in my neighborhood called Sequels Consignment. They are a boutique shop and because of their limited space, they only take higher-end clothing, shoes, and jewelry. I don’t have that many high-end clothes, but I found out that my Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft clothing is high-end enough! I was surprised when I discovered the kind of split I get (50 %!), but also surprised at the prices they put on their clothes. They take good quality clothes so they can sell them at a higher price. To date I’ve made about $50 from the clothes I have taken to Sequels. Not bad!

2) Before I donated the rest of my clothes, I participated in a clothing swap with some friends. I have to say that clothing swaps are a great way to enjoy time with friends at no cost to you at all! On a Sunday night we gathered at a friend’s house and put all of our clothes out, arranged by size. There are probably many ways of doing this, but our method was the “free-for-all.” No one was disappointed, though. We all came away with nice pieces and I took home less than what I came with - which was my goal all along! It also turned out that one of the girls was leaving for a mission trip to Africa and took all the summer clothes we had left over with her to take on her trip. 

3) Now I was down to “all the rest,” which was actually four bags of clothes. I ended up taking these to the local Planet Aid bin. Planet Aid takes the donated clothes and sells them to exporters, who then make them available to people in the developing world at low prices. Planet Aid uses the proceeds generated from the sale of clothing to support international development projects throughout the world. As this is obviously a good cause, I was very happy to walk a few blocks to the nearest bin in my neighborhood.

In the end, I am very happy with the room I now have in my closet. The clothes I kept are allowed to breathe again, and now I don’t have to re-iron things because my clothes are no longer smushed together! I only wish I could have had a garage/yard sale, but since I don’t have a garage or a yard, that really wasn’t an option!

In a few months I’ll be going through my fall/winter clothes and will start this process all over again. I’m actually looking forward to it. I already feel like it is easier to pick out an outfit because I have less to choose from, and the pieces I kept are the ones I feel comfortable and confident in. Win-win!

2 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Planet Aid...just googled and we have one near! So excited to be able to use this over other charity thrift stores. Thanks for posting!

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    1. Yep, Planet Aid is really convenient! Another one I've used recently is DonateStuff.com. They work with AMVETS, Easter Seals, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Win-win! I need to donate some stuff soon, so I should probably order my bags from them again. They send them right to your house, how cool is that?

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