Monday, September 21, 2015

Cleaning out Your Closet for Fall: What to Keep, What to Sell, What to Donate (With Savers Thrift)

If you are anything like us, you are a clothing packrat.  It can be hard to get rid of things - excuses are plentiful: 'This was my favorite top!' 'What if it comes back into style?'

Stop right there, you are not going to wear it. It is going to sit in the back of your closet collecting lint.

In preparation for fall (the best season for many layers!), I decided to prepare a guide to cleaning out your closet.

First and foremost, go through each piece. Don't leave anything for 'later.' later=never. Make three piles - Yes, Maybe and No.

For all the yeses, put back into your closet.  If you are short on storage space, store non-seasonal keepers away.  I keep my off-season clothing under my bed.

For all the maybes, try them on again.  Think about where you would wear it and whether it goes with things you already own. If you have had it in your closet for over a year and you still haven't worn it, it should probably go into the 'no' pile. If you have to buy more pieces just to make it work, it should also go in the no pile.

Once you have made decisions on all your maybes, decide on what you can sell and what you should donate.

What to sell: this one should be a no-brainer...anything that is only lightly-worn.   Everyone has something that they bought thinking they would wear all the time only to find out it doesn't go with anything.

For example:

This Jason Wu for Target Dress:

A few years ago, Whit and I went crazy for the Jason Wu collab.  We both bought this dress (it looked so cute on the model) thinking we would wear to some special occasion.  Several years have passed and that occasion has yet to come up. I still like it, but if history has taught me anything, it's time to sell.

In order to be a successful seller, be it online or in person, presentation is important.

Make sure to wash the items (unless they are new with tags).  If they have been sitting unworn, they are likely a bit musty. This is especially if you are selling in person, no buyer wants to take anything that smells funky. I also like to steam the items before taking them so that they look even better.

One last tip: if you are selling to a place like Crossroads or Buffalo, they normally buy things for the current/upcoming season.  i.e. that crop top might not get purchased in the fall months.  For things that are in good condition (and if you think the style has legs) you can hold onto it and wait until it is seasonally appropriate to sell.

Great places to sell:
In Person:
Crossroads Trading Company (I usually go here to sell)
Poshmark (I just opened an account!)

Anything that is dated or looks a little bit worn should be donated.  If something is on the fence, you can always try to sell it first (make sure to accurately describe wear if you are selling online), and if it doesn't get purchased, move it into the donation pile.

An example of donating-material:

J.Crew striped T-shirt.

This top is not necessarily dated, mostly jut worn.  Looking closely (below) you can see that the fabric is pilly and the back zipper has become a bit warped in the wash.  

This top could still find a home, so it is perfect for donation.

A Savers Thrift Store just opened up in Berkeley, and it is a great place to donate.

We recently spoke with savers and learned that not only is it a well-organized place to thrift, donating is for a good cause!

Savers pays Epilepsy Foundation Northern California when donations are made to the Epilepsy Foundation Northern California Donation Drop Spots (regardless of whether the items make it to the sales floor!).  Don't let anything go to waste; Savers keeps more than 650 million pounds of reusable items from landfills each year.  So...instead of throwing something away, donate it to one of the following locations:
  • 173 Plaza Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591
  • 4255 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94591
  • 3401 Blume Drive, Richmond, CA 94588
  • 77 Chilpancingo Parkway, Pleasant Hill, CA 94806

Once you have cleaned out your closet of all the pieces you no longer wear, you will have a well-edited closet...and some room for new fall pieces!


  1. Great post, my wardrobe definitely needs a clean-out tomorrow! I love that you have the same general rules that I do ♥

  2. I also highly recommend ThredUp for those gently loved but designer or "kinda designer" items. I've had great success using it to clear out my closet and they make it super easy to bundle up your items into one of their pre-return addressed donation bags!

    Xo, Ava

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