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Resale Therapy: Taking the Anxiety out of Spring Cleaning

springclean10springclean9 As a former packrat, I never thought I would say this, but I have become addicted to cleaning out my closet.

It all started when I began working as a buyer for a women’s resale shop — sort of like a curated, upscale thrift shop or a Plato’s Closet for stylish, modern women. Upon being hired, I quickly learned the ins and outs of buying merchandise into our story — all of which comes from our customers and clients. I learned a lot about brands, current styles, which trends cross over into the resale market, and what styles and brands fit into our store’s demographic.

Aside from being able to style mannequins and our customers — I am so in love with styling, but that’s another post…or several posts…Anyway, what I love about my job is interacting with women who bring in their clothes. Most of these women (and a few husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends here and there) are terrified of parting with their clothing. Which I totally get. I used to be terrified, too. When it came to my closet, I was a total clothes hoarder. Since working at Clothes Mentor and becoming a buyer, I’ve learned that it’s OK to Spring Clean! In fact, I do it all year round!
There’s something very satisfying about “recycling” or “trading in” my clothes. It all feels very sustainable and…well, thrifty…but without the whole bedbugs scare that’s been plaguing the thrift stores that will take anything lately…again, that’s another post.

Like I said, cleaning out my closet has gone from something overwhelming and anxiety-triggering into an act that is empowering and even relaxing! I’ve come to think of it as resale therapy.

My friend Sarah recently commented on the blog saying she too faces the common anxiety of cleaning out your closet. So many of the women I buy from do, too. It (almost) always turns into a stress reliever, though! Simplifying life takes even more weight off your shoulders than you realize (something I’ve learned from fellow blogger Gabrielle).

"I don’t know about you, but I get really sentimentally attached to clothes, and really anything else for that matter," Sarah said when I posted about Spring cleaning and motivation for organization. "Recently, when I was going through my stuff with the intention of getting rid of a lot, it helped me to have the fiancĂ© nearby to confirm that I was probably only keeping something for sentimental reasons, rather than because it looked good, fit well, etc. I was much more successful when I had him nearby to bounce my decisions off of. My other suggestion is to work when your body is naturally most energetic. If you’re a morning person, start then. If you, like me, work better in the evening, do your organizing then. Also, good music always helps!" Sarah gave some great pointers that I totally agree with. It’s important to take your time when you’re giving your closet a deep cleaning. Another really important piece of advice I’ve taken away from my work in resale is that if you haven’t used something, worn it, or thought about it in a year, then it’s best to get rid of it (unless, of course, it has sentimental value).

This is also a great thing to keep in mind if you are considering making money off of your unused, unwanted apparel, shoes, or accessories! Most resale or consignment shops won’t buy in items that are more than two years old. Did you know a brand changes their label every two years? That’s how resale shops like Clothes Mentor, Once Upon a Child and Plato’s Closet know what’s current and what’s out of date!

I recommend going through your closet on a seasonal basis to ensure you are reselling, trading, consigning or giving away the most current items possible in order to get the most bang for your buck.

Another good point Sarah brought up was moral support! I’ve learned that we are often more sentimental than we realize when it comes to our clothes, shoes and accessories! As you clean out your closet and dresser, it’s important to have a loved one or friend close by to tell you whether or not you actually use that item — they’ll have a better memory about these things than you might expect! That way, it keeps you honest with yourself about whether or not you really need that dress or those shoes.

Keep in mind that lots of resale or consignment shops also take in barely used or new fragrances and lotions — some even take in home goods, art work and candles. These outlets gives you even more of an excuse to break into your closet and treat yourself to some resale therapy. Trust me, the hard work of giving your wardrobe a facelift pays off — sometimes, it even pays off literally!

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If you have any other questions or comments about Spring cleaning and my work as a certified buyer, sales associate and stylist, feel free to speak up in the comments section below! More posts about this topic are sure to follow! Keep an eye out for a post on the style makeover I gave my store (and it’s mannequins) coming up very soon!