The following was written by guest blogger Lauren Wilson, Digital Marketing Specialist for the Fraternity.

With all this extra time on our hands due to social distancing, many of us are looking for ways to stay busy. Cleaning out your closet is a great spring-cleaning task that nearly always needs to be done. Follow the map below with your items and read helpful tips on what you should do next.

Store It

Sometimes it’s hard to part ways with your high school senior volleyball shirt. We get it—but there’s no need for it to take up space in your closet. If you have items that have sentimental value but haven’t been worn since high school or college, find a box you can toss everything into and keep it in storage or at your parents’ house.

This could be a good time to start a keepsake box. As you move forward in life, you will experience a great deal of milestones. Use your keepsake box to store the most sentimental souvenirs from these moments. I use mine to store my varsity letter jacket, my first Bid Day shirt and sentimental gifts from friends. Keeping these mementos to a minimum will allow you to cherish these moments while continuing to live in the now.

Keep It

Once you decide what to keep, it’s time to reorganize! When a closet is organized, it sheds time off getting ready (and who couldn’t use more time??). While everyone’s closet size is different, here are some pointers you can apply to a closet of any size:

  1. Group your clothes by seasons and colors.
  2. Organize by types of items (e.g. jeans, tanks, short selves, shoes, etc.).
  3. Fold what you can and store in drawers.
  4. Determine your budget and find closet organizers that meet your needs. From Dollar General to the Container Store, there are a number of solutions to make your closet storage feel custom.
  5. Grab a step stool so you can store out of season clothes and shoes up high.

Sell It

Personally, I find selling clothes to be both the most rewarding and frustrating “side hustle” of all time. There have been times when I thought something would sell super quick…then I watched the months roll by as it sat on my Poshmark page waiting for a new home.

If you’re in a hurry to get rid of things, jump straight to donating. But—if you need some extra cash and have the time to make it happen—selling gently loved pieces can be a great way to free up your closet space and put a little money back in your pocket.

In addition to Poshmark, there are several resale apps to choose from, including The Real Real, LePrix, Tradesy and Depop.

Some sites only list designer pieces while others will pretty much let you sell anything. Do your research and find one that works for you. Another option is Facebook Marketplace or Instagram but be prepared to coordinate a socially distant pick-up. Other tips include:

  • Have upfront and accurate descriptions.
  • If there is wear and tear—say so.
  • Be creative in your titles and descriptions. You can never have too much detail or personality in your descriptions to catch a buyer’s attention.
  • Don’t let your emotional attachment to an item inflate your pricing. Look up what similar items sell for rather than base your price on how much fun you had in it.
  • Great photos are always key.
  • Be creative and style the products so the buyer can imagine how it will look on them.
  • Pay attention to events coming up like holidays or formals (hey, we can’t be locked up inside forever, can we?).
  • Be prepared to quickly mail items once they have been purchased. Waiting too long can result in bad feedback which can wreck your app cred.

If selling clothes online seems like too much of a hassle, try selling your stuff at a consignment store once retail stores are back up and running. Do a quick Google search for consignment stores in your area. Many are locally owned, but there are some larger chains such as Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading.

Keep in mind these stores generally only accept items for the current or upcoming season. In other words, they won’t buy your parka in July. Other tips include:

  • Items should be clean and free of stains or rips. This is not the time to unload your junk. Ask yourself if you gave it to your best friend, would she still wear it?
  • No pet hair—sorry, not everyone loves your dog as much as you.
  • Call ahead to see if the store has a list of what they need and what sizes they take (women, junior, plus, etc.).
  • Items should still be trendy and not too old.
  • Just because one location won’t take something doesn’t mean they all won’t. Some stores have a greater need for professional clothes while others might want trendier pieces. Some will want only name brands while others don’t mind taking something more boutique or that Forever 21 piece you wore once.
  • Don’t forget about your accessories—shoes and purses in good condition can turn a profit.

Donate It

If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to sell your clothes or you just want to help others in need, there are many second-hand shops and organizations who accept donations. Goodwill and the Salvation Army are usually the easiest, most readily available options—but you can also be more creative with your donations.

  1. If you have items with your high school or hometown name on it, call your local school district and ask them if they would have any purpose for your items.
  2. Some organizations collect items for women who have fled domestic abuse, need professional attire or just need a little help getting on their feet. Check out Dress for Success, Soles4Souls, The Arc or, my favorite in Indianapolis, Julian Center.

Swap It

If space isn’t the issue but you can’t afford anything new, start planning a clothing swap party. Once stay-in-place orders have been lifted, invite your fever-free friends over and swap the night away!

One in, One Out

Lastly, with spring around the corner and plenty of time on your hands, now is a great time to figure out what new, trendy pieces you want to add to your wardrobe—and how much room you’ll need to accommodate it. Haven’t worn something in a year or so? It’s time to part ways. You’ll want to make plenty of room for fringe, elevated sweatshirts, color matching outfits, tie-dye, neon, muted colors and other 2020 trends for spring and summer. Just remember, for every piece you bring in, it’s a good idea to take one out of your closet and send it into retirement.

Leave a Reply