Our Guide to a Successful Closet Cleanse

Did you know that most of us only wear 20% of our wardrobe? If that sounds familiar it’s time to step back and take stock. You might find you’re sitting on a goldmine of amazing items that just aren’t you anymore that could be given a second home.

If you decide to sell some of the items, you can invest the money you make into items on your wishlist and key staples that you know you’ll cherish forever. The money you make from selling can then be invested in quality, ethical garments for your minimalist wardrobe.

Don’t be daunted by the task as it can be fun and oh-so cleansing at the same time. You’ll emerge from the process feeling lighter, with that wonderful sense of calm that comes with having an organised, well-considered wardrobe.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Step #1

Start by making sure your clothing is neatly hanging or folded, then group it by style: jackets, tops, skirts, jumpers, etc. Within each style, also organise pieces by colour to give yourself a clear picture of the palette you’re working with.

This is a great opportunity to sort through season-specific pieces, organising those that will be in heavy rotation for the next few months to the front, and those that might not make an appearance until the weather warms or cools to the back. You may also choose to pack away out-of-season items that you know are keepers until they’re needed again.

Step #2

Now it’s time to go through each item, one by one. Pull it out, look at it, and try it on to decide if it should stay or go. If you’re feeling unsure, follow the steps below to help you make the call on whether to keep, sell, or donate.

If you decide it’s time for the piece to go (and it’s still in good condition), place it in your pile to sell. You may also consider organising a swap night with friends or kindly gifting it to a friend who’s had their eye on it for a while.

If the item has plenty of wear left in it (but is no longer in a salable condition), you might consider donating it.

“Buy less, choose well, make it last”

Vivienne Westwood

Our top selling tips

When you’ve picked out all the items you’re ready to sell the next step is to make sure these are freshly laundered, steamed/ironed and looking their best.

Photograph them in a well-lit area and, if possible include a combination of photos of the item on a hanger or simple backdrop and on a model (selfies work well here) so that the buyer can really get the look and feel for the item.

Listing description
Your listing description should be clear and concise, accurately describing the item. If you’re stuck for words, you could also look to the website of the store you bought it from for inspiration.

Details about the condition and fit are really useful here – for example if you’re usually a size 10 but this is a size 8 and fits you perfectly then this is absolutely worth mentioning. The more information you include, the more likely you’ll be to end up with a happy customer. You’ll also spend less time answering questions from potential buyers if you’ve covered off the finer details to begin with.

How to donate your items

Corporate wear in good condition: Dress for Success
All clothing in good/reasonable condition: City Mission & Salvation Army

Donating items to support local charities is a lovely thing to do, however, please be mindful that these organisations are hugely appreciative of receiving items that are in reasonable/good condition that can be given to someone in need, or sold to raise money.

For items that are in a state of disrepair, you may need to find a more creative solution to avoid landfill such as searching for your local textile recycling centre where used garments can be turned into rags.

“Building a wardrobe is like building a circle of friends”

Diane von Furstenberg

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