From Clutter to Gold and Paying it Forward

I think I can say without fear of too much opposition that most of us have too many unworn clothes.  We tend to hang onto our stuff for three basic reasons;  we just may want to wear it one day, “so and so” gave it to us, or it is too expensive to just give it away.

Let’s review the facts. Chances are, if it’s been in your closet for over 2 years (which is 2 cycle seasons, so that’s being kind), the probability of it ever making onto your body, is slim to dim.  Let’s face it, we all want to wear the “new” stuff.  If the item you’re having trouble parting with was a gift, don’t think for a minute that the person is coming over anytime soon to check up that you still have it.  As far as the cost of the ol’ favorite blazer (and I mean old and weathered), realize that you’ve already worn it to death so it essentially owes you nothing.  You have already benefited from that purchase ten times over.

So once you’ve established that half the clothes in your closet no longer reflect who you are today, perhaps you can let them go. Your closet should be more of a snapshot of your current life rather than looking more like a museum of archival clothing from your entire past.  The easiest purge should be the clothes that are tattered, torn, threadbare, or stained. Take another careful look and I would guess that some of the more vintage clothes from back in the day did not stand the test of time so well, as their imperfections are now glaring back at you. Broken zippers, missing belts and buttons may prompt you to donate to the less fortunate.

But what do you do about the finer, gently worn things that you no longer enjoy, or no longer fit? I’ve witnessed so many clients struggle with surrendering their designer handbags and dated blouses until I refer them to a consignment shop.  Make no mistake about it, this is big business.  In the face of the new economy, and in the spirit of shopping smart, these stores are a great find. I’ve often visited one shop in particular, and I was astounded by the array of merchandise. They only accept high-end couture pieces that include all apparel, shoes, coats and furs, handbags, sunglasses, jewelry, belts and an extensive selection of miscellaneous accessories. Their clients bring in their gently used things, and once sold, they receive a percentage of the sale.  Their customers, though far from destitute, are happy to see discounted designer prices on clothing they once indulged in at regular price.  It is indeed, the sign of the times.  Everyone loves a bargain.  The affluent client who will probably wear an evening gown only but a few times before she retires it, is thrilled to have an opportunity to recycle it.  Likewise, the customer who could never afford such an extravagance, may now have the option.  It’s a win-win. Let me tell you, this store is hopping.

But no matter the economic strata, everyone can benefit from clearing out their closets.  Share and share alike.

You can opt to pay it forward and DONATE your unwanted clothing to others more needy.  Or, you can surf the Internet and convert your undesirables into revenue.

Today, we have so many possibilities to pay it forward and receive cash with viable resources like EBay, Craig’s list, and a variety of thrift-type shops…it’s cash for clutter!  Simplified, it’s the fortunate reality that someone else’s trash can be another one’s treasure. Did you know that there is a new rising trend to have “clothes swap” parties, where people meet up and exchange their old stuff for someone else’s and leave with new favorites?  I consider this one massive communal recycle.

So it’s time to dig into your closet and jump on this happy train. Recycle.  It’s the future.