The Top 7 Tips for Cleaning Out Your Closet

Buffalo Exchange Closet Cleanout

By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Whether you’re a packrat or a minimalist, cleaning out your closet is a job and a half. All those decisions, all those pants you have to try to squeeze yourself into, the new 6-inch layer of clothing carpeting your bedroom floor…yeah, on second thought, think I’ll go for an episode of GoT and a glass of wine instead. Fortunately, with a few organizational hacks and little help from your friends, you can get your closet sorted with enough time to make it down to Buffalo Exchange, where you can sell your past favorites for cash or trade. Win, win and win!

Roast Your Closet

Buffalo Exchange Fall Editorial Looks

It’s no secret that we all get by with a little help from our friends, so when it comes to cleaning out your closet, don’t go it alone! Invite a group of your besties over for a closet “roast”. Have each person pick out their least favorite item in your wardrobe and style it into an outfit. Then, do a runway show of these looks, first setting your friends up with sharpies and paper so they can vote Olympic ice skating-style.

Ultimately, it’s your opinion about the item that counts, but this can definitely help you let go of items you’re holding onto for sentimental reasons or that you’re just on the fence about. Repay your friends by plying them with cocktails and takeout. Once you’ve decided which items to keep and which ones to sell, head down to Buffalo Exchange to trade your past favorites for new ones!

Cleaning Out Your Closet with Marie Kondo

Buffalo Exchange Closet Shoes

Ever since Marie Kondo published her take on all things organization, closet cleaning experts have been recommending that you start by removing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING from your closet. If you haven’t cleaned out in years, this is a solid approach. It forces you to evaluate every item, rather than just skimming off the top, and gives you the chance to make your closet shiny and new (i.e. no more dust bunnies, shriveled apple cores and T-shirts from middle school hiding out behind your winter coats).

If you’ve moved on to the “maintenance” stage of closet organization, instead remove any items you don’t feel 100% sure about keeping and pile them on your bed. Need a little extra motivation to get started? Go shopping! It’s always easier to say goodbye to pieces you’re no longer wearing when you have new favorites to replace them with.

Try Wearing Your “Maybes” One More Time

Buffalo Exchange Closet Outfit

This is my personal favorite method for cleaning out your closet. Start by pulling out any items you’re on the fence about – whether they’re in the never-worn-it, bored-of-it or forgot-I-had-this category. Over the next week, challenge yourself to wear each one of these items. Try mixing it up by adding a belt or a layering piece or even just a different pair of shoes. Best case scenario, you come up with a bunch of interesting new outfit combinations and discover some new go-tos. Worst case scenario, you kind of dislike your outfit for the day. But hey, even this is a win because you’ll be able to toss the offending item in the sell pile without hesitation.

Try the Scarf Method

Buffalo Exchange Closet Cleanout

To get a head start on cleaning out, tie a scarf onto the hanging bar in your closet. Then, every time you wear an item, hang it back up on the other side of the scarf. This is a low maintenance way of figuring out which items you actually wear and which ones you’re just being hopeful about. Alternatively, you can try turning your hangers backwards every time you wear an item.

Ask Yourself the Million Dollar Questions

Ok, now for the fun part. Turn on a playlist of your favorite tunes and start trying stuff on. This is basically your own personal fashion show, so live it up! Mirror selfies highly encouraged. For each item, consider the following questions:

  1. Does it still fit? If not, get rid of it!
  2. Have I worn it in the last year? Be honest. Unless it’s a special occasion dress or one-of-a-kind vintage, chances are you should sell it.
  3. Is it still my style? You’re constantly evolving, so why shouldn’t your closet follow suit? You may look super cute in the item, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wear it again.
  4. Is it damaged? If so, will you repair it? If it will sit in a fix-me pile until your next cleanout, then it’s time to donate.

These may be tough questions to answer, but they’ll help you find your way to closet bliss. Good luck!

Sell, Store and Donate

Buffalo Exchange Sell Cleaning Out Your Closet

Once you’ve decided on the pieces you’re going to clean out, sort them into 3 piles: sell, store and donate. Sell any items that are still in relatively good condition. If you’re not sure, take it into Buffalo Exchange anyway – your Buyer will be happy to look through everything. Store any items that are out of season and that you don’t plan on wearing within the next 3 months. Everything else can go in the donate pile to drop off at your favorite non-profit.

Give Your Closet Some Love

Buffalo Exchange Closet

Now that you love everything in your closet, show it how much you care! Spruce up your closet with these tips:

  • Invest in some nice new hangers – either wood or slim velvet ones.
  • Store everything in plain sight – you’ll be more likely to wear items if you can see them.
  • Hang lightweight items and fold heavy items like sweaters and denim on open shelves in your closet.
  • Separate your clothing into categories like casual/weekend and dressy/workwear and sort by color.

Phew! That wasn’t so bad, was it? Time to sell your closet cleanout at Buffalo Exchange. Nothing makes me happier than a giant bag of clothes to trade in and a free evening to shop. Cheers to a clean, organized closet and a chance to reinvent your style!

17 thoughts on “The Top 7 Tips for Cleaning Out Your Closet

  1. Just finished #cleaningoutmycloset and it feels amazing! Thank you for all of the helpful tips! Will share photos of the runway on the next clean up! Xoxo

  2. This was perfect! Short, pleasant, and to the point. You made it look easy and gratifying.
    Thank you!

    I bring my clothes in to the Buff quite often. I love everything about this store!

    1. Buffalo Exchange has been a blessing I love love love. Whenever I just want something new or different I’m always taking in items and getting something different or new I’m always saving money and getting great name brand items.Excellent service too.

  3. Hello,
    I went in today with some clothing taking your advice
    about cleaning out my closet. The clothes were given
    back with a remark that these clothes did not qualify
    because they were like clothes in other people ‘s
    closets. Wow.
    I don’t get it, contradictory if you ask me.

    1. Hello Leslie,

      We’re sorry to hear that you had a confusing experience selling with us. We buy based on the style and condition, and that ranges from things you may see in the malls and department stores as well as vintage or one-of-a-kind pieces. Although we were unable to take your clothing this time around, it could be worth coming in again with a new batch of items from your closet. Thank you for your time, and we hope to see you again soon!


    1. Hi Tayla,

      If you’re looking to sell, I recommend heading into your local Buffalo Exchange with your items. In general, we buy current styles as well as vintage. We need to see all items in person to say whether or not we could buy them. There’s no appointment needed to sell, so stop in anytime we’re open along with a valid government-issued ID. Hope to see you in the store soon!

      Buffalo Exchange

    1. Hi Mag!

      As long as it’s a valid, government-issued ID that’s not expired, it should be fine, but if you have a Passport to bring along, that will definitely work. Let us know if you have any further questions – we look forward to seeing you in the store!


    1. Hi Diana,

      Our customers tend to gravitate towards more casual wear rather than formal wear. If you have any casual styles you are looking to sell, our buyers would be happy to take a look at your items!


  4. Had 2 AMAZING buyers at Buffalo in Berkeley on Tuesday last week. We got $287 credit, so much fun and loved how they were taking my fun and funky stuff so you just never know. P.s. I’m the girl with the Mortuary vintage shirt! Lol

  5. Hello, I have like a brand new prom dress that was given to me but I really do not want to wear it or give it away. Do you think I can sell it as buffalo exchange the price of the dress that has its tag and it is 79 dollars with cents? I also have dresses of mine that look new but I am not sure if I can get some money or exchange?

    1. Hi Lucero,

      We buy in clothing depending on style, condition and what or customers are currently shopping for. Generally, our customers tend to shop for more casual styles. Though, if you’re cleaning out our closet, bring in your items to your nearest Buffalo and one of our buyers would be more than happy to take a look! We pay out 30% of our selling price in cash or 50% in store credit, on the spot. We hope to see you in the store soon!


  6. Hi! My name is Anna. I have some men’s shirts and a jean jacket I’d like to show you. But I need address, I live in Staten Island. What’s your closest store I can get too? Thank you. Anna

    1. Hi Anna,

      It seems that our closest location would be our Brooklyn store in Boerum Hill (109 Boerum Pl., Brooklyn, New York 11201, phone:(718) 403-0490). If this location is inconvenient for you we also have have a Sell by Mail option! Simply request a bag online, fill it up and send it in! You can get cash or in-store trade back in the mail. For more details check out the Sell by Mail page here. Hope this helps!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *