By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ
Cleaning out your closet is already a long-procrastinated chore, but once you have everything sorted into “Keep”, “Sell” and “Donate” piles, what next? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably ready to pour yourself a tall glass of wine and veg out for 3 days straight. Fortunately, with Buffalo Exchange’s Sell By Mail option, you can pretty much do just that. You simply request a Sell By Mail bag online, fill it with your closet cleanout and then drop it off with UPS. Voila! No more piles of clothes covering your living room floor. Plus, next thing you know, you could have cash or a Buffalo Exchange store credit card being sent straight to your mailbox!
How to Get Started with Your Closet Cleanout
If you haven’t done a closet cleanout in a while, we recommend going Marie Kondo on your wardrobe: this means taking every single item out of your closet, giving the whole thing a good wipe-down and then only putting back the pieces you truly love. Emptying your closet completely may seem overwhelming, but it makes it easier to evaluate every item, rather than just skimming off the top. Plus, it’s more fun than you would think to rediscover sequined party dresses, your favorite tees from high school and other items you completely forgot you had.
If you’ve cleaned out your closet within the past few months, you can instead remove only the items you don’t feel 100% sure about keeping. 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.
Wear Your “Maybes” One More Time
This is my personal favorite closet cleanout method. 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 them 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. 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 item into your Sell By Mail bag without hesitation.
Roast Your Closet
It’s no secret that we all get by with a little help from our friends, so when it comes to your closet cleanout, don’t go it alone! Invite a group of your besties over for a closet “roast”. Have each person take one of the items you’re thinking about selling or donating and style it into an outfit. Then, set your friends up with sharpies and paper so they can vote, Olympic ice skating-style, and do a runway show!
Ultimately, it’s your opinion about the item that counts, but it can really help to have an objective opinion. Repay your friends by plying them with wine and takeout. When you’ve figured out which items to keep and which ones to sell, head down to Buffalo Exchange and sell your past favorites for new ones!
Try the Scarf Method
To gather some scientific data before diving into your closet cleanout, 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.
The Top 4 Closet Cleanout 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! Dancing in the mirror and taking lots of selfies highly encouraged. For each item, consider the following questions:
- Does it still fit? If not, get rid of it!
- 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.
- 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.
- Is it damaged? If so, will you repair it? If it will sit in a fix-me pile until your next cleanout, then it may be time to donate.
These can definitely be hard questions to answer, but they’ll help you find your way to closet cleanout bliss. If you find yourself getting stuck, call up your BFF for moral support!
Sell by Mail, Put into Storage or Donate
Once you’ve decided on the pieces you’re going to clean out of your closet, sort them into 3 piles: sell, store and donate. For anything that’s still in relatively good condition, pack it up into your Sell By Mail bag. Buffalo Exchange’s Sell By Mail program buys the best of all seasons, all year round, so if it’s a current, quality item in excellent condition, don’t worry if it’s out of season! For any out-of-season items that you plan on keeping, put them into storage bins rather than keeping them in your closet. Everything else can go in the donate pile to drop off at your favorite non-profit.
Spruce Up Your 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.
- 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.
Ahhhh, there’s nothing quite like a clean closet, is there? After you drop your Sell By Mail bag off with UPS, it’s time to sit back and relax! I don’t know about you, but I’m going to use all that extra free time to cozy up beside Fireplace for Your Home while doing a little online window shopping. After all, once my trade arrives in the mail, I’m going to be ready to shop up a storm at my local Buffalo Exchange.