Closet purge & ThredUP

by Andrea Cooley

minimal closetAfter having two babies in two years and trading my corporate office job for staying at home, my closet was in desperate need of a refresh. I’ve heard people talk about having “capsule wardrobes” (limiting your clothes and accessories for each season) these days, and although I didn’t want to be super strict about the number of items in my closet, I knew I had way more than I needed.

I love Megan’s take on a simplified wardrobe and being a good steward of what God has blessed her with. I realized that when my closet was full of so many clothes, many that I wasn’t wearing that I wasn’t making the best use of my time, resources, or space. It sounds ridiculous, but I feel like the more clothes I have, the harder it is to find something to wear! And with 2 boys running around, I don’t have time to waste picking an outfit!

I started by pulling out things that I hadn’t worn in over a year. (This was a little tricky since I was pregnant a year ago, so if it was something I hadn’t worn, but knew I would now that I fit in it again, I kept it.)

Then I added things that I knew I wouldn’t wear in the next year. Even if it fit and was cute, if I didn’t think I’d wear it, it went in the pile. There were some cute tops and nice pants that I hated to say good-bye to, but if I was honest with myself, the things I now generally fit into 3 categories:

  • They are comfortable (and easy to nurse in).
  • They are pretty casual (most days I don’t shower or wear make up and I spend the majority of my time on the floor).
  • And a few things that are a little dressier that I save for the occasional date night or event.

Once I had my pile of clothes (it’s embarrassing and ridiculous how big it was!) it was time to sort it. Some things weren’t even worth taking to Goodwill and went right into a trash bag. (Interesting side note, did you know that billions of pounds of clothes are donated every year and only about 10% of them are actually sold at Goodwill or Salvation Army? Most of it is either recycled or sold in developing countries)

It’s been about 3 months since I cleaned out my closet and I have to say I’m loving it. I wear the things I love more often and don’t waste as much time deciding what I’m going to wear. I used to worry about wearing somethings twice in a week. But now I don’t care!

I have also cut down on what I buy. I still check the clearance rack at Target, but before I buy something, I stop to think if it’s something I really need and how often I will really wear it. Granted, there are still some impulse buys, but I’m getting better!

Some of the clothes were practically new. I knew they were worth money, but I’m not planning on having a garage sale anytime soon and I don’t really have time to sell them locally. Enter the green and white polka dot bag from ThredUp.

Thredup bag cleaning closet

Thredup is an online consignment store that sells women’s and kid’s clothes. They send you a free bag (it’s big!). You fill it up and send it back for free. Then they go through everything and pay you for what they decide to sell. You can pay to have them send you back anything they don’t accept or let them either sell them to third party sellers or recycle them.

I sent a bag of clothes (I think it was about 10 items) to Thredup and it took about 4 weeks for to be processed. I guess they must get tons of items to sort and list. Once my items were processed, I got an email telling me what they accepted and how much I received for each item. (You don’t have to wait for the item to sell to get paid). You can choose to receive a check for the items they purchase or put the the money toward future purchases.

thredup consignment polka dot bag

I put the money I earned toward a purchase (yes, I realize I just purged my closet, but I couldn’t resist adding a few more carefully selected items!).

At first I was nervous about ordering used clothes online. It’s one thing to buy something at a consignment store where you can look at it for flaws or stains and try it on. Even with pictures of the clothes, sometimes it’s hard to really know what you’re buying. The great thing about Thredup is If you order something and it doesn’t fit or you just don’t like it, returns are free. The only catch is that they credit your account with the price of the item. If you want your money back, you do have to pay for return shipping. I returned 2 items from my first box and just put the money toward my next purchase.

I have sent in two green and white polka dot bags and ordered clothes twice. Tomorrow I’ll share what I’ve learned about buying and selling items.

Has anyone else bought or sold things on Thredup or other consignment clothes sites? I’d love to hear about it!

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*if you want to shop on Thredup, use my referral link and you automatically get $10 off your first purchase and I also get $10 off. It’s a win/win!

{first image: camille styles}

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Andrea Cooley

  1. I love posts about fashion and purges. It would be freeing to do a capsule wardrobe, but also terrifying too. I’m interested to see where this takes you!

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