Having a functioning home is about more than beautiful things. It’s about more than just cleaning or organizing. In truth, the first step is far more basic, way more important, and probably the most difficult.
And it’s almost always the thing we skip over in the shadow of baskets and labels and fluffing pillows.
It’s also about purging – getting rid of all that stuff that’s making your home feel more like an episode of Hoarders than a issue of House Beautiful.
I recently shared some practical tips for decluttering. And afterwards, it was clear I wasn’t alone.
But decluttering can be hard and it can bring out emotions you didn’t even realize you have.
This creates some roadblocks – and one I run into the most is this:
I can’t get rid of _________________? I spent so much on it!
Have you told yourself this? I’m going to guess you have. (Ladies – especially with clothes.)
I think it’s easy to tell yourself you’ll hang onto something you don’t need because you spent good money on it. But there are other things to consider:
- The physical space it’s taking up that could be better utilized.
- The emotional stress that clutter causes.
And the fact is, you can choose to sell items and make a little cash – with very little effort or stress. I’ve found this to be the best of both worlds. You clean out your space and get a little breathing room. And you make a little extra money in the process.
In the past few months, I’ve made about $400 selling clothes I don’t wear. Which is almost as much as I made hosting a yard sale last year (with 99 percent less work and stress). And it’s about 1,000 times better than my experiences with Craigslist or Facebook groups, where people don’t show and you have to meet in person.
Clean your closet – the perfect place to begin when decluttering.
- It’s containable – you aren’t trying to do everything.
- It’s practical – many women have overflowing closets that get out of control.
- It’s easy – you can do it on your own time and speed.
- It’s a great jumping off point – once you go through this process, you’ll probably feel motivated to move onto the next big purging project.
This is probably also the reason that many professionals recommend starting with clothes when decluttering (including The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up).
But this isn’t about how to PURGE. It’s about how to SELL.
This is about overcoming your excuses to get rid of that cocktail dress you’ve only worn once and will never wear again. Because you spent $200 again and maybe you’ll be invited to a dinner with the queen someday. (Hey. We can dream.)
Because if that dress meant $50 in your hand with almost no stress or work, I think you can bear to part with it. Right? (And trust me, you’ll want a new dress when you meet the queen.)
A friend told me about Poshmark several years ago, but I didn’t use it until late last year. And now I’m kicking myself for not starting sooner.
Because I’ve made about $400 by selling clothes I didn’t want and wasn’t wearing anyhow.
(If you want to try Poshmark, too – Download the app and use the code GRGIF for $5 off your first order. Please note, this isn’t sponsored and Poshmark has no idea who I am. But I have had such great success and want you to be free of all the clutter, too. If you sign up, we’ll both get $5.)
I still have some clothes in the drawer, but now my entire second closet is empty. I love it, because it actually makes getting dressed so much simpler.
It’s wonderful to look at all the beautiful closets on Pinterest. But practically speaking, I like that my closet is simple and clean. Nothing is overstuffed. I don’t need to spend tons of money on fancy tools to have more space. Because I don’t need more space.
8 quick tips for selling your clothes on an app
If you are new to Poshmark, it’s so simple to get started. Once you have the app, you can immediately upload photos and sell items.
Once the item sells, you’ll receive a downloadable shipping label to send the item. (And it’s shipped Priority Mail, so you can use the free Priority boxes and envelopes from the post office.)
Once the item is shipped and received, you’ll receive your earnings in your account – which you can use to purchase other items or transfer to your bank account. (When you price your item, you’ll be told what your earnings will be when it sells. It’s very clear.)
Here are a few tips to get started selling those unused items right now:
- Start small. Open your free account and use your camera on your smart phone to take photos of items. You can sell items one at a time and price them individually. Start by going through your closet and making snap judgements on what to sell. I’ve found that it makes it much easier to get rid of things when I’m selling them.
- Start with your brand names. I’ve sold items from J.Crew, LuLaRoe, GAP and even Target – all price ranges. I’ve even sold some kids clothes. So, it’s across the board. I’m not selling Chanel (although you can). But the more coveted a brand is, the easier it will be to sell. Start with the items that will get you the most bang for your buck.
- Make it simple. Don’t overthink this process. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The faster you make the process of listing items, the more likely you’ll be to do it. So have a process for photographing and shipping items – it’s so simple, you’ll probably feel like you are rolling in the dough in no time.
- Use bright and clear photos. The nicer your photo looks, the faster it will sell. Find a spot you can easily take photos in your room without tons of clutter or distractions. I use my white closet door and just hang the item there for the photo. I also take any detail photos (tags, patterns or even any damage).
- Check out comparable items. When pricing your items, you can search Poshmark for the same brand name to give you an idea of what people are selling items for. Sometimes, this also encourages me to list things I’m hanging onto.
- Get positive feedback. In my experience, people basically just want you to ship fast. So when you are notified that something is sold, get it packaged and shipped as quickly as possible and watch the great feedback come rolling in. (Pick up free boxes and envelopes from the post office to be prepared.)
- Keep going. I have had the most success with selling clothes by doing it over time. Instead of doing everything at once, I just keep adding as I realize I haven’t worn something in my closet for a while. It’s a fun little pick-me-up to sell something and earn some money.
- Find a spot to keep items until they sell. If there’s one downfall to this process, it’s that you don’t immediately get rid of the clutter. You have to keep it somewhere until you sell it. You can either have a spot to hang or fold the items until they sell. I use the bottom drawer to store these items and boxes – then it’s easy to follow through after it sells.
There are tons of other apps to try, too.
I chose to use Poshmark because it was highly recommended and was simple to use. But there are lots of other options out there, too. Some are more like consignment where you send your items to the online store. Some allow you to easily share items with friends. Some are targeted only for handbags or kids clothes.
A few others out there (although I have no first-hand experience, so always use due diligence):
You don’t have to be a fashion blogger to have a closet full of clothes. If you need to simplify AND make a few extra bucks, now’s the time.
Open up your closet doors and get to work. Your home and your sanity will thank you.
Who’s ready to purge the clothes and reclaim closet space?
If you like it, put a pin on it.
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You don't have to spend all your time cleaning to have a presentable home.
Grab our 6 tips for a clean home (in no time).