clothing

How to consign

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When we de-clutter our lives, we are often faced with figuring out how to give our items a second life.

For high-quality, gently-used clothes, consignment can be a great way to let them spark joy for someone else, while also giving you a little cash back for those investment pieces that you still need.

How much cash back exactly?

Think about the rule of thirds. If you’ve purchase something for $99, the consignor will usually sell it for a third of that, or $33. You’ll get roughly a third of what they sell it for, or $11.

If you have lots of high-quality clothes to consign, this can add up. If you only have a few items, it may not be worth your time.

Since consigning your items can be time-consuming and consignment shops are usually very choosy,  it’s important to know your options and choose wisely.

There are many options, either online or in physical stores. Regardless of the option you choose, it’s important to note the following:

  • Clothes should be clean and free of stains, pilling, or tears.

  • Clothes should be from a name-brand and usually they must be 2-5 years old.

Online Options

ThredUp

ThredUp will send you a clean-out bag that you can fill and send in at your convenience. When thinking about what items are sellable, they suggest that you ask yourself the question: “Would you give this to your best friend?” They accept only about 40% of items that are sent in. They will donate the items that are not chosen for consignment.

Poshmark

With Poshmark, you snap a few quick photos of your items and then post them for sale online. You’ll get bids and offers, and then ship the items directly to the buyers. It’s important that the item be name-brand and in excellent condition.

The RealReal

The RealReal is for your highest-end luxury items. Think items priced at hundreds of dollars. They offer several options for how to get your items to them.

In-Store Options

Greene Street

Greene Street has several locations. They will review your items quickly (usually in less than 10 minutes), tell you which items were accepted, and then you’ll receive a check in about 90 days. It’s important to note that they must accept at least 10 items at a time. So, if you go, make sure you go with a bagful, and not one or two items.

Clothes Mentor

Different from Greene Street, Clothes Mentor will take much longer to review your items and they’ll give you cash on the spot. They give priority to those stay in-store while their items are being reviewed, but even then, it can take an hour or more. They do not have a minimum number of items that they must accept.

Independently-owned consignment shops

There are many independently-owned consignment stores available. They often have more flexible requirements and a more personable experience. Magic Threads Consignment in Media, PA is owned by personal stylist Catriona Whitehead, so she brings the best of her clients’ fashion right to you.

As you can see there are many options for finding a second life for your clothes. Just make sure that you review the guidelines carefully before beginning.

What about clothes that don’t fit?

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The number one question that I get is “What should I do with clothes that don’t fit?”

As my fellow KonMari consultant and wise friend Christina Rosenbruch says, the beauty of KonMari is that it brings us into the present. It’s about celebrating who we are TODAY and surrounding ourselves with what brings us joy TODAY.

So, what to do? Change the script.

I often say, “Our clothes are talking to us.”

Do you want a closet that says, “Good morning! I’m filled with things that you love and feel great in. Come on in. You can’t go wrong!”

Or, do you want a closet that says, “Ugh. Half of your clothes don’t even fit. Good luck finding something to wear today.”

Um, NO. That latter closet is totally rude, and it needs a new script.

Why do we need a new script?

Because our clothes set the tone for the day. They affect how quickly we get ready in the morning. They affect our mood and our confidence. They affect how physically comfortable we are. So, changing the script in your closet is a change that can provide amazing ripple effects, not just in your day, but in your career and relationships. Feeling like a million bucks changes everything.

So, do “joy checks” of ALL of your clothes, even the ones that don’t fit. (Check out my article here that walks you through how to tidy your clothes step-by-step.) This will give you the opportunity to identify those pieces that truly spark joy and that deserve a place in your home.

My clients often find that they don’t even like many of the ill-fitting clothes that they have, so there is no need to have them in your closet talking to you!

Choose to keep ONLY those ill-fitting clothes that you love, but then GET THEM THE HELL OUT OF YOUR CLOSET. Put them in a box with a cheeky label, like “ill-fitting clothes that I love” and then relegate them to the basement or other storage area, where they can’t be rude to you every day.

Welcome to your new morning conversation with your closet.

PS - If you’re looking for clothing brands that can help you spark joy at any size, check out Alice Alexander. They are a size-inclusive, ethical and sustainable fashion boutique with colorful, beautiful pieces that are sure to bring some joy to that closet.

Why I’m hosting a film screening

A few months back, I watched a movie - The True Cost - that created a major change in me.The film explores the environmental and social costs of the ways that our society now makes, buys, consumes, and disposes of clothing. It talks about living wages and factory disasters and toxic dyes and clothing ending up in landfills.

It is NOT an easy movie to watch.

I’m always a little bit hesitant about watching these types of movies. I worry that I will come away feeling guilty and unsure of what to do differently.

In this case, there was a definite feeling of guilt after watching it, but there wasn’t the huge hopelessness. There were actually real ways that I could be a part of the solution. ESPECIALLY given my unique role as a professional organizer.

Every day, I am given the unique honor of going into my clients homes to help them de-clutter and simplify their lives. As we implement the KonMari Method™ together, we get into real, deep conversations about how our “stuff” is making us feel stressed-out, overwhelmed, and often times, downright guilty. My clients often know exactly what they are ready to let go of, but they don’t want to carelessly donate to the local bin behind the strip mall.

They want to be much more mindful of what they buy, and when they are ready to let it go, they want to do so purposefully.

So THAT is why I am hosting a film screening. It creates the hard, visceral reaction that is necessary to truly understand a major systemic problem, and it creates the opening for an awesome, practical dialogue of what can be done.

I shared this desire to host a screening with some amazing #ladybosses at Wellstruck’s Ladyboss event, and the stars aligned. Mary Alice Duff of Alice Alexander graciously agreed to host the screening in her boutique, which is a size-inclusive, ethically-made women’s apparel brand. Each piece in the collection is designed, cut and sewn in Philadelphia by a talented team of sewers paid fair wages. Materials are sourced from within the United States with a focus on sustainable materials.

So, call up your lady friends and invite them to a night out in East Falls, PA on Saturday, November 3rd. Space is limited to 25 people. Shopping and mingling starts at 5:30 pm and the movie starts at 6:15 pm. You can get your tickets right here.

How to Get Dressed (Hint: Wear the Same Thing(s) ALL THE TIME)

My clients often ask me: "Do you wear the same thing every day?"

The answer is .... Sort of.

I don't necessarily wear the EXACT SAME THING EVERY DAY, but yes, I have about 4-5 outfits that I wear ALL THE TIME.

Why do I do that?

We make 35,000 decisions a day. That drains us. As a business owner, mom and CFO and COO (and housekeeper and launderer ...) of our household, I've got A LOT TO DO. So the last thing I want to waste my energy on is figuring out what the heck to wear.

So, my general formula is:

  • I wear mostly black, dark blue, white and gray.

  • I usually wear black leggings with a tunic-style shirt. (My fave leggings are here: Athleta - pricey but worth it - and Old Navy - inexpensive, so you can buy several).

  • I try to buy higher quality items so that they last longer and wash better.

  • I choose things can be dressed up or dressed down.

  • It has to be comfortable.

  • I have to feel great in it. (Like, you-might-run-into-your-celebrity-crush great)

  • No ironing!

And that's about it. There's no magic formula. There's no exact number of items. There are no rules.

Ok, so now you may be thinking. Sounds great, Amanda. All puppies and butterflies. But how the heck do I get to that point??

pare it down

  • Kondo It - The first fundamental step is to make sure EVERYTHING in your closet sparks joy. You can get this done in less than 5 hours, with a friend (or me!), and a glass of wine. Check out my step-by-step blog post here.

  • Edit often - Sometimes I'll catch a non-joy-sparking offender in my closet and ask myself "How the heck did you survive in here this long?" Toss it in a basket in your closet, and when the basket is full, donate it.

  • Keep a shopping list - I use Wunderlist to keep a running list of things I need. I do NOT wander aimlessly through the mall. Right now, I need a black camisole and black crew socks. That's it.

THE BOTTOM LINE

When you are at a stage in life where you've just got TOO MUCH TO DO, then DO LESS.

Channel your inner Steve Jobs (black tee and jeans!), make one less decision, and kick your morning off right.