Spring is officially here and even if you have ample closet space and don't have to deal with swapping out your wardrobe for the season (unlike us city dwellers), it's great to get into the habit of going through your closet from time to time (we recommend Spring and Fall). We aren't suggesting some Feng Shui or other minimalist philosophy; just simply taking a few moments to let go of stuff you don't want or need.
For those of us who have been doing this for some time, we can attest to the fact that decluttering is beneficial to your mind and your wallet. Most of us hang on to stuff much longer than we need to...no, you won't re-wear that bridesmaid's dress. Yes, you can let go of the denim skirt you bought in high school from Abercrombie.
Some Benefits Of Purging Your Closet
1 - TAX BENEFIT. Clothing donations translate into tax savings via the charitable contribution deduction.
2 - LESS WASTE. Cleaning out your closet means you'll only be keeping what you wear and recycling the rest.
3 - INSTANT SAVINGS. Selling your higher-end pieces means extra cash to donate to a cause of your choosing or use to buy new stuff (alternatively might we suggest topping off your emergency fund 😎 ).
How T0 Manage Your Closet Overhaul
DONATE WHAT'S IN GOOD CONDITION
If you use a closet storing service like The Box Butler, they will happily take your old stuff and make the donation on your behalf - make sure they send you a receipt to prove the value of your donation.
The old faithfuls like Salvation Army and GoodWill are other options.
TIP: Consigning and Donating are the not same thing
As far as taxes go, an accountant can help you decide how much is too much to claim to avoid being flagged for an audit but we've seen clients write off as much as $5,000 in donated value - that's approximately $1,250 back in your pocket!!
"What if my stuff is too old (read: holes) to donate?"
Animal shelters are often willing to take your torn and tattered pieces. Also, some kids programs (like arts organizations) will take old clothes because the condition doesn't matter as much for their purposes.
SELL WHAT'S IN GREAT CONDITION
Okay Stash, where am I going to find the time to post and manage an online store of all my old stuff??! Using a 3rd party site is a great option. And even though they take a cut, you make more than you would if you did nothing. One of our favorites is Linda's Stuff - they take more brands than Tradesy and TheRealReal, but those are good options if you want to trade up an LV piece or the Chloe bag you had to have in 2015.
MAINTAIN THE VALUE OF THE REST
Considering the cost of the things we buy, one attempt at washing a "dry clean only" item could mean dollars down the drain. While we all try to find areas to cut back, dry cleaning shouldn't be one of them. It's not worth risking damage to a $100 top to save $4.50 on dry cleaning - only to be out another $100 to replace it. You don't need to be an expert in finance to know that's a bad trade!
We recently learned about a new place for those special pieces or things you only get dry cleaned once or occasionally (winter coat, leather pants, wedding dress, etc.). Madame Paulette is based in NYC - but you don't need to be from NY to use their services. Their client list includes the millionaires and billionaires of the world but they offer affordable dry cleaning services for the rest of us, too! They handle everything from laundering to restoration to preservation (think how to best store your wedding dress after your wedding day!).