Sunday, August 10, 2014

Purging the closet

The Divinitus

This is a difficult and emotional step toward healing, but it is greatly rewarding. Purging your closet cleanses it from fillers that hide your true personal style. It makes you feel lighter and makes you see clearer. It can be a very long process though depending on the size of your wardrobe, your ability to detach yourself from your belongings and your available free time. You might do it in several steps as I did while my style was gradually defining itself. Sometimes you might fall, go binge shopping, but it won't erase all your past efforts and you'll be able to climb back on the road where you left it.


What are fillers? Fillers are any item you haven't touch in several months. I usually give myself a seasonal reference: if I haven't worn an item a whole winter or a whole summer it becomes a filler. Ask yourself why you haven't touched that item. Is it that your style has changed? Is it because it is ill-fitted? Is it the fabric you dislike? Identifying the reason why you haven't touched it strengthens the reasoning for discarding it and you'll able not to look back on it and not to make the same mistake again with a similar item.
Sometimes you can be  emotionally attached to an item, may it be a hit dress you hunted down for months or a top you bought while travelling abroad, but if you cannot think of a way to make it  reusable, it is better to discard it. I know it hurts, but you'll feel better afterwards.


Your fillers are probably like mine, quite diverse. So you can consider different venues to get rid them. I usually make three piles: the selling one, the give away one and the throw away one.
In the selling one, I put designer items and brand new items with tags still attached. In the throw away one, I put stained, overused, ripped items that I wouldn't want my dog to wear. The rest goes into the give away item.


I sell my items on different venues online and locally.

If you are new on the market, here are some places where you can consider selling your items online: 
  • Ebay
    • Good for popular designer items that can sell for a very good price. Otherwise, it might be difficult to sell your knick and knacks. Ebay is not as small-seller-friendly as it used to be.
    • If you have branded similar items, try to sell them in lots. It increases your selling rates.
    • Remember the goal here is not to make money, but to get rid of your items, so don't overprice your items.
  • Laws of General Economy
    • Got Steven Alan, No. 6, Mociun, Rachel Comey, Margaret Howell  items or other small boutiques high quality and minimalist items? This blog might be the perfect place to sell them. There is a waiting list to be able to list the items yourself. I have been on it for 3 years and haven't got any news from the moderator, so I think it is unlikely that you'll be able to do so, but there are several long time members who will be happy to post your items for you! The items are usually listed for a week or so and all the interested people leave their contact information in the comment section. At the end of the listing period, the seller draws the name of one of the potential buyers and send her/him an invoice through Paypal.
  • Vestiaire Collective
    • This french-british platform is good for designer and haute couture items that are not necessarily popular items since it is the meeting place of thousands of fashionistas around the world looking for unique designer items just like you. I have sold a Mary Katrantzou top there in 5 days while it spent weeks on Ebay. For new sellers without an established reputation, the company requires that the item be sent to them for inspection before sending it to the buyer. They charge you tremendous fees for that service! However, as I told you, your items have a good visibility here. 
  • Consignment Stores
    • If you are not in a hurry for selling your items, a lot of consignment stores are appearing all over the Internet for second hand designer, branded and vintage items.
    • A few of my favourites?
Otherwise,  a well organized garage sale is always a good way to get rid of items at a small price. Websites like Craiglist and Kijiji are good for furniture, but no so much for clothes and accessories, but it doesn't hurt to try. If I am not able to sell an item, I usually move it to my give away pile.

For my give away items, I usually let my friends and family know about them first to let them see if anything I own might interest them and I give the rest to charity organizations. Leaving those bags of clothes and shoes at the Salvation Army is truly relieving I must tell you!

Concerning the throw away pile, I try to turn most of the usable fabrics in rags before throwing away the rest to be as ecological as possible.

It usually takes me 1 month to go throw the process. As I told you, it is not a linear process and sometimes you have to step back. As long as you are slowly emptying your closet, you are on the right track. Take your time.

Once you are done getting rid of the fillers, you can start working on your wardrobe basics.

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