Look at the clothes in your closet.
We bet you there’s at least 3 items in there that you don’t wear anymore. We’re right, huh?
Even if you’re blessed with ample closet space and don’t have to swap out your wardrobe each season, get into the habit of cleaning out your closet from time to time. We’re not talking about Feng Shui or another minimalist philosophy. Simply taking a few moments to let go of stuff you don’t wear can make you some of the easiest money you’ll ever earn.
De-cluttering is good for your mind and your wallet. Most of us hang on to stuff much longer than we need to! No amount of tailoring will ever make that bridesmaid’s dress worth wearing again. And yes, it’s time to say good-bye to anything you ever bought from Abercerombie.
The Benefits of Purging Your Clothes
- TAX BENEFIT. Clothing donations translate into tax savings via the charitable contribution deduction.
- LESS WASTE. Cleaning out your closet means you’ll only be keeping what you wear and recycling the rest.
- INSTANT SAVINGS. Selling your higher-end pieces means extra cash to buy new stuff, save for a goal, or donate to charity.
How t0 Manage Your Closet Overhaul
Donate Items in Good Condition
If you use a closet-storing service like The Box Butler, they’ll take your old stuff and make the donation on your behalf. Just make sure they send you a receipt to prove the value of your donation. Salvation Army and Goodwill are other good options.
PRO TIP: Consigning and donating are not the 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 children’s programs (like arts organizations) will take old clothes because the condition doesn’t matter as much for their purposes.
Sell Items in Great Condition
Using a 3rd party site is a great option for selling your stuff online. They’ll take a cut, but you’ll make more than you would if you simply donated. One of our favorites is Linda’s Stuff. They take more brands than Tradesy and TheRealReal, but these two are good options if you want to trade up a Louis Vuitton piece or that Chloe bag you had to have back 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. 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). Madame Paulette is based in NYC, but you don’t need to be from New York 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 and preservation (think: how to best store your wedding dress).