How to Clean Out Your Closet (and make some cash!)

Every season I like to clean out my closet. Mostly, in order to make room for new clothes. 

We live in a 3 bedroom ranch style home that was built in the late 60s, so there are no walk-ins. Our master closet is stuffed to the brim and I have taken over the guest room closet as well. It is important that I utilize the space I have. This means getting rid of any old or out of style clothes that I do not wear anymore to make room for new stuff. 

The first thing I do is go through all my hanging shirts and blouses. Then, I will go through my dresses and finally my folded clothes, shoes and accessories. One by one, asking myself "have I worn this in the past year?'

If the answer is no, then that means it is time to part with that item. The next question I ask myself is, can I sell this item or should I donate? If the item is in good condition, purchased in the past 2 - 3 years, then it may be worth trying to sell. Items that are brand name or designer are definitely worthy of trying to sell. Typically, I can make a good $50 - $100 (more if I'm selling designer brands) per season selling my gently used clothing, shoes and accessories.

Here's how it's done:

1 || Sort through all your clothes and make a pile of items you will not be wearing anymore. General rule is if the item has not been worn in the past year (besides special occasion items), then you should get rid of it. Also, if the item no longer or never fit correctly, it should be removed from your closet (that includes your pair of 'skinny jeans' that you've told yourself you may fit into one day...)

2 || From the pile of clothes you are getting rid of, make 3 piles: 1 - items that can be sold; 2 - items to be donated; 3 - items to be thrown out (items with damage that can not be mended, stains that can not be cleaned or generally just too worn). 

Items to be sold should be in good condition with no tears/holes, stains, pilling (sweater material / t-shirt material looks new). Items that are good candidates for selling are designer/brand name items that cost more than $30 and are in good condition. 

Items to be donated should be in good condition with no holes/tears/stains. Underwear, bras, swim suits should not be donated. These should be thrown out unless they have never been worn and are NWT (new with tags).

Items to be trashed are those that are in bad condition/worn that can not be mended.

Here is a chart I put together that will help you sort trough your clothing items:

3 || Once you have gone through your wardrobe and have your 4 piles complete (keep, sell, donate and trash), put the clothes to donate in a large trash bag and label with "donate" and drop off at your local Goodwill or donation drop off site. Don't forget to pick up your donation receipt for your taxes!

The items to trash can go right in your trash bag (this part feels great, we are clearing the clutter!).

You may hang, fold and put back all your items you are keeping.

Go through the items you are hoping to sell and make sure they are cleaned, pressed and mended appropriately.

4 || Selling your items can be done in a few different ways. You may take them to your local second hand store to sell. I typically go this route because it's easy. However, you may not get as much as you think for your gently used clothing. I will take in 2 - 3 trash bags full of clothes and only make about $25 - $50 if I'm lucky. And they don't always take everything you are offering.

I have also had some success with some local buy/sell pages on facebook. It may be worth your while to search on facebook for your neighborhood/city's buy sell page. Here you can post photos of the items and list the specifics and asking price. These pages are great because you do not have to pay shipping to sell the item online. Kind of the same mindset as Craigslist.

You can go the ebay route, but don't forget to factor in shipping to your asking price. There are other fees associated with ebay as well you should be aware of.

If you have a good amount of followers on instagram or twitter, it may be worth your while to try to sell the items on your feed or set up a separate account and post photos of all your items with the price and encourage your followers to visit your "shop". 

Whatever items I am not able to sell, I usually end up donating. I try to resist putting them back in my closet. 

And now you can look at your freshly edited closet and start scheming on what new items to add to it! :)

I'm linking up with Natalie and Annie for Thoughts for Thursday!


  1. great post! i really need to clean out my closet now that im out of maternity clothes !xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  2. Awesome post! The last time I attempted to clean out my closet... I think I got rid of 3 shirts. Might have to use your chart & attempt it again!

  3. I'm a huge believer in cleaning out your closet every season! Our house was built in 1980 so no big walk in closets here either. I don't know if you've ever considered switching to the velvet, no slip hangers but they save SO MUCH ROOM! We switched all of our hangers over in the fall and I couldn't believe it. You can get a pack of 20 or 30 of them from Costco for $10 which is a great deal compared to everywhere else!

  4. Awesome post girl!! I love cleaning out my closet for the pure fact that I get to sell my clothes to buy more clothes LOL! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  5. great tips! i really need to do this :) your diagram is awesome and I usually just donate but selling is such a great idea!

  6. New follower from the Thursday link up. I love to purge my clothes. My husband, not so much. lol
    The best thing I do is turn my hangers backwards and then as I wear them and hang them back up I hang them the correct way. Then once a year has pasted I look at the hangers that are still turned wrong and know I did not wear them. Easy toss out.

  7. I need to start doing this, I normally just end up donating everything. But an extra $50 to go towards new items sounds good to me! Lucy x


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