Capsule Wardrobe: What to do with your unwanted wardrobe items post-purge?

What to do with unwanted wardrobe items?

I am currently putting the finishing touches on my first ever capsule wardrobe through the Project 333 Challenge. I am looking forward to simplified mornings ahead and a closet full of clothes I love, but it has been anything but an easy process. This past weekend I went through my entire wardrobe and did a massive purge. I was amazed (and to be honest, a bit appalled) by the vast amount of stuff I had accumulated over the last few years. I was even more amazed by how much of it I didn’t truly love. How much money had I spent? How much time had I wasted shopping? And really, how much joy had I gotten from it?

By the end of the weekend my “Don’t Love It” pile was towering over my “Love It” pile. I boxed up almost half of the “Don’t Love It” items, moving them to the basement for storage and possible inclusion in a future capsule wardrobe. The rest of this pile I decided had to go. While I felt guilty about getting rid of items that were in great shape and some practically brand new, my guilt did not justify allowing these items to continue to take up space in my house and my life. To help deal with the guilt, I wanted to make sure these items ended up with a good home.

I recently read a stat that an estimated 85% of used clothing wind up in a landfill, and I am determined not to contribute to this statistic. Below are some of the best ways I’ve found to discard old wardrobe items.

Sell Online

There are a ton of options out there for selling your gently used clothes, bags, shoes and accessories. The best option for you depends on the brands you want to sell, the amount of effort you want to put in and how much control you want over your earnings. Here are some of the most popular options:

In a category all its own are Facebook Buy, Sell, Trade (BST) groups, which have exploded is popularity in recent years. Every community has a BST group, and in some cases several groups, on which you can list a wide range of items for your neighbors to buy. These usually provide super quick turnarounds and are extremely easy for both the buyer and seller. There are also BST groups for certain brands, such as Anthropologie, J. Crew/Madewell, Lululemon and more. These groups are typically very active as the members are passionate about the brands.

Sell to Consignment and/or Resale Stores

Most communities have one or more consignment or resale stores. Payout options vary from store to store, so do your homework before making your selection. And while this route takes little effort on your part, be prepared that you will not receive big bucks for your items and these stores will not take clothing that is old, off-season or out of style.

Sell at Consignment and/or Garage Sale Events Near You

Many communities hold city-wide consignment or garage sales. This is a great way to get your clothes in front of a large audience and move a bunch of items in one day or weekend. It also takes the work off of you in organizing your own garage sale. If you cannot find a city-hosted sale, check with your local PTA as they will sometimes organize them.

Donate to a worthy charity

Another great option, for those not looking to turn their old wardrobe items into cash, is to donate them to a charity. There are plenty of options out there, but a personal favorite is Dress for Success. It’s an international non-profit with a presence in 150 cities in 30 countries. They provide women who are trying to get back on their feet with professionals outfits for job interviews and new jobs, all at no cost. If you are looking to donate work appropriate clothing you can find your local affiliate location here.


Do you have any suggestions to add? I would love to hear how you keep your old wardrobe items in circulation and out of a landfill.



2 thoughts on “Capsule Wardrobe: What to do with your unwanted wardrobe items post-purge?

  1. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Dress for Success! I have tons of business clothes that I no longer wear since leaving the corporate world and I am definitely going to donate them on my next trip to downtown Chicago! Thanks for sharing! (I’ve been donating my purged clothes to a local non-profit that holds a clothes closet each month and gives away the clothes to the needy in my community for free. Since I don’t care about money, I like giving my clothes to an organization that isn’t looking to make a profit off of them either. 👍🏻)

    1. I’m so glad I was able to introduce you to them! They are an amazing organization with some wonderful volunteers opportunities as well. You can volunteer as a personal shopper to help their clients put together wardrobes before interviews and jobs, or help sort and organize clothes. The world needs more generous people like you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *