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Cleaning Closets Can Be Fun and Profitable


Family Fashion Show!

I wrote this article in 2008 and it was originally published in The Bugle in Pontiac, IL.  A lot has changed since then; The Bugle is gone, my kids have grown, and my business has expanded.  However, we still do "fashion shows" at my house when the seasons change.  Whenever I say Consignment shop in the article below....I mean Once 'n Again :)  Whenever I say Thrift Shop in the article...I mean Frugality NFP.  You get the idea.  Below is the original article.

 Cleaning Closets Can be Fun and Profitable!  By: Traci Hassett

It is time to get the kids ready to go back to school.  Before you go shopping you should clean the closet and storage areas and make a list of the things that they do not have for school.  My kids and I enjoy doing this project four times a year or more during times of “extreme” growth.  You know those times, the jeans fit last week, but today they are one inch too short and they will not zip. 

Before we start cleaning, we get four boxes ready.  One to save for next year, one to bring to the local consignment shop,  one for thrift store donation, and one for the trash (gasp).  First we clean out the summer clothing.  Of course we take into consideration that there is still summer weather left and leave some summer clothing in the closet.  The things that will still fit someone in the family next year get packed in the save box.  The things that will not fit anyone go into one of the three remaining boxes.  The best of the best go into the consignment shop box with summer clearly marked on it.  The things that still have good use in them but are flawed in some way go into the thrift store donation box, the things with holes or stains on them go in the trash box.  Unless you have lots and lots of time to sew or craft that trash into something else, you cannot recycle everything, some things are just trash.  The consignment shops and thrift stores do not want stained and ripped clothing, there is too much good clothing out there for them to waste their time and resources on clothing that will not sell.   Now that the closet is nearly empty, it is time to look at the fall clothing. 

When my family cleans closets and drawers, we turn it into a fashion show.  The kids model their clothes that we saved from last year for the fall.  If it fits and they still like it, it gets hung in the closet.  If it does not fit or they do not like it,  we examine it.  Does it have stains or holes?  Is the color faded or is the fabric pilling?  How long ago was it purchased new?  Is it currently fashionable?  The consignment shop box should contain only items that are currently fashionable (purchased new within the last two years is a good guideline), items that are free of fading, pilling, stains, and holes of any kind.  Items that are freshly laundered and free of wrinkles take less time for the consignment shop to process and sell faster.  The thrift store donation box should contain the items that are a little older and can have a small amount of fading or pilling.  Anything with stains or holes, extreme fading or pilling, ring around the collar, arm-pit discoloration, and anything that is just plain worn out go in the trash box. 

Now that we are done cleaning it is time look at the 4 boxes.  The save box goes in storage with the season clearly marked on the outside.  The consignment shop box that says summer goes into storage until March when the consignment shop starts accepting summer consignments again.  Although, some consignment shops buy out of season merchandise, check with them for the specifics.  The donation box can be brought to the thrift shop anytime.  Yes, the trash box should go to the curb on trash day, work quickly to ease the pain.  Closet cleaning does not have to be work:  the kids have fun modeling and you’ll have fun when you collect your check from the consignment shop.

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