1. Wow – definitely have done this myself too! But I’ve even lost money doing it too when something never sells. I am all about donating now unless it is something that I know will sell. All clothes get donated and I don’t ever worry about tax write-offs either. Many of those loops have closed as well and for a few dollars on taxes? I’m happy if someone can just use the clothes. Yesterday I gave away 12 matching glass vases I had on Craigslist. The young bride showed up and said she was going to use them for her wedding and she was so appreciative. It was a win-win in my de-clutter and for her planning 🙂

    • I love that, Vicki! After giving some away to friends and family, I sold some of my wedding items, but I always included a bunch of freebies of the bride-to-be’s choosing. I bet you made her budget breathe so much easier!

  2. I like the way you thought about this Penny. Time is money! Personally when I clean out my closet of old clothes, I donate them. I probably wouldn’t get much anyway for the clothes (usually old, nothing special) and I believe they’ll be going to someone who truly needs the clothes more than I do.

    • That’s a great way to think about it. I think I try to sell some things because I sunk so much money into my closet. But as you said, time is money. I will just accept the sunk cost for what it is.

  3. I’ve always just donated or recycled clothes because generally by the time we finish with clothes I haven’t felt it was worth the hassle of selling. I do know from working at a used book chain that a lot of experiences are very similar to yours when dealing with a reseller. Not every buyer or pricer knows what they are doing, and sometimes what gets taken and why is confusing even to people who know the rules very well.

  4. Same here, Penny. We’ll sell (or try to sell) old phones or camping gear on eBay or Craigslist if they’re worth > $50, but we donate most stuff. It’s sooo much easier to just drop it off than to take pictures, create an ad, then wait, and wait, and wait, and then ship it or meet up with people who might not show.

    We hope that our old stuff is getting some use and staying out of a landfill for a while longer. Plus, I love shopping at thrift stores and on eBay, so it’s just paying it forward.

    • Yes! That’s actually why I like Poshmark so much. Because all the hassle of shipping and whatnot is taken care of by the site. This other strategy was just a colossal waste of time.

  5. I hear you, Penny! I used to try to sell clothing individually or as lots on ebay or Craigslist and have also tried Platos Closet (same type of experience as you had!). I gave up on that when I realized my rate of pay was pretty low and started donating to thrift stores. But I’ve recently found a great consignment store in my rural town where I can drop off bags of clothing/shoes. She sells what she can and donates the rest, so I don’t ever have to deal with them again. Plus, I don’t have to wait for her to sort them. I usually net $30-50 for a kitchen size bag, which I just leave as a store credit so I shop for “free” (plus she only sells quality stuff). It’s a win-win, in my opinion!

    • Oh, wow! I’m moving to your town. A lot of our consignment stores start out nice, but then the prices either go sky-high (and merchandise doesn’t move) or they just get overrun with inventory. Glad you found such a fantastic system!

  6. Iowa

    I’ve actually gone a different route. I’m on the smaller side, and can wear some of the larger children sizes. (In adult I wear shirt size 4-6 on average. If you do check out the kids section, the childhood obesity epidemic has resulted in LARGE kids sizes that can fit adults, just look for plain items, I could write an entire blog on this topic alone.) One of the groups that I am a mentor for has a lot of children that are homeschooled, but not a lot of money in the house. Since a lot of the clothing I own (actually originally came from GoodWill but still is Express/Ann Taylor, Loft, etc). I talk with parents with some parents who have kids my size, asking if they would be interested in some quality hand-me-downs. (Or not, but parents refuse to spend that money. Mine was one of them.) While the kids stay my dress size, I freely offer them up to those kids. (When they grow out, they are recycled to another kid in their circle of homeschoolers.)

    I actually enjoy this more than trying to resell – a pain. The one in our area, you have to come back to get the $, and they don’t send reminders. You don’t come in, you lose out on the $. And it makes me feel better than the tax write-off (mostly because I don’t itemize my taxes.)

    • That’s a really great savings hack. I do that sometimes if I can find the right sleeve lengths and whatnot. Sometimes, kids clothes are just plain cuter! And I will forever and always shop for my workout wear in the junior’s department of Kohl’s. The difference in price in virtually the same items is shocking!

  7. $4 an hour and a lazy attitude – that’s my kind of fun. We give clothing to a veteran’s organization that picks up clothing. They send an envelope marked with the pickup date and a bright pink plastic bag. Clothing goes in the bag and the bag gets put out in our walkway. By mid-morning the truck comes by and the bag is gone. Easy peasy.

    • Yes! That’s what I do with my clothes if I don’t get any takers on Poshmark. And other items I don’t sell. And all of my husband’s items. There is a pediatric cancer charity that works very similarly to that one. And they are getting four garbage bags FULL tomorrow morning!

  8. Don’t forget the tax benefits of donating stuff. When you actually print off a valuation guide from somewhere like Salvation army, the tax valuation always ends up being way more than I would have thought! It’s easy to donate, fun to calculate, and great to deduct at tax time!

  9. Good for you for keeping it real. With clothes I generally donate. But I have a pile of, well, mostly junk that I’m planning to take to the flea market one of these days. Sure there are a few really good items in there, but most of it would best be tossed altogether. But I just can’t throw it away when it’s still useful to someone. So I will spend far too many hours with it and make something like $4 an hour when I’m done. At least that will be time spent out in the fresh air.

    • Ditto for your honesty, Gary! It’s too easy to make everything seem smooth. That’s what gets the clicks and the searches, but there are a lot of swings and misses…at least in my experience. I hope you’ll post about the flea market when you do go!

  10. A friend and I were just talking today about how selling to Clothes Mentor is not worth the time. I’ve had somewhat better luck with Once Upon a Child (same company), but mainly I’m just trying to get the excessive kids stuff out of my home. Most of which I didn’t even buy in the first place.

    I agree that it makes more sense to spare the hassle and donate the clothes. Someone else is sure to appreciate them more than the Clothes Mentor associates.

    • It’s really frustrating that it’s such a great idea but executed so terribly. I’m sad that your experience has been the same as mine…but a bit relieved too.

  11. Taylor

    OMG, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I’ve given up on reselling my clothes for the exact same reason. We have a really similar store in San Diego (Plato’s Closet) and every time I bring my clothes there, they don’t take anything. It’s super discouraging and honestly, not worth the time. Donating works just as well and is a (painful financial) reminder that shopping should be minimized, haha. Also, have you seen the True Cost on Netflix? It’s a documentary about the fashion industry and really just consumerism in general. It was really eye-opening and definitely helped me to curb some of my shopping.

    Proud of you for continuing the de-cluttering! It will feel so good when you’re finally done 🙂

    • I’ll have to check out True Cost. I’ve read a bunch of articles on fast fashion and the environmental impact. In a weird way, that’s more incentive for me to keep things to wear “one day”. As for decluttering, I’m afraid I’ll never truly be done. But hopefully I’ll be at a place in my life where my husband can put some of his stuff in our bedroom 😉

  12. I have been there before – took a huge bag into Clothes Mentor and was told that they couldn’t take ANYTHING!

    Besides toys, I think old clothing is one of the biggest clutter items in our house. I just have trouble donating it. We have so much debt and I spent money on this stuff, I just want to find a way to get something back for it. I have been trying to upcycle/refashion some of the items to use again. So now, I’ve got piles of things that I’m saving with ideas to rework them, but no time to do it.

    • I wish donation places were more transparent. The reason I love Poshmark so much is the 1-to-1 connection. It makes me feel like I know the item won’t end up in a landfill right away. Still, Clothes Mentor was NOT worth my time! 😉 Someone should seriously use their business model and try to run it more efficiently. They need to be choosier so they get less but higher-quality inventory, IMHO.

  13. I focus my decluttering on my books. I love them, but they are so heavy when I move. Thankfully there are little give a book/take a book boxes in my neighborhood. I have never take a book from them, but I have given quite a few over the years.

  14. Melissa

    I’ve had a lot of success using thredup.com for clothing. They send you a clean-out bag, you put everything you want to get rid of in it, send it to them (for free!) and if they take your items they send you the cash. I didn’t have a whole lot of high ticket items in my closet, but I do think it was worth my time since I would have had to bag the stuff to donate anyway. Win-win!

  15. janet @ the ordinary life of jannybean

    I never found selling anything less than a large piece of furniture worth it time wise. I always think about how much time I could use working instead. Plus the savings for me is that as I reduced what I owned I became WAY less willing to bring in new stuff that I didn’t LOVE to take up space. So my spending is now reduced to mostly kids stuff while they grow out of stuff.

    • I love that, Janet. It’s definitely better now that I’ve not been shopping for over a year. First, I figured I’d let myself replace things that I wore out. But now that I realize I don’t even need to do that, out it all goes!

  16. Ditties Morgan

    Thanks for the kick in the pants, Penny. I’ve been meaning to go through, inspect, launder, iron, and trek to a consignment shop to sell my fortune in clothes. Think i’ll donate them instead. You put things in a perfect perspective.

  17. The title of this post is very similar to how I felt after my husband & I cleaned out our closets last week.

    I had a car full of clothing to donate to Goodwill, but I really hesitated letting go of a couple bags filled with really nice dresses, suits, dress pants & a leather jacket. I knew I could probably make a little money, but it also meant I might have to keep this stuff around for awhile until it sold. I just wanted to be done with the process!

    Also, with the limited amount of time I have, I knew I could make more money doing overtime at my main job, or working extra at my part-time side hustle job. So I don’t regret my decision to donate, but it’s hard to turn let go of the idea that I could have made some money – just like it’s hard to let go of so much “stuff” because it might be useful someday, lol. But I’m getting better at it . . .

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