Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Closet Cleanse


I took a good look at my home and noticed a few things weighing me down.  Clutter has been building up around me. It all started to feel too heavy and I wanted to do something about it.  So I made a decision to minimize and simplify.  Less is More is a lifestyle that I wanted to make my new normal. 
One fix towards my goal was doing a closet cleanse.  Like a lot of women, my closet was sprawling with still-with-tags, never-been-worn, worn out, out-of-date, too small, too big and just-don't-want-anymore clothes.  With a closet cleanse, I would be able to open up room to access the pieces I want to wear or to replace with new items needed to make a more complete wardrobe.
I scheduled a massive yard sale this past August.  I gave myself about a month to get my game plan together, execute said game plan and organize my newly found space.

I sifted through my entire closet and got rid of every piece of clothing I did not wear, need or want.  Pretty aggressively, I might add.  If I gently and leisurely sorted through my clothes, I may not have been as successful making hard and fast decisions on each and every piece.
Some parts of the elimination process were easy.  Some weren't.  An easy breezy decision was pulling the items that were too small for me.  I needed to be honest with myself and say farewell to pieces that realistically were not going to fit me in the near future.
Another decision was to pick out items that were no longer in line with my current style.  Through the years, my style has evolved.   Pieces that worked for me then don't work for me now...yet I still held on to those items!?!  So, out they went!
 As much as fashion shifts and moves like Lake Michigan, so has my closet.  Pieces sooo out of date (and not in a good way) were piling up and they had to be addressed.  If I couldn't update the piece and incorporate it with my current style, they were gone.  That being said, quality timeless vintage always stayed :)
Sentimental pieces were the tough decisions.  This step was a tricky one.  I really had to dig deep and determine what was a keepsake vs. what I just needed to let go. 
I decided to keep a few custom-made dresses I wore as I child that my mother had saved.  Totally irreplaceable.  (Thanks Mom!)  I also kept old concert t-shirts that I can still throw on under a leather motorcycle jacket and still look fresh.  Lastly, I kept dresses I wore 20-30 years ago as part of my vintage fashion collection.  Although they are no longer wearable due to size, it was a nice fashion memoir that is important to me.

While I was at it, I also did a quick sweep of books and DVD's.  Not closet-related, but they took up too much shelf and storage space.  I kept only a handful of books movies and cleared out the rest.  In my quest for simplification, I have turned to my old stomping grounds (the Chicago Public Library) and newer stomping grounds (the internet) for books and movies.  These options cost next to nothing (if anything at all!) and keep my life clutter-free!

The elimination process is daunting, yes, but the more I continued, the more was seeing my closet, and my life, open up with space.  And the more I was motivated to press on.


Now that I identified the items to part with, I was left to determine what how I going to dispose of them.  Disposal options included the yard sale, consignment, charity donation and the trash.

I trashed items that were very badly worn, stained or not repairable. I didn't want these and they were not in any condition for anyone else to wear.
I sold the majority of my items at the yard sale.  It was a very rewarding experience to offer my pieces to people at a great price who will love them for more years to come. And make some extra cash for myself!
Immediately after the yard sale, I donated the items that didn't sell to charity.  There are many charities and thrift stores to choose from and I picked the Salvation Army.

I chose to consign my pieces that were designer or top name brands.  This is another easy way to pass on my gently used (but still fabulous!) items to someone else.  Consignment boutiques price your items competitively with the resale market.  When an item sells, you split the sales price with the consignment boutique.
Of course, I went to Le Thrift Consignment Boutique and met with the owner Christine Sanderson.  She selected the items she felt had high selling potential and added them in her inventory.  A check is sent to me at the end of the quarter for the items that sell.  What a great way to earn money to buy new pieces needed to complete your closet!


Le Thrift takes only designer and top name brand fashion clothing and accessories from:

• Individuals
• Charities
Established designers
Emerging designers
Consignment Stores
Thrift Stores
Vendors of Fashion Apparel
Online Vendors

Clothing and accessories must be authentic, clean and in excellent condition. Style of apparel must be within trend unless categorized as vintage (at least 15 years old).
Le Thrift decides what items will be sold online and what items will be sold in the boutique, or both. They automatically inventory and sell your items at the boutique within 1-2 business days. You can check in to see how sales of your items are doing and they will email you a PDF of the items that have sold and when.  When an items sells, Le Thrift keeps 60% of the sale and the consignor receives 40%.

Le Thrift will notify you at the end of each quarter with which items sold and will cut a check. Any items that are not sold within the consignment period are either returned to you or donated to charity. Le Thrift donates to Bridge to Success Charity and Catholic Charities - Mary's Closet in Chicago.
See my blog post Out with the Old, In with the Bold for more information on Le Thrift Stylist Services including wardrobe editing, closet organization and image consultant services.
For more information on Le Thrift Consignment Boutique's consignment guidelines, visit the Le Thrift's website or make an appointment.  Appointments are taken seven days a week, 12-6 p.m. Call for an appointment at (312) 912-9676 or email at


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