I have been carefully editing my closet on a seasonal basis for some years now (see my Shop Your Closet post). What I have not been so diligent at, is getting rid of the items I edit out of my closet. In the past, I have dropped clothes off in charity clothing bins but more recently they have sat in my attic waiting to be taken to the bins. I also had a lot of accessories and books which didn’t know what to do with.
This month I decided to get serious about finally getting rid of this stuff. Related to the ideas of minimalism and manifesting, I realised that although I had let go of these items from my wardrobe, they were still in my life. I needed to create (physical and mental) space for what I really wanted.
Having scaled back at work, I had also come to the decision that going forward I would need several different income streams. My new ventures weren’t bringing in any revenue yet, so I was looking to make some passive income.
It had been a while since I had culled all that clothing, so I went through it with a fresh eye and separated it into three groups:
- Items that were new (with or without tags) or hardly worn.
- Items in good condition that I wanted to give my friends first dibs on.
- Everything else.
The clothing in the first group I donated to a hospice shop so that they could sell the items and keep the proceeds.
I had three huge bags full of clothes which I gave to friends to sort through and pick what they liked from. Anything they don’t want I will donate.
The items in the third group I took straight to charity clothing bins. It took two car trips but I felt great when it was done.
That got rid of the clothes but I still had shoes, bags, jewellery and lots of books. I gave some of these items to the hospice shop but there were some that were worth decent money and I needed to supplement my reduced income.
I had thought about selling online but wasn’t sure how to do it. Trade Me (which is like the New Zealand version of eBay) is really for finding a bargain and I had tried selling jewellery on there before, without any success. Then I came across Designer Wardrobe (DW). This site is specifically for buying, selling and renting designer brand items (and some high street labels) in New Zealand and Australia.
I decided to have a go at listing my shoes, bags and jewellery. I chose the option of shipping with a DW shipping kit. This means that when an item sells, DW sends me a pre-paid and pre-addressed courier bag which I put the item in and then drop off at a NZ Post shop. The cost of shipping is subsidised by DW and the balance is included in the selling price.
A couple of hours after listing my first item, it had already sold. I have just received my shipping kit and packed it up ready to send to its new owner. It takes a while to photograph the items and write descriptions for the listings so I will keep adding more items each week.
This just leaves my books. I am kind of obsessed with books and for a long time I was only interested in print books. When a book came out I would usually buy the hardcover edition rather than wait for the paperback. For a long time my favourite genre has been memoir and biography but in the years since reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, I have gotten back into fiction in a big way. I love psychological thrillers. I buy them, read them fast and then add them to the ever-growing pile of books which I can’t fit in my bookshelves.
Last year I got a Kindle and this has helped me reduce the number of physical books I buy. I still prefer print for memoir and biography, and books with images. But I love that I can get the latest thriller delivered straight to my device, read it in one sitting and not feel guilty about how much I spent (ebooks are generally cheaper than print) and the physical space it would be taking up.
But I still have a backlog of books, mostly fiction but also some non-fiction (particularly fashion) books, that I am ready to let go of. I seldom read a novel a second time, even if I really enjoyed it. I am planning to sell these books on Trade Me. Books are expensive to buy in New Zealand and I am a careful reader so most of my books look brand new. It would be nice to send them to someone else to enjoy, while getting back part of what I spent on them.
I hope this has given you some ideas to use yourself and I will update you on my progress in a future post.