Maintaining A Minimalist Clothes Closet – I’m sharing how I maintain my clothes closet with a minimalist mindset and how I use thredUp to help!
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Note: I just want to say that I am not an affiliate of thredUp, nor is this a sponsored post. thredUp doesn’t even have an affiliate program anymore. I just really like their service and business and like using them to reach my clothes closet organization goals.
Table of contents
Maintaining A Minimalist Clothes Closet
Hi Everyone! I’m sharing what I do for Maintaining A Minimalist Clothes Closet.
I have kept up this system since June 2015 and it has evolved over time.
It took me a while to be able to part with clothes that I did not need or wear.
Why is that?
I think humans form attachments to their clothes either for sentimental reasons, perhaps a memory, or someone gave it to them but I also think it’s just an instinct to want to hold onto clothes “just in case” or for that future event that we might go to.
I would much rather have a strong wardrobe of quality clothing that I value.
It doesn’t even have to be super high quality but what is most important is that I like and FEEL comfortable in my clothes.
That takes ridding oneself of defining how one looks by what other people think or one’s perception of what other people think.
I think it’s important to look respectable but you have to please yourself first because ideas about what other people and society thinks are just an idea that might not have any truth.
Part of my clothes closet maintenance process is using thredUp, as quoted from their website (thredup.com):
thredUP is the easiest way to shop and sell high-quality secondhand clothes.
I mainly use their clean out bags for my clothes closet maintenance process.
ThredUp will deduct a $4.99 fee after the bag is processed.
The bags used to be free and I would order a bunch at a time but I feel like the $4.99 fee is fair and I always have something that sells from the bags I send in.
I always feel like I have a lot of clothes so I haven’t felt the need to buy anything from their site yet but they do have a ton of cute clothes and baby/kids clothing too at 90% retail price everyday (gosh, I love a good deal).
When to Clean Out?
My answer is ALL THE TIME.
I keep my mind on it Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer but really it’s all year round.
I find that after a holiday or visiting relatives I somehow end up with more clothes.
Relatives give me clothes they don’t want fairly regularly, I keep what fits and what I like and remove what doesn’t work for me.
I keep it simple and try not to get attached to things because I value being able to find my clothes and having a tidy and organized living space instead of a hoarding disaster or anything in between 😉
As soon as I have trouble fitting clothes into my closet, it’s time for some clothes to say, “Buh bye!” with no regrets!
I used to hold onto clothes and had so many clothes that I didn’t wear for years.
After moving several times over the years, it just gets tiring lugging around all that stuff.
I find that there’s always something I can part with and it becomes a fun game trying to get to that perfect minimal collection of items (an ideal to strive for!) that I need and nothing more.
What Clothes I Hold On To
- Clothes I really wear – Those comfy jeans you love, that favorite sweater, you know, those kinds of clothes. When they get worn out, I donate them to Goodwill or another clothing donation charity as long as they are still wearable or use the material to make a DIY/craft. I will look for similar new(er) clothes to replace them if I anticipate really missing them. Worn out clothes are not good candidates for thredUp.
- Maternity Clothes – I store these in a bin (no more allotted space that I give to them!) This is a just in case scenario that I feel at this point in my life would be beneficial cost-wise to hold onto. When I am done my “child-bearing” years, I will give them to another mother-to-be, donate or send them to ThredUp. I will get rid of anything that I do not feel comfortable in to make sure my selection is filled with clothes that I actually enjoy wearing.
- Winter Clothes – When it’s cold and snowing out, it’s probably a good idea to wear practical clothes to match the weather. I keep only winter clothes that I enjoy wearing and anything I don’t like, I get rid of.
- Dress Clothing Options – I used to work in offices and I used to need “nice” clothes that tend to be dry clean only. Now I work from home and I do not miss that dry cleaning bill! I have reduced the number of dressy clothes I have, opting to make room for what I actually wear on a daily basis. I do however keep some basic dresses and dress shoes for any occasion that comes up because I hate having to shop for an outfit for a certain event. To me that is a great way to waste money. Keeping one’s clothes closet tidy and under control is really a thoughtful editing process and with practice can be kept under control all the time.
- It comes down to what works for you as an individual, what works for me might not work for someone else and one’s lifestyle and work will also determine what clothes they need to keep and get rid off. This process involves asking yourself many questions, perhaps talking it out and being HONEST with your answers. How do you authentically want to live with your clothes?
Earnings and Process
The first ThredUp clean out bag I returned was on 6/16/15.
At the time of this post publishing, I have returned 20 ThredUp clean out bags and earned $241.23.
Update – as of 6/7/2021, I have returned 54 ThredUp bags and they have earned $540.58.
It’s not a way to “make” money but it’s nice to get something for one’s gently used clothes than nothing at all.
Unless you have something highly collectible, I have found selling used clothes is not a moneymaker for the effort that one puts in.
Selling Clothes on eBay
Years ago, in 2010, when I moved to NJ, I decided to sell a bunch of clothes on eBay because after moving I was frustrated with the sheer amount of clothing I had.
I did make $2-3K selling clothing, shoes, and other household items on eBay but it took a lot of time and effort, not to mention trips to the post office.
Keep in mind, I had A LOT of clothes and shoes and I sold some designer pieces.
At the time, it was when I was new to NJ and searching for a job, so I had more free time.
Right now, undertaking a project like that would be impractical for me as a mom and business owner.
I like the easy process with thredUp where I can just pack what I don’t want into a bag and send it off and they sort through everything.
It’s like having the process outsourced for me, yet I can track it all online.
The time it can take for thredUp to go through your clothes can vary, for example, I have a bag that just arrived there and they estimate it will take 36 days until it’s assessed.
The process is well-documented in my account and I can see exactly what sold and for how much.
It’s always interesting to me to see what the market demands.
Going through the clean-out process has made me more conscious of the brands I buy.
I don’t let it completely determine everything I buy but it’s something to think about in terms of which brands have lasting power and which ones are more “throwaway.”
I try to avoid the latter.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into how I maintain a minimalist clothes closet!
- If you like this Maintaining A Minimalist Clothes Closet post, check out, Minimalism For Us
How do you keep your clothes closet organized? Please let me know in the comments below!