But if I just lose 5 pounds, it will fit me.
September 3, 2008 7:28 PM   Subscribe

Purging closet filter: What should I do with clothes that are close to brand new but that I don't want anymore?

I have clothes. I have lots and lots of clothes. How many? I know for a fact that I have enough clothes including underwear and socks to last me 6 weeks.* I am purging and giving away, but I am still left with clothes that I are high quality enough that I don't want to give them away. They are not designer, but often high quality wool or silk and sometimes from mid-high end stores. They are my work clothes, but would be considered too dressy or casual for the average office drone. (I'm in the arts.) I figure I could do the following:

Option A: Sell'em
I looked through Toronto's craiglist but there wasn't much traffic in the kind of stuff I have. I don't want to ship stuff either so Ebay is out. (I don't have a lot of spare time.)

I don't know of a good consignment store in Toronto. I used to go to Re-threads but they closed down. Anyone know one?

Option B: Give'em away

Freecycle. I know about them but I don't want a bunch of strangers trooping up to my porch trying on jackets etc. Yeah, come pick up a toaster, that's fine, but pants?

Clothing Swap. I just end up with more clothes. And I have to provide snacks and haul all the clothes away to charity. At least the clothes would go to my friends.

Charity. Sometimes they come pick up from my house.

What should I do with them?

*The length of a work contract. Then I would get a break. Do laundry. And repeat. For real.
posted by typewriter to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If, as your profile suggests, you're in Toronto, would you consider donating your business clothes to a place like this? They even have a special place on their website for people like you who are cleaning out their closets. I hesitated to suggest this, since your post seems to indicate that you've already considered the charity option and might not have a lot of time to take stuff elsewhere, but these kinds of places are among my favorite types of charities so I figured it was worth a mention.
posted by lassie at 7:52 PM on September 3, 2008

If I were you and I had clothes that were a little too nice to just leave on the porch I'd see if I could donate them to a local women's shelter or a place that helps women get back into the workforce. They can always use decent, somewhat in fashion sturdy work clothes. I did some Googling, you might try this place

Anduhyaun (Native Women's Shelter)
Catherine Brooks, Executive Director
106 Spadina Road
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2T8
Tel: (416) 920-1492
Fax: (416) 920-6134

Oasis Clothing Bank will pick up your clothes at your home. You can call them here (416) 751-0553

When in doubt, I'd call Community Action if you don't find any other options. They're a useful bunch of folks. 416-652-2273

If you don't need the money, I'd consider donating your used items to a good cause a good thing to do with them. Otherwise if you are hard up for cash, consider going in with a friend to have them do the shipoing part and split the proceeds on some ebaying? Have the first part of your deal be that all the stuff needs to live at thir house?
posted by jessamyn at 7:58 PM on September 3, 2008

I'm sure there are used clothing resalers around. my wife takes all her stuff there. Some they take, some they don't. Depends on fashion and time of year in what they stock. They take a cut, but you get paid too. The rest goes to goodwill.
posted by sanka at 8:00 PM on September 3, 2008

Don't you have any of those stores that sells your things on ebay for you? They'll take care of the shipping and everything for you. Of course, I'm sure they get a cut of the profit, but it might be worth it if you don't want to spend the time selling them yourself.
posted by All.star at 8:24 PM on September 3, 2008

I'm familiar with another charity similar to Dress Your Best -- FACE. A friend of mine used to volunteer there, and it's definitely a great option if your clothes are interview appropriate. She told stories about the great difference that it would make for people.

On the other hand, if you just want it out of the house, I've given away a lot of clothing on Freecycle. You don't need to let people try stuff on. Just describe the general size and types of items you have and make it an all or nothing affair. I've given away several large garbage bags full of clothes away via that method. Someone comes to get your giant bag, takes it home and tries it all on, picks the things they want, and then freecycles the remainder on (I imagine they often add a few things of their own that they don't want anymore, too.) Or they take it home and it all sits in their cupboards for the next 3 years, who cares, as long as it's not in my house anymore.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:53 PM on September 3, 2008

Look up consignment stores in your area.

My little sister gets (back, I guess) at least a couple grand every year.

As a piss-poor graduate student, I've found some kinda-nice clothes for not-so-much at consignment stores that I'm grateful for.
posted by porpoise at 9:55 PM on September 3, 2008

With nicer things, especially professional clothing, I give it to the battered womens shelter. However, Goodwill and the Salvation Army both try to sort those items out of the general donations. If you just toss them in a general donation bin, then they'll probably end up in a good home.

Here's a list of charities requesting clothing donations. You've got a few options in Toronto, but pick ups are limited
posted by 26.2 at 4:12 AM on September 4, 2008

2nding consignment shops - their percentages may run higher than they have in the past, but it's money in your pocket you didn't have before.

Congrats on making room in your closet - the one year rule is sacred in my apartment :)
posted by chrisinseoul at 6:17 AM on September 4, 2008

I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the US, your donation would be tax-deductible, and you'd be well-advised to track the clothes' value and get a receipt for their donation. Depending on your marginal tax rate and how donations work vis-a-vis Canadian tax code, you might get just as much from donating the clothes in a tax break as you would from selling them.
posted by explosion at 6:38 AM on September 4, 2008

I would give them to a women's work program, but if you don't...

Instead of a swap, send out a general email to friends.

Hi, I have a lot of size 10 clothes to give away. They are not designer, but often high quality wool or silk and sometimes from mid-high end stores. If you want them, come on over at some point and get them. I can't feed you or entertain you.

posted by sondrialiac at 10:33 AM on September 4, 2008

In my experience, trying to sell old clothes through consignment shops really wasn't worth the hassle for the money I realized from it.

Do you have younger family members with similar figures who might appreciate the clothes? When I clean out my closet, I set aside the better things for my university-aged nieces. Given their budgets, free clothing is welcome.
posted by orange swan at 11:43 AM on September 4, 2008

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