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Keep, Sell, or Donate?

Image via BrklynView

We are finally well into spring and getting some sunnier days and warmer temperatures. For most people, all the new blooms and open-window weather inspires them to do an annual deep clean and purge of their home.

Even if spring cleaning isn’t on your list of to-dos, it’s likely time swap sweaters and coats for short sleeves and sandals. The seasonal switch is the perfect time to do a quick wardrobe edit before you put your things in storage. Your future self will thank you for making room for new trends.

As you dive head first into the shelves, containers, and hanging storage of your closet, three piles will likely emerge—keep, sell, and donate. Today, I’m sharing my best tips for deciding which items should go where and the next steps to take.

Image via BrklynView


Although it might seem counterintuitive (and contrary to the title of this blog) to start with your least valuable possessions, the best way to pare down your closet is by process of elimination. By starting with items that should be donated, you give yourself a more manageable load to sift through and make tougher cuts.

Go through each piece of clothing, shoes, and accessories, removing anything that is showing excessive signs of wear (i.e., pilling, staining, fading, or holes), has not been worn for 6 months or more, or no longer fits. If an item holds sentimental value for you, feel free to hold on to it but find somewhere you can store it for safekeeping that isn’t amongst your everyday wear.

We all have busy lives, but donation is easier than ever and is a great way to reduce waste. Even well-loved clothing and accessories can be recycled to make something new. Or, your ill-fitting former favorites might become someone else’s thrifted treasure.

Here are a few of my favorite places for donation drop-off:

  • Housing Works - This nonprofit organization is using many avenues to fight the dual epidemic of HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Goods donated to their stores are sold to raise money for our neighbors who need a helping hand.

  • Dress for Success - This international not-for-profit empowers women to achieve economic independence in a variety of ways, including providing professional attire for job interviews and regular work wear. You can donate work attire (in good condition) via a local affiliate. Find yours using their website!

  • Goodwill - Goodwill thrift stores’ primary goal is creating jobs. To date, Goodwill has employed more than 96k people with profits from donation of secondhand goods.

Image via BrklynView


If you have some luxury items on-hand that are in excellent condition, you can also sell them. If there’s a market for it, it’s an easy way to make a quick buck or start a fund for new wardrobe staples to replace any you might be parting with.

There are countless online sites for selling and consigning clothing and accessories, but not all of them are worth your time. Here are the sites I personally recommend:

  • The Real Real - This site is a high-end consignment shop for designer brands and gently used luxury items. They do a great job of authenticating items and the community is fairly active, which could mean a quick sale!

  • ThredUp - The items on Thredup run the gamut. If you have several items of varying brands, this might be a good place for you to list. While you’re there, browse their selection—there are often hidden gems!

  • ReBag - As the name would suggest, reBag is a site for selling and purchasing secondhand designer bags. If you have handbags in great condition but you’ve moved on to a new style, this is worth looking into.

Image via BrklynView


Now, you should be left with a smaller sampling of clothing and accessories to make final cuts from. Go through your items again (and maybe even one more time) and ask yourself what is worth storing for several months. If you need to try on some of your items to check fit, go ahead and take the time to do that.

What you should be left with is an edited seasonal wardrobe ready to be organized and stored. I recommend sorting by category in water and pest-resistant containers. Keep an eye out for year-round staples to return to your closet. Additionally, try to survey what you have left to see what you might need to be shopping for over the next several months. If you dropped a pant size or two and are purging all of your jeans, make a note to look for more to replenish your closet before cold weather returns.

And, if you didn’t do a closet edit before storing your spring and summer attire, repeat this process as you restock your closet.


The Aesthetic Organizer is a professional, personalized service that helps New York City residents organize their homes, simplify their lives and maximize their precious space. You deserve a beautiful, well-thought out home. Curated closets, organized bathrooms, cheerful children’s play areas and functionally spaced kitchens are only the beginning. Contact me here to experience the benefits that come with Aesthetic Organization.

Organization Specialist Small Space Home

As a professional organizer in New York City, I believe in celebrating the things in life that make you happy and serve you well. I provide creative solutions to organizing small spaces (like New York apartments) that are both intuitive and simple to maintain. Look around for some inspiration! - Wendy

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