De-cluttering For Profit, Part 1

TanyaToday’s guest post is by Tanya of Dans le Townhouse. Tanya’s blog describes her journey to turn a 1976 Ontario townhouse into a home, and I’m particularly smitten with her dining room and guest room transformations.

When we discussed a possible guest post, Tanya knew she could contribute expertise which I don’t have, namely, selling items.  I’m a bit too impatient with my clutter and have probably given away thousands of dollars worth of stuff over the years!  She sent me so much great information, I’m turning this into a mini-series with two more posts to come…. take it away, Tanya!

Whether you’re still committed to upholding your New Year’s resolution or have been bitten by the spring cleaning bug, you likely have the phrase “de-clutter” on your to-do list. The easiest way to tackle this chore would be to clean and then box up all of your unwanted or no longer needed goods and donate them: casual adult and children’s clothing to women’s shelters, furniture to the Salvation Army, business attire to Dress for Success. Many charities will even pick up your donation!

But I know it isn’t always this simple. When we spend money on an item, sometimes the guilt prevents us from parting with it—even for a good cause. So read on for some tips and tricks to get top dollar for your unwanted wares.

Today, we’ll talk about Consignment Stores.  Nearly every city or town boasts consignment stores that can sell your previously enjoyed clothing or home goods. In the last year, I’ve made over $400.00 using consignment stores to sell my unwanted clothes and accessories.

Fashionably Yours

Fashionably Yours, by

Importantly, consigning involves more than simply dropping off your items and picking up your check. Here are some tips:

1. Find a store that suits your item(s)

I have had great success consigning clothes at a local boutique that specializes in selling younger, hipper clothes to a demographic about my age. I had no success at another local boutique that catered to an older demographic. Find out who a consignment stores sells to and what kinds of items are most popular. Do your research and reap the rewards. And, if you find an item has not sold, try bringing it to another consignment store.

2. Prepare your items

Make sure your items are clean, pressed and not in need of repairs. Launder them right before dropping them off to avoid any lingering scents, such as food or pets. Home wares are expected to be clean and in good condition as well.

Fashionably Yours

Fashionably Yours, by

3. Call the store

Many consignment stores have rules: when to drop items off, in what condition, etc. For example, most consignment stores prefer garments on hangers and accept items months before the appropriate season (that is, Spring items might be accepted in February). Find out about the policies to avoid missing a seasonal deadline. Of note: some stores will not return unsold items, and some only provide a week or so after your contract has expired before they donate your unsold goods—make sure the policy suits your preferences before signing a contract.

Thank you, Tanya: that last point about finding out store policies seems key to being successful, and I had not thought about the issues with unsold items.  Next time, Tanya will share more tips for turning clutter into cash.  Until then, what consignment successes or challenges have you experienced?

If you would like friendly, confidential Professional Organizing help to turn chaos into calm, contact me to take the first step toward a sorted, stylish space.

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2 Responses to De-cluttering For Profit, Part 1

  1. Stitchfork says:

    Like you, I find it easier to just donate rather than consign. My ideal solution would be if I could find someone who would sell my stuff in their garage sale for a split of the profit. No seller/bargainer genes inherited here!
    xo Cathy

  2. Shelley says:

    The consignment store nearest me stipulated clean, ironed, etc., but also asked me not to come on a weekend if possible, as she was busiest then with selling. Not unreasonable as I was there on a week day, but not everyone could manage this. Oh, and she said not to bring winter stuff as it was too near the end of that season. Wish I could agree with her!

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