Conscious Closet Clean Out Guide

With some of your extra time indoors, now is the perfect opportunity for a closet clean out. Not only will it help clear out some clutter but it’s a great way to clear your mind for a short while too. Before you begin, it is recommended that you crank some tunes and pour yourself a drink of choice - alcohol is encouraged.

Step 1: The Sort 

As the name suggests, in this step you will decide which of your clothes will stay and which will go. For each clothing item ask yourself:

  • Does it fit?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Do I wear it?
Conscious Closet Clean Out | Maven Way Boutique

Does it fit?

An acceptable level of fit definitely changes as you age - like somehow we all used to be okay with low rise jeans. But now I can assure you, I will never go back - mom jeans forever. Any ways, try it on and decide if you like the way each garment fits you. 

Is it comfortable?

It’s safe to say for those now WFH exclusively, the current style selections have likely changed. Though this may be temporary, it might have you reconsidering what really is a comfortable work outfit. Obviously certain items will have a bit of discomfort. Your power blazer you save for interviews and presentations isn’t going to be as comfortable as your WFH sweats that are barely acceptable on Zoom. However, your clothes should be comfortable enough so that whatever activity you would normally encounter while wearing it can be performed. If you can’t even lift your arm to point the clicker, it goes. 

Do I wear it?

Something could both fit and be acceptably comfortable but you may never wear it. Have you worn it within the last six months? Within the last year? Maybe it’s not the right color or maybe it’s something you actually have to iron after every wash and who actually takes the time to do that anyways. Either way, why hoard it away in your closet taking up space while someone else could make use of it?


Step 2: Conscious Disposal 

Now that you’ve completed the sort, we’ll focus on how to consciously dispose of your “goes” pile. 


Is there anything you’re getting rid of that could be fixed? Any jeans simply torn or shirts missing a button? Some items can be easily repaired within just a few minutes. Below are a few links for common repairs.

If the repair needed is beyond your skill set and the item is worth keeping, consider finding a local seamstress or tailor to help you out. An item of good quality is usually cheaper to repair than purchasing a replacement. Seeking out a professional is especially helpful for shoe repairs. Local shops are typically responsibly priced.


If a clothing item in your “goes” pile is still in good shape, you’ve got a few different options. Surprisingly, simply donating clothing to somewhere like Goodwill or Salvation Army doesn’t necessarily mean your items will get resold. Nationwide second hand stores usually receive more donations than they can sell in a year. According to, only 10-20% of the clothing donated is sold at these thrift stores. The remaining 80% is either sold overseas, recycled, or sent directly to landfills. Some countries overseas have even banned this practice due to receiving excessive amounts. As an alternative, considering reselling your items, swapping or gifting them, or donating the clothing to a local secondhand store.


The last few years have really opened up different resale avenues outside of an ebay option. These options allow you to choose how involved you are with the reselling process.
After creating an account, Poshmark allows you to post items for resale. You do get to set what price you sell items for but you are responsible for the selling and sending of your clothes onto the buyer. Make sure to take good, styled photos of whatever you’re selling as this helps potential buyers see what they’re getting. In our experience, it can be a little challenging to sell as there are many power sellers on Poshmark but definitely worth considering since you have control over the resale price.
ThredUp is essentially an online thrift store who will purchase new or used clothing directly from you for resale. The benefit of ThredUp is they take the clothes from you and own the resale portion. Then you get paid once your item sells. Simply go onto their site and request a Clean Out Kit. They are typically looking for branded items so make sure to check which brands they accept. How much they pay you will depend on the brand and price of the item.
The RealReal is an online luxury brand consignment shop. Decide which items you’d like to consign, review their designer directory to ensure it’s a brand they accept. Then set up time for a virtual appointment with a sales manager or simply choose to ship your items directly to them. One main benefit of The RealReal is they offer authentication so you can be confident in the items you purchase and that you get a reasonable price for items you sell. All items are reviewed for authenticity once received. The RealReal does the selling for you and pays you once an item sells. Similar to ThredUp, the amount you get is based on the item and brand.
Luxury Garage Sale is another site, similar to the RealReal, for online luxury brand consignment. They follow a similar process as the RealReal and also have a list of designer items they accept. You can opt to mail your items in, drop them off at their boutiques in Chicago or Dallas, or even get in-home pickup in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, or NYC.
Plato’s Closet is a US nationwide chain with retail locations in most major cities. It’s a clothing resale store where you can bring your brand name clothing items for resale. They will review your items in person and give you an offer for what they’re willing to pay for them. You can choose to accept their offer or not. Plato’s has been around for awhile and does not offer much online but worth mentioning in the case you have one nearby.
Local Consignment Shops
If you don’t happen to be near a Plato’s Closet and prefer to operate offline, check out what local consignment shops exist around you too.

Swaps & Gifting

One option is to organize a clothing swap between some friends or simply invite them over (post COVID quarantine) to go through any items you no longer want. Maybe you’ve got sisters or cousins that could make use of some of the items or you know someone in high school or college that could use your old work clothes for an upcoming interview.  

Donate Locally

Local charities or thrift stores are less likely to get an overload of donations and are more likely to actually resell your items which makes them a great option as well.


If an item is beyond repair or reuse it could always be repurposed for a different use. Depending on your level of craftiness you can find limitless options - dresses into skirts, sweaters into scarves, or larger items into kids clothing. Below are just a few ideas.

Face Mask

Top of mind right now is repurposing an old tee or bandana into a face mask for the essential public outings. The CDC provides simple instructions.

Cleaning Rags

Old t-shirts or sweatshirts can easily be cut up to use as cleaning rags. These could be used for cleaning inside, in the garage, or anywhere else. 

Cutoff Shorts

It’s likely that you’ve done this at some point. Take a pair of scissors to those old jeans and simply cut them to the right length. Using another pair of shorts is a great guide to the ideal length. You can even fold up the cut edge and hem it for a cleaner look if you prefer. Here’s a simple DIY video.

Project Repat

If you’ve got quite a few excess t-shirts you no longer wear but don’t quite seem ready to part with them, meet Project Repat. Project Repat will take your old t-shirts and turn them into a quilt. You get to pick the size and color of the back. It’s a great way to help you preserve those high school, college, or even travel memories.  


If your clothes are in bad enough condition where they cannot be repaired, reused, or repurposed, recycling is your final option. 

The biggest issues with clothing recycling is that it’s hard to trace where your clothes are actually going. Some companies that offer clothing recycling may be simply reselling the clothes to a third party, similar to those that the national thrift stores use, which means the clothes could end up in other countries or sent directly to the landfill. 

The good news is there are several brands that will take back their own branded clothing. This is great since they typically know what materials the clothing was made from along with the item’s construction, and are able to resell or better recycle the clothes. These include: 

Some companies to check out for specific clothing items include: 

Resources to find clothing recycling near you:

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