Spring Cleaning and Finding Money in Your Closet

As February comes to an end and our days get longer, subtle signs of spring start to creep in. In our house, my husband knows that change of season is in the air when there is no room for his clothes in the closet. I tend to push his clothes into a corner for about a month, two times a year. This weekend will be the beginning of that time. I will bring all my clothes out of hiding and begin trying on my Spring and Summer items and decide what to keep, what to donate and what to take to a consignment shop to sell.

This has been my semiannual ritual for years and thought that maybe other women do the same thing, so I made the decision to open a consignment shop last fall. Space is limited in the shop so I decided to specialize in evening, formal and bridal wear. I am a very picky shopper and in my humble opinion there is nothing worse than shopping in a cluttered atmosphere. The consignment shops I prefer are more like boutiques. They are always clean, easy to shop at, nice smelling and the clothes are clean and pressed. That is the type of shop I own.

When looking for consignment shops in your area, I suggest you go to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops website. Many resale shops take things on consignment and split the proceeds with you. All consignment shops set their own terms in regards to percentages and fees, so be careful. Make sure to read the consignment agreement/guidelines for each store. Some shops charge a fee per item on top of their percentage and others charge a check printing fee. Another item to review is the rules for unsold merchandise. Can you pick it up? Does it become property of the store? Do they donate the items, and if so, do you get the tax receipt upon request?

When I have items to donate, I bring them to the WINGS Resale shop. WINGS is a program that provides shelter to abused and/or homeless women and children. They have 3 resale shops and the money they make helps to provide the services and shelter that these women and children need. The women are also given an “allowance” so that they can purchase items in the Resale shop for their children and themselves. It sure makes me feel good to donate to such a worthy cause, and I get a tax receipt as well!

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