It’s hard to say why or how I had so much clothing. Even after I chose not to buy clothing for a whole year, my closet was still bursting at the seams. I mean, it was bad. I lost clothing behind other clothing. I had to use a significant amount of arm strength to push tops aside just to fit freshly cleaned tops in. And because my closet was so unruly, I didn’t even wear over half of it because it was overwhelming to pick out an outfit. I attempted to organize everything (by sleeve length, season, fabric weight, etc.), but after a week’s worth of life set in, it returned to being the same old mess.
WELL, IT’S TIME TO GET RID OF SOME OF THESE CLOTHES, said a voice from nowhere. I looked to the sky, into my closet, in the dresser drawer, at the cat. Wow, I thought, that voice must be coming from inside of me, from my smarter and more practical self who’s apparently been hiding from me for a while now.
“Okay,” I told it, and decided to go for a run. While I was running, I battled with myself about what the voice had said. How would I approach this? How would I know what to get rid of and what to keep? What if I made the WRONG CHOICE and one day ten years from now, thought, Dang, I really wish I kept that pair of pants.
It was this last great fear that actually helped me turn around my thinking on the matter, and I had two reasons that it was a silly thought: 1. Even the wrongest of the wrong choices would only lead to me having to pick out another outfit, and 2. If I did want to wear it ten years from now, that could be a perfectly good opportunity to GET NEW PANTS. <3<3<3<3
So, when I returned, sweating and huffing from my jog, I feebly pulled a few shirts I hated wearing from their hangers. I tossed them on the floor in a little pile.
TRY HARDER, the voice said. I picked up a top with the tags still on it… a top I’d bought three years prior. THAT’S MORE LIKE IT, it said.
“But,” I said, looking at the tag.
What a *$^@$, I thought.
RIGHT BACK ATCHA.
Sorry, didn’t mean that.
YES, YOU DID.
Okay, I did.
DON’T GET DISTRACTED.
But it’s a waste of money.
DON’T BE DUMB, it said. FIRST OF ALL, THAT WAS MONEY YOU SPENT THREE YEARS AGO. ALSO, DONATING AND CONSIGNING ARE NOT YOUR ONLY OPTIONS. YOU CAN SELL IT.
(cue operatic “aaaah” music) She was right. I could sell it. And I could do it online, not in a consignment store.
I didn’t have the time or back strength to do that again, and so I finally listened to that big voice inside my head.
And thus began my journey with a my fun and fulfilling side hustle selling gently used and new clothing (and some other fun stuff) online. #girlboss
The first website I found when doing my search was Tradesy.com. Tradesy was started by a lovely entrepreneur named Tracy (cute use of her name, I thought) and its sellers upload pictures of their own items, then package and ship them themselves. This was a concept I’d never thought of before–managing my own listings. It was new to me, and I liked it. With my husband’s support (and his iPhone), I photographed each item in my pile of clothes and made listings on Tradesy.
And then I waited.
And then I made three sales back-to-back, profiting $40.
And that gave me the little push I needed. I continued listing my clothing and expanded the enterprise to other sites, including Poshmark, Mercari, and Vinted. I also went to my local Goodwill and snagged a few deals to resell. Eventually, I got to the point at which I had a sale almost every other day. I noticed that I had more sales on the other sites than I did on Tradesy, and Tradesy took the longest to make listings, so I stopped adding new items to Tradesy.
I’ve scaled back my efforts for the time being, and now make about $200-300 each month flipping clothes. I’ve sold everything that was actually mine, and have replaced my bursting closet with a bursting collection of clothes for sale.
So, was I successful with my original mission of getting rid of my clothes? Yes. Do I technically own more clothes now? Yes. But I’ve also found an awesome side business that helps me tackle those millennial-sized student loans and allows me to sell awesome clothes to awesome people. And I consider that a win.