We will never be able to get back all of the money we spent buying stuff, the key is to learn new habits moving hard.
That was the biggest lesson I learned when I started my minimizing and decluttering phase. One of the first things I tackled was clothing. I initially donated some and sent some to ThredUp. This was in 2015. I just re-ordered a new clean out bag and just recently received it. I'm happy to be sending a few more items to ThredUp. A few people say that it's not worth it or they don't pay enough for the clothes you send it, but I have a few counter arguments against that. If you are thinking of sending clothing to ThredUp, here are a few reasons to do so.
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Time vs. Money
It allows me to resell, donate or recycle items in one shot. Yes, I can spend my time taking pictures, writing descriptions and posting my clothes, accessories and shoes on eBay, Poshmark, etc. These things take time and at this point in time, I value my time more. I think this is where the trade-off lies. Yes, we want more money for the stuff that we own, we think it is worth more, but we don't take into account the time and effort it takes to manage our stuff. For me, ThredUp allows me to package everything. They can sell what is possible, then donate or recycle the rest. To me that is a load off of my mind and allows me to focus on other things. Yes, part of the ease is the transfer of ownership responsibility which lessens the guilt.
Trends Come and Go
It's always more valuable to us because we own it, but how valuable is it really if it's been stuck in the back of a closet for a few months. Our things depreciate in value partly in fact due to the changing trends and partly due to the uses incurred, however, for our clothing, they rarely get used so they depreciate due to current market trends. A dress bought last season for $100 and worn only once cost $100 per wear. We then think this should be the cost of the dress, but a new season has made that style out of trend. This is why I've come to rely on ThredUp to determine the value of my clothing. If we sell an item ourselves, we will always place more value to it because it's ours, this leads to emotional difficulties parting with an item or holding on to items that can be more valuable to someone else. Trends come and go. Let those that have passed go so that you can make room for better things.
Fast Fashion, Low Quality
Most of us think we have special closets, but the hard truth is that if it's available on the mass market or at your nearby mall, it means everyone else has access to the same exact thing. The lack of uniqueness makes a lot of our clothing generic and there is not a lot of value in that. The concept of fast fashion has lowered the quality of our clothing and we need to realize that. A $5 dollar shirt bought at a discount chain will never gain value when it's made out of synthetic, cheap materials. We need to be real with ourselves about the true value of our clothing. Posting a $5 Banana Republic shirt on eBay may cost you 30 minutes of time so in essence we are exchanging our time for $5. Is it worth it? This goes back to ownership transference. Instead of spending my time sorting, I leave it to someone else who has no emotional connection with my clothes and someone who knows what the market value is.
Our fantasy selves may own fancy evening wear and lots of fun, bright jewelry, but in reality most of us lounge around in our activewear. I mean, it's the most comfortable way to live. Part of the lesson I've learned in decluttering is that we picture ourselves in situations that will never happen so we buy the clothes in preparation instead of working towards accomplishing it. This is me when it comes to losing weight. This is me when it comes to bright, fun colors. I am never going to be a size 2. I like my black, blues and grays. For a time, my closet had a lot of fantasy clothing and I've realize that it's time to start letting them go and work on my real life.
This will be my second time sending items to ThredUp. I value that the company is pushing re-wear and re-sell. A concept that we all need to start following to reduce the strains on our environment. For clothes that do not meet their quality standards, ThredUp will donate or recycle clothing. It's a great way to start living consciously and learn that even the clothes we wear have an impact. For my first bag, I received over $150 which I used to purchase a pre-loved dress and romper, all in excellent condition. I still have some credit left so while I don't go shopping often, I always like to look and see what's out there.