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2008.09.12

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Kerry

Whoo hoo! A topic so dear to my heart!

After The Moving Purge, I have concluded that you can't anticipate that anything will be worth money to anyone else. The market for your used goods is always uncertain. I'm still a believer in sentimental value, but cash value--no.

It's worth finding Al Hoff's Thrift Score at the library to read about her analysis and reasons for thrifting. When she wrote the book she made a good analogy of thrifted goods being like rental items--need sweaters? Buy them on bag day at the thrift and return them a couple of months later. Interestingly, I know from being on a listserv with her she's radically downsized over the past few years.

Polly

I recently did a closet purge--I got rid of all the clothes that are too big or just unflattering, which was like 60% of my wardrobe. I didn't bother to sell it, I just dumped it all in the donation bin (I suppose forestalling any local shortage in second-hand plus-size women's office wear), but I swear, it just makes getting dressed so much easier. You can see what's in the closet now, and--I don't know what to call it, it's like the signal-to-noise ratio is so much better now. I can grab something secure in the knowledge that when I put it on, I won't immediately tear it off because it looks awful and depresses me.

Sarah

Kerry -- I'll have to check out Al Hoff's book. As well as being the ultimate in recycling, her approach sounds like it might prevent the massive backup of secondhand clothes in my vicinity. (I need to do a Moving Purge, even though it's been three years since I last moved.)

Polly -- "Signal-to-noise ratio" -- what a great way to put it. It already takes me long enough to get out of the house. I don't need to be slowed down having to stop and put on a new shirt because, dammit, I grabbed the blue one that makes me look like a Smurf, and why is it still in my closet anyway? (You know what I mean.)

Lisa S.

You can see what's in the closet now, and--I don't know what to call it, it's like the signal-to-noise ratio is so much better now. I can grab something secure in the knowledge that when I put it on, I won't immediately tear it off because it looks awful and depresses me.

You got rid of your filler clothes!

There is a post about filler wear that is very helpful for those waffling on what that might be. The marvelous Jecca hipped me to it, and it was the kick in the pants I required for ridding myself of the very last of my filler wear. (NB: Your mileage may vary on the rest of the blog. I found it amusing because the author seriously commits to her aesthetic philosophy. Also, she's going to be on "Stylista" next month on the CW.)

Anyway, I highly recommend getting rid of fillerwear! And of not even thinking for a moment what all that stuff cost ... the one positive upside to that mindset is that I am now a whole heck of a lot more picky about what I'm letting into my closet, because I'm like "Do I want to spend the money? Am I risking fillerwear?"

Jane

Seriously, I know there is stuff in my closets/attic/storage unit that I can sell on Ebay or Craigslist or even in a yard sale and make some nice cash off of it. But in reality, it's just not worth my time. It's far easier and I feel better boxing or bagging that crap up and taking it to the Goodwill.

Donating it satisfies two needs, it gets that crap out of my house and out of my sight in a way that I can't reconsider throwing it out and it helps out some others. If I try a yard sale or ebay I can always justify keeping it because someone isn't willing to pay me what I think it's worth. But when I give it away...that's perfect.

Although, I did get some serious warm fuzzies the other day when I gave a load of my skinny college jeans to some local grad students. It's nice to see my jeans still on campus and getting worn even when it's not my tushie they are covering. Plus the grad students get clothes that look reasonably cute for no cash.

Polly

Oh, Lisa, that was great--that lady totally has me pegged on the whole, "But I can't get rid of it, it was a gift!" thing. Like I'm sure my roomate from college will be absolutely crushed to discover that I finally got rid of that sweater she gave me our sophmore year.

Jane, that thought about the people who get the clothes is what gave me the final push to purge. Those clothes weren't falling apart, and they were mostly office-appropriate, so I figured they might be just the thing for someone just entering the work force or switching to a dressier job.

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