Friday, December 9, 2011

Clothes clothes everywhere

Seriously. Look around you... do you have a lot of clothes in your house? I certainly do.

I've been able to finally spend a little bit of time focusing on going through all of my clothes and getting rid of stuff that I don't need or want anymore. This is not easy, as some of you may know. I had to be honest - had I worn it in the past 6 months? 3 months? If not, get rid of it. I successfully was able to eliminate about 1/3 of my wardrobe... it's a start for sure but I'm still not satisfied. I want less.

One question that comes up is what to do with the clothes that we get rid of. I quickly realized that this made a huge difference on whether or not I could actually let something go! The idea of just taking a big bag of clothes and dropping them in a bin was ok for some stuff, but we all have our favorites that are hard to let go of. I was able to weed out so much more if I knew it might end up with someone that I knew, or someone in the community who might love it and wear it more than me.

Here are some of the clothes that I took to a clothing swap. There was more not shown in this picture that I opted to take to a local consignment shop, but only about one bag.

Let's talk about clothing swaps for a moment, for those of you who might not be familiar with them.

First off, they rock.

And they are fun.

And you can get rid of your stuff and feel good about it. Sometimes you can find a real gem for yourself in the piles of clothing and shoes that others are done wearing. It's exciting!
It's like show and tell with clothes. You can invite all of your friends, no matter what their size... the more the merrier! You can go to a clothing swap even if you have no clothes or accessories to swap - most of the time people are happy to have others there to TAKE stuff. We usually have women only swaps (since there aren't changing rooms, no kids or guys just works better for us), but we bring clothes to swap for everyone. At the one that I just went to, I come home with something for myself and all of my kids, including a killer snowsuit for my youngest.
We eat and drink and hang out... and sometimes we might even end up in another room dancing!

Have I convinced you yet? Clothing swaps rock. Try hosting one! (and invite me please)

So the other thing that I want to convince you to do is to support your local consignment shop.

In my town, there is a really nice shop here that I just started going to that has quickly become my favorite place to shop for myself. It is called Renee's Boutique and if you live anywhere near southern Berkshire county, please go there and check it out. The whole idea of consignment is perfect: passing on clothes, etc. that we are no longer wearing while supporting a local business that supports buying second hand and keeping clothes in circulation so that we don't need to buy any new ones. At this store, there is a 60/40 split (the store makes 60% obviously) and my 40% is given to me as store credit. I really like this because it means that I can go in there, ask how much in credit I have and then see if there is anything that I like. My plan moving forward is to take something out of circulation in my wardrobe whenever I add something new. Today, I added a pair of jeans and removed two sweaters and a pair of jeans that I wasn't really wearing enough.

As I was leaving the consignment shop today, I asked the owner how it was going. She looked at me and said that it wasn't going well. She said fall went well but right now is super slow. Why would that be? I would think that people could be buying Christmas gifts there... I know the store is just for women, but there is more than just clothes - there are shoes, scarves, jewelry, bags and wallets there too. This place is set up with quality products... and while it could seem a bit pricey to some, just remember that it's not a thrift store, it's a consignment shop. When you shop there, you are still paying less than you would be if you had bought it new, meanwhile supporting a local business. She sells brand name stuff there too, so you can find a little bit of everything.

Ok, ok I'll stop. But please consider supporting a local consignment shop before you buy something new from a big store. You will feel better about, I promise.

As for kids clothes, my favorite thing to do is to find someone with a child that would fit into the clothes that we are ready to pass on and ask them if they want them. I personally love when people ask if they can give me clothes for my kids, so I just assume that others feel the same way. Don't forget to pass on those shoes and boots too! You could also set up a kids clothing swap - it can still be a fun night just for the parents, but you could be swapping kids clothes instead of clothes for yourselves.

And now, I am off to do laundry.

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