One of the most important parts of cleaning out my closet is just that, the actual cleaning and removing of items. For me it's not a big deal, as it is something that I do multiple times a year. The biggest thing was figuring out what to do with the items I decided not to keep. For this particular purge I followed a few rules:
1) Pull everything out of the closet/dresser drawers/from under the bed. You'd be surprised what you find tucked away in a dark corner.
2) Inspect everything carefully looking for snags/stains/missing buttons/broken zippers. If you can't clean it or repair it, get rid of it.
3) If you aren't sure, try it on! Things looks different on the hanger than they do on your body. This is especially important if it's something you haven't worn in a while as even small body changes can make a difference.
4) In general terms, if you haven't worn it in a year, it probably needs to go. Some folks say 6 months, but in all honesty that doesn't work for me and where I live. 6 months ago we were in the dead of winter, so it's pretty obvious that summer dress hasn't been worn in the past 6 months. A year puts you in the same season as you are in now (give or take a few weeks, as we're just now getting into warm spring weather).
After several days of purging and sorting, I found myself with several piles of items I no longer wanted. I broke these down into three categories: SELL, DONATE, TOSS. The toss pile was easy, as it contained items that were so worn/stained/damaged that they weren't worth donating or trying to sell. The donate pile contained items that were used but not damaged but were probably too dated to be worth selling. The sell pile was the largest as it contained gently used if not new items, in current styles, and usually were recognizable brands. Based on the brands and amount of use, these items were divided into three piles to be sold on different sites. I used a combination of Like Twice, ThredUp, and Poshmark to sell my clothes.
Like Twice and ThredUp are online consignment boutiques, they'll send you a large mailing bag with a pre-paid label, and you send them your clothes, shoes, handbags and then they'll tell you how much they were willing to pay your for them. Like Twice is more particular on what brands they take, so if you own a lot of stuff from Old Navy or Forever 21, they aren't the site for you. But because of this, you will more likely be offered more because of the more "designer" labels you might own. ThredUp will take items from the likes of Old Navy and Target, but keep in mind that since these items are normally inexpensive in their respective stores, ThredUp won't offer much for your items.
Poshmark is different as it is an app you can download onto your smartphone or tablet and you can set up your own boutique and sell your items yourself. You take pictures of your items, add a description and set your own pricing. When someone purchases an item from you, Poshmark creates a pre-paid shipping label for you, and all you have to do is pop it in a box and send it on its way. In exchange, Poshmark takes a cut of your sale and you pocket the rest!
I've had luck will all three markets, and each have their pros and cons. That being said, I still have a pile of items that I haven't gotten rid of yet (most of which are listed in my Poshmark closet) as I wait for yard sale season to begin. After that, whatever may be left is off to Goodwill.
Up Next! After the purge, the finished product (for now)!