The arrival of spring means it's time to air out your home and clean in the corners. Your home decor could probably use an update (plus it's easy to implement some of the season's hottest trends), and your wardrobe, undoubtedly, needs to be refreshed. But in addition to feeling rejuvenated after decluttering your space, you can actually make money from organizing your home if you go on to sell your pre-loved stuff.
Of course, there are a few strategies to help you get the most bang for your buck. Ahead, experts from Current Boutique, Sotheby's Home, TheRealReal, and Poshmark share advice on the best ways to make the most from your consigned pieces. They give their tips on how to decide what items to sell and the best ways to help your future purchases retain value. Plus, they dish on this year's most in-demand items so you can pull them from your closet.
If you're planning on spring cleaning your home or apartment, try earning a little cash while you're at it (and what better incentive than getting paid to purify your space?). After all, the more money you make, the more you can spend on new home and wardrobe essentials for the season.
Create De-Cluttering Guidelines
Emotional attachments and hypothetical situations can slow down progress when it comes to tackling your closet. That's why Carmen Lopez, president and CEO of Current Boutique, abides by four organizing guidelines:
Fit: "Only keep clothes that fit and make you feel your most beautiful right now."
Frequency Of Wear: "[Ask yourself,] 'When was the last time I wore this item?' If you can’t remember the last time you’ve worn it, put it in the 'gone pile' now."
Future Wear: "Will you wear it in the next six months? If you know you would wear this outfit tomorrow, then it’s worth keeping in your closet. If you can’t think of a time you’d wear this item, except for really rare occasions (like attending the Queen’s coronation), then put it in the 'gone pile.'"
Keep Your Favorites (& Toss The Rest): "If you don’t feel incredibly gorgeous and wildly confident in this outfit, put it in the 'gone pile.'"
Of course, when it comes to decluttering your decor, the rules are a little different. "The change in seasons always inspires a need to clear up our living spaces," points out Elizabeth Brown, CEO of Sotheby’s Home. Consider selling furniture and accents that no longer fit your taste lifestyle. And when sifting through your home, Brown recommends "focusing on one small space at a time to avoid being overwhelmed."
Consider Purchases As Investments
In order build a curated collection of clothing, accessories, and decor that retains value, you'll have to adapt a "quality over quantity" mindset. Graham Wetzbarger, chief authenticator, The RealReal, shares his personal set of criteria. "If I’m splurging on a high-value piece, I’ll think through the purchase from a consignment lens," he tells The Zoe Report. "If I can get half my money back by consigning it in the next six months while it’s still very on trend and in high demand, I’ll make a deal with myself that I can wear it for a while, but then need to resell."
As far as decor, keep in mind that buying high-end consignment pieces can get you more for your money, plus less depreciation over time. "Unlike most new items that will begin to decline in value immediately after purchase, quality antiques and vintage will generally retain at least the value you paid for it," notes Brown.
Take Proper Care To Retain Value
Keep The Packaging: Alexandra Cafiero, seller stylist for Poshmark, says that authentic packaging is key for resale value. "Keep the original dust bags and boxes, [and] try to keep the receipts for high-end items," she recommends.
Wash Clothes Carefully: "My go-to detergents are The Laundress, which keeps clothes looking brand-new even after multiple washes, and Mrs. Meyers because I love their lavender scent!" Cafiero adds. "I never use the dryer — always hang dry!" Lopez also stands by The Laundress products, and recommends their mesh washing bags to protect delicates in the washing machine.
Be Prepared For Repairs: To keep clothing looking brand new, "every household should have a sewing kit, steamer, Tide pens for spot cleaning, and a fabric de-piller to bring items back to life," says Lopez.
For shoes, Wetzbarger suggests, "Find a great cobbler who can help you keep your shoes in top shape; you don’t want to wait too long with shoe repairs and find the damage is too great to fix."
Practice Proper Storage & Maintainance: Wetzbarger reminds that keeping fabrics (including furniture) out of direct sunlight will help prevent fading, storing inserts in bags and shoes will preserve shape, and high-value watches and jewelry should cleaned and checked by a professional jeweler on a regular basis. He adds some final words of wisdom: "Watch out for color transfer, which can really affect the value of something. That can be as apparent as dark denim rubbing on a light handbag, but even more subtle like wearing black tights with a nude boot and having color transfer to the insole."
Know What Sells
Wardrobe Staples: "Designer handbags, fine jewelry, and silk scarves retain the most value," says Lopez. "Also, closet staples like little black dresses, wool blazers, cashmere sweaters, and silk dresses in bold colors or patterns."
Designer Brands: Cafiero says that top sellers on Poshmark include "Gucci accessories (especially the belts), Celine bags, and Golden Goose shoes. I also love selling Christian Louboutins!"
Wetzbarger adds, "Marquis designers are rarely discounted, so demand for their pieces is always high on the secondary market. Our overall most in-demand brands include Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Goyard, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Rolex and Van Cleef & Arpels."
Home Accents: Brown gives her top picks for vintage home pieces. "Mirrors are some of the best items to buy vintage or antique, as you can find a wide range of styles in good shape that add a touch of history to a room," she says. "When it comes to couches, you’re typically getting way more for your money by going the consignment route. Lighting can also be some of the best buys on the market, since you can often find standout fixtures that no one else will have."
Sell In-Demand Stuff: "Keep an eye on what’s coming back around and consider consigning while the resale value is up," says Wetzbarger. "So far this year, resale value has increased for Dior Saddle Bags (up 70 percent), Rolex watches (up 20 percent), Balenciaga apparel (up 40 percent) and Manolo Blahnik shoes (up five percent)." As far as home decor, he says, "Resale value is strong for brands like Baccarat, Christofle, Hermes, and Tiffany, with Hermes home pieces jumping 25% percent in resale value this year."
Post Like A Pro
When it's finally time to sell your pre-loved items, "I always recommend going through a reputable store or site that provides a detailed price assessment and services to make the experience as streamlined as possible," says Brown.
Cafiero notes that posting strategically will also make you more likely to succeed. "The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to take well-lit, high-quality photos and describe the condition of your item with as much detail as possible," she advises. "Shoppers appreciate the time and energy you put in displaying your product — it’s a big reflection of who you are as a seller and the respect you have for your items."