Keeping Your Ship in Shape: Consignment vs. Donation

Many of us like to switch out our wardrobes and get rid of some of the clutter in our closet on a regular basis. Others may have outgrown some outfits (and not in the good way!). I have also found myself saying, “If I have to look at this sweater one more time…” as I toss it into a pile.

Even some of your children’s clothes were probably outgrown before you had time to cut off the tag! Fortunately you have options of what to do with your unwanted clothes.

Maybe you have a relative or close friend that could really use them.  You could also consider consigning or donating the items.  How do you decide whether to send your clothes to consignment or donate them?

Below are a few points to know and consider before you make your decision:


Shopkeepers are not going to accept anything that they don’t believe will sell, so it is important to go through your clothes and decide on what to consign.

  • Take your clothes and accessories and separate them by season.
  • Make sure that buttons are secure and seams are not ripping. Check for stains or holes.
  • Call the shops you plan to bring them to and get a clear idea about what type of clothes they buy. Seasonal? Professional designed?
  • Also find out what the shopkeeper’s consignment policy is when bringing them in.  Do they need to be on hangers?  Should they be ironed?  Some may not accept them if they are placed in bags.
  • Keep a record of what you consign. If you don’t hear back from the store, call them before your selling period ends.


If your clothes are out of season, consider donating to places such as the Salvation Army or to Goodwill Industries.

  • The items should be in good, used condition.
  • The clothes should be washed or dry cleaned before you take them to the donation drop-off site.
  • You can download the Goodwill Industries Value Guide to know what the item is worth to receive a tax deduction.

Whichever road you choose, you will feel great getting rid of the clutter in your closets.  Hopefully you will either make a few bucks or help a family in need in the process!

Take the time…donate or consign! Your closets will thank you!