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Here’s how to preserve clothing and sell it for cash

Here’s how to preserve clothing and sell it for cash
Image source: Getty Images


If your wardrobe is in need of a refresh, it might be a good idea to sell your old clothing to make some extra cash. However, over time, clothes get worn out from use or how you clean and store them. No one will buy worn-out clothes, and that is why it’s useful to consider how best to preserve clothing. Here’s what you need to know.

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How do you preserve clothing?

Preserving clothing is mainly centred on how you clean and store them. Most if not all clothes have a tag with cleaning instructions, cautions, warnings and advice. This information is meant to help you avoid damaging your clothes. To preserve clothing, clean them by following the information on the tag.

How you store old clothes is important too. Clean the storage area regularly and ensure it is completely dry. Avoid storing clothes anywhere that they will pick up odours or be exposed to moisture or excessive light. The goal is to avoid situations that may lead to smelly clothes, yellowing of clothes or fibre damage.

Why do clean clothes smell after being stored? 

Clothes smell when mildew or mould grow on them. These are fungi that thrive in areas with poor or no airflow and varying humidity levels and temperatures. To avoid this, ensure clothes are stored in dry conditions and clean them regularly, even if you’re not wearing them.

What’s the best way to preserve and store clothing? 

Determine which clothes are meant to be hung and those that need to be folded. It is recommended to use garment bags that allow air circulation when hanging clothes, not plastic garment bags.

For the clothes you are folding or rolling, ensure the heaviest items are at the bottom and the lightest are on top to prevent creases.

You can use lidded plastic boxes, but ensure they are clean and dry. Line them with clean cotton sheets first as an extra precaution. Try to avoid leaving your clothes in boxes for long periods of time. Open the lids regularly for airing.

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How do you keep clothes from yellowing in storage?

This mainly affects white clothes. It can be caused by stains or inferior storage options that produce chemicals.

Wash and rinse white clothes correctly. Once dry, use acid-free tissue paper to wrap the clothing before storage to preserve it. It might also be wise to avoid cardboard boxes as they are not durable. They may also produce chemicals. Instead, use lidded plastic boxes.

Can I store clothes in the garage?

This is not recommended. Temperatures and humidity in garages vary considerably, which can damage fibres and encourage mould and mildew growth. Avoid the attic as well. The most suitable storage space to preserve clothing is a wardrobe in a room where temperature and humidity are relatively constant.

Tips when preserving and storing clothes to sell

It might be wise to consider the following:

  • Sorting your clothes: this is where you categorise your old clothes into worn-out clothes to be disposed of and clothing to preserve and sell.
  • Taking inventory: this helps you know the amount of clothing you have to sell, how much you are likely to earn and where the clothes are stored. Consider how you plan to sell the clothes. If you are selling them online, you might want to take pictures before storing them.
  • Labelling and organisation: Of course, you don’t want to have a hard time tracking where you stored particular clothes. Develop an organisation and labelling strategy to make it easier for you to trace items.
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