back in December there was a news story that caused me heart palpitations and much rage – I wrote about it here – Cranston Rhode Island school district hired a collection agency to chase lunch money from parents, and their kids were being fed an alternative lunch than their classmates because of non-payment.
but wait, there’s more. evidently a Warwick restaurant owner offered to donate towards paying down the debt and the school system said no, that they should take applications from people and decide on which debts to pay that way.
FORK YOU, RHODE ISLAND. your roads are SHIT so you’re obviously not using tax money to fill pot holes, use it to feed your children.
I don’t know, maybe we can start funding school lunches and stop funding golf trips to Mar-a-lago?
a few weeks ago I was in South Carolina drinking rum and floating in the sunshine when a friend suggested we sign up to do the trio of Marvel themed virtual 5Ks that Disney is hosting this summer. It took no time at all for me to plonk down my registration fee. At which point I had committed myself to run three different races over three months. (and by run here, I think I mean walk quickly)
hilariously I’m sitting here with a nice little bump in my achilles tendon which I’ve got to get a handle on – having my achilles tear and roll up my leg like a too-tight window shade is pretty much up there with having a clown in my back seat as one of my worst fears ever.
so- three “races” one each in June, July and August. I’m in AWFUL shape, I’m 60 pounds overweight – which is FINE, there are fat marathoners kicking ass and taking names all over the place running ACTUAL marathons, and triathlons, and ironmen (ironmans?) and ultras. so my fat ass can handle 3.1 miles. it’s not the physical shape of me that is the problem, it is the… physiological shape of me that I need to care for a bit better.
Naturally this weekend I registered for an actual physical, on property, Disney race. Because I don’t run, I may as well agree to do it four different times. I literally spent a full 60 seconds considering doing a 10K instead of or in addition to the 5K and then I got a cookie and some tea and came back to my damn senses.
January 9th – at 5:30am I’ll be running the Disney Marathon Weekend 5K for one of my favorite charities of all time: Give Kids the World. My goal is to raise at least 500 dollars to give critically ill children and their families a medically safe place to stay when their wishes take them to Walt Disney World.
In addition to hitting you up for money, (<— that’s the link again to donate) I’m also going to be oversharing my journey to running 3 miles in a row because I probably can’t just wing it the way I used to 10 years ago. All of a sudden I’m a little sad for the days when I could just go DO a 5K without thinking about it. And yeah, I know, you probably run 3 of them on a slow Sunday but some of us are busy curating our chocolate collections.
I know, I’m tired of hearing me talk about it too. But I’m down 99136142 143 items so far and I’m feeling really evangelical about it. (took me a few weeks to write this post!)
So, if you’d also like to get rid of things in exchange for a little bit of cash then let’s get started!
NB: Everything I know I learned from people who are better at this than me. My friend Tracy (@PolishedTwo) is a phenom and when I grow up I want to be like her. I’m still pretty new and learning things every day.
create an account, pick a name for your closet that you think translates into a good shop name. I started off as a buyer on poshmark (PM) in 2016 under ershyn, but I changed it last month to shopmyfeelings.
have a well lit spot to take good, consistent, photos. I have a bright blank wall in my bedroom that I have put 2 command hooks on – one at a good height for dresses, and one for skirts/pants/etc.
I also made myself a slapdash photo-box for photographing shoes, bags, cosmetics, smaller things. I used a white foam-core trifold board from Target. I cut off about 15 inches of one end (badly) and I use that as the base of my “box”. I was going to tape the whole thing together but I like being able to fold it up and put it away when I’m done taking pictures.
pick 2 hangers that you like and use just those – one for skirts, etc and one for everything else. I started with a black plastic hanger and a broken clippy one. It doesn’t make a huge difference, this might be me being a little too picky, but I like how things look when photos are consistent and part of that is the hanger. After I’d sold 40 things and knew I was going to keep doing this I made my first poshmark investment – I bought a vintage 1960s clothing hanger from the Disneyland Hotel and a cool telescoping clip hanger for skirts, both on etsy. I spent about 30$ total – I’m not suggesting you do that. It just worked for me.
get your clothes together! variety is good. but whatever you’ve got will be great. I’ve done a lot of lurking on PM reddit posts about tips and tricks and pet peeves – and universally disliked are ads featuring wrinkled clothes. I don’t iron. But I do have an inexpensive steamer that I keep in my bathroom so that I don’t leave the house looking like I napped in my clothes. If a thing is too wrinkled I’ll steam it real quick before I take photos. It takes 15 seconds and I want the thing to sell so it is worth it.
do a minute or two of research on the item you are selling – tags very often have reference numbers that you can google for loads of info. what was its original selling price? what is that thing selling for right now? sometimes I gank a stock photo of the thing to use in my listing. I think technically this is frowned upon but it is widely practiced.
measure the article. armpit to armpit, across the waistband, and shoulder to hem are the big ones. cover your ass a little bit and put a disclaimer- I use “measurements are approximate and un-stretched”. because they are. Keep a cloth measuring tape with your poshmark gear and know where it is all the time. people will want to know random measurements and it’s good to be able to get back to them quickly without having to go to target to buy a whole new tape because you have no idea what you did with the last one. (Yup, I speak from experience and I still haven’t found the first tape…)
open the app – select “sell”- and start taking pictures. if you think they are too dark you can lighten them using the basic photo editing software on your phone. take pictures from different angles, take one of the tags, take one of the heels and soles of shoes and of any flaws in the clothes. sometimes the flaws make me decide that the item is going to goodwill, sometimes I list it anyways and just make sure I cover it in the description…
write a good title and description – include the brand, size, color, type, style name, any imperfections at all with the item and anything that you’d want to know if you were shopping for that thing. Include measurements. Does it still have tags? Adding details through the app is very easy, it will lead you through the whole thing.
choose the price – good rule of thumb (that I read and follow but your mileage may vary) is to set your price at 50% of what the item originally sold for. Your GAP jeans that you paid 68 dollars for are now worth 34 dollars AT MOST, and likely will go for much less. That 68$ is a sunk cost, you’re not going to get it back, and that is ok. Sometimes you might sell a thing for more than you paid for it, but I’m talking about PM as closet clean out, not as a resale situation for thrifters. Lots of people DO make a living at reselling thrifted clothes on poshmark. It is a tough gig but if you can do it then more power to you. For me this is very much a side-hustle. (even though I don’t currently have a full-time-hustle…)
Poshmark takes 20% of anything over 15.00 and 2.95 flat fee for anything up to 15.00. So keep that in mind when you consider listing everything at 5.00 to get it the heck outta your house. (not a terrible strategy but a limited one, especially if you want to lower prices or field offers.)
fill your closet and share, share, share. your listings stay at the top of searches when they have been recently shared. I try to share my entire closet 3x per day. your mileage may vary! I also share from other sellers closets- usually 3 to 5 items that I think look interesting. There’s definitely a social aspect to PM, I share their stuff, they share mine, and so on. It doesn’t take too long and I have found it helpful.
as items get likes PM will offer you the option to drop your prices, to make offers and to give buyers deals on shipping charges. I always do this, the goal is getting the stuff out and sometimes a buyer needs a little extra incentive.
occasionally you’ll get an offer that you hate because it’s STUPID low and practically insulting. there are different ways to handle this and it is a popular topic on reddit. I usually counter offer with something that I think is reasonable. once I straight up declined it and a couple of times I’ve just ignored it. do what works for you.
When you make a sale- and you will because your photos are good, your prices are reasonable and your responses to potential buyers are timely and helpful… you need to ship within 3 days. Use up all of the boxes in your house first- from all of the online shopping that you’re NOT doing anymore and then turn to the good old USPS who will provide you with free priority mail boxes and envelopes.
I spend money on the paper and ink to print my shipping labels, packing tape, tissue paper for wrapping the items and cute inexpensive thank you notes which I include in every package. It works out to less than .40 per package. Other than paper and printer ink don’t buy things yet! I’m positive you have a stash of cards somewhere that you never send, or pretty stationary or interesting post-its, and tissue paper or wrapping supplies from holidays and birthdays. Use all of that up first. The whole idea is to get all of this shit out of our houses, right? Plus, when else are you going to use that minions wrapping paper? you’re not, and Janice from Duluth is going to think it is hilarious.
*Don’t use newspaper* I know you know that, having at least purchased one thing from ebay at some point in your life that came wrapped in newsprint. Newspaper is a terrible idea for anything other than packing dishes for moving or reading the obituaries.
What did I miss?
Is there more? Yes. Did you actually read this whole thing? Questionable. Do you need to? Probably not. Will you find it helpful? Hopefully.
I really think that it all comes down to common sense, and you’re all super smart so you probably didn’t need any of this. So thank you for humoring my need to write it.
And thank you for re-homing your clothes instead of throwing them away, and thank YOURSELF for all of the room you’ll be making in your closet so that the things you actually wear can hang all neatly with room to breathe.
ask me questions – if I don’t know the answer (likely!) we can learn together, and (and!) post the link to your new Poshmark Closet!
it is thursday, right? and no, I’m not really planning to talk zombies, it has just been a LONG time since I posted 3 favorites so it feels like I’m raising it from the dead. but speaking of raising things from the dead….
popular damn culture last week. between The Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones: Battle of Winterfell – there could be some, you know, raising the dead. kinda. but no spoilers. but the best parts of those two things weren’t even the big emotional moments – they were the BADASS FEMINIST MOMENTS. tiny tangential rant here – tell me that scenes with all women being amazing feels “forced” one more time. do it. (don’t really do it, I’ll stab you with a cheeto and then I’ll never talk to you again) Do scenes with all men being awesome “feel forced” or does it just feel like, I don’t know, EVERY GODDAMN MOVIE EVER? I’m willing to have badass women kicking ass feel forced until it feels normal. So hopefully those dudes will just stop crying their incel tears and start living in the 21st fricking century. Girls can run for president now and everything. Gee.
yesterday I mentioned a vision board and now I’m OBSESSED with having one. but more than wanting another physical thing in my life – knowing what my end goal is is incredibly helpful. at least with the peripheral things – the giving things away, the selling things, the not acquiring new things. The actual WORK, though? how to get there? scaring the shit out of me right now and also confusing me a fair bit. I am a little bit afraid that Local Solutions isn’t going to be the pathway to prosperity that I was hoping it would be. I might have spent most of today crying about it.
But the point- the vision board and Disney. the point was Disney, the point is always Disney. People make a living doing things that highlight their love of fricking Disney. How? I want to do that! How do you get from “I love Disney” to “I sell monthly boxes full of Disney Park Snacks for 60$ each”? It is genius. Because you know what you have to do to be able to sell park snacks every month? GO TO THE PARKS! genius. and I know Disney is trying to curb the Personal Shoppers but consider that as well – people are Personal Disney Shoppers. What the hell am I even doing with my life?! Not being a Personal Disney Shopper, that’s for sure.
Which brings us to…
there is a badass tattoo artist who is also a vintage style pinup jedi who specializes in DISNEY. FRICKING. TATTOOS.
AND. and. she (SHE!) puts hidden Mickeys in them.
so that goes on the bucket list immediately. look at her work. look at it! ugh. there are talented artists all over who could give me a great Disney tattoo but she GETS IT. because she loves Disney too. you can tell. also she has a giant tattoo of Walt on her upper arm.
and I’ll be honest, I cried so many times today I forgot what the third thing was supposed to be. so I’m going with two favorites this week. and considering that it has been MONTHS since my last three favorites post — two will have to do.
Ok I don’t have a vision board but if I did *Live Near Disney* would be on there, just after *pay for the kids’ college* and *write a book*.
I got distracted by a Johnny Was dress. If I could be a style of clothing it would be whatever Johnny Was is. Lots of black with very interesting and beautiful details in brilliant colors- usually embroidered. Anyways- this is the dress.
I went so far as to put it in a shopping cart. Then I closed the window because who am I kidding?
Then I went to Facebook where it showed up in my sponsored advertising. Thanks for that.
And the next thing I saw was this cake from Hollywood Studios which is turning 30 today. And I thought, if I lived there I could go eat this today. (That was my favorite part of the 5 weeks I spent there this winter- the instant gratification was spectacular.)
And then (all of this happened in about 7 minutes.) I took that awesome dress out of the shopping cart and took another 15 things out of my closet to put on poshmark.
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been working on a poshmark tutorial for you, it is coming. I am easily distracted, and lately have been incredibly anxious. Like Xanax & cbd chocolates at the same time, anxious.
In related news- I think I need a vision board.
What would you put on yours? Do you already have one? Teach me your ways.
who is the writer of a shopping blog if she isn’t shopping? I’m in crisis. I’ve done ALL the laundry in the house. and when I say that I mean – when I got dressed this morning I put my pajamas directly into the washing machine…
I’ve got a box by the front door all the time and I keep putting things in it and every other Monday I’m taking a car load of stuff to goodwill. THERE IS STILL SO MUCH CRAP IN MY HOUSE! where the heck did I find time to acquire all this shit?
this morning I woke up, having started a new book last night, excited about justifying my laziness. I’m not great at not doing anything, I always feel like I have to justify downtime somehow. Hence the laundry I guess… annnnnyways. My thinking goes like this…
me: “I’m just going to rearrange my posh closet, but I’m not listing new things because I want to read my book.”
Now I’m in the bargaining stage of not shopping. because that fricking bag is coming home from Disney with me.
oh! I changed the name of my posh closet to @shopmyfeelings
also! unrelated to this I am officially incorporated in the state of Massachusetts to be a wholesaler of pipe, valves and fittings. My new company is called Local Solutions, Inc and now you know as much as I do about that. The wheels of progress are rusty. I am taking a pre-certification course with the State of Massachusetts to learn about becoming certified as a woman-owned business. So that’s cool. Still not sure what I’m selling though…
I am the queen of notebooks and lists, there are notebooks everywhere in my house just in case I need to make a list. everywhere but my bedside table – which sucks because I definitely had a great idea for a book in the middle of the night but couldn’t find anything to write it on… so that’s gone.
I do want to write a book though. I’ve been reading a lot and I feel like I’m up to the challenge. (if you’re an author I’m not discounting your craft, I know creativity is hard) So that was going to be my goal for 2019 since I’m not doing anything else (other than starting my own business) I always figured it would be some kind of humorous memoir about cults and body image and unhealthy relationships with food and leaving the house – and that is coming, but it might not be first. I feel like I want to write a domestic noir. That’s how it is done, right? I speak it into existence and then I’m getting a movie deal? A Simple Favor was Darcey Bell’s first book. Isn’t that incredible?! She was a preschool teacher in Chicago.
If you’re ever sitting with me at a party or a dinner and I’ve had a couple of drinks and I’m rambling and nervous it will sound exactly like this:
I’m not shopping for things I don’t need, I would ordinarily also say “No Target” but I’ve been finding that my grocery store is really anxiety inducing for me right now, so I’m doing my grocery shopping at Target as well. So – I went to Target with a list this morning and bought ONLY the things on my list, I picked up Oreos and PUT THEM BACK because they weren’t on my list, it’s bullshit, next time I’m putting Oreos on the list. Last night I had to order some new earplugs and I felt a little weird about it, but I love my husband and want to stay married while also valuing my sleep and what is left of my sanity so… $6.49 at Amazon later… if you love a snorer I can’t stress enough how amazing these are. When I flew Mint on JetBlue they gave me a little pouch with some treats for my flight and they included a pair of these earplugs, (also socks, an eye mask, a toothbrush, toothpaste, face spritz and hand lotion) I hoard the earplugs like gold but I’m on my last pair so… I should also note that I’m really good at snoring, so when I travel I always make sure to bring them for anyone who might get stuck sleeping near me. is this a weird thing for me to recommend? probably, but this is the glamorous on-brand shit you come here for, right?
Sidenote that is a little more glamorous and also available on Amazon- I just noticed how good I smell and this stuff (Lalicious Sugar Kiss Sugar Scrub) is AMAZING – I smell like the Confectionary at Disney World and it helps my winter skin SO MUCH. My feet are smooth, in March!, it’s unheard of. I usually feel like I’m mid-mummification in the winter. (it is still very winter here) The downside is it makes my shower very slippery – so keep a bottle of shower cleaner to spray the floor with when you get out of the shower. it is 40$, which is a lot for a thing you’re going to use in the shower, but I think it is worth it.
I keep a note on my iphone with a list of things I’d like to blog about, obviously Disney stays on there at #1, because it is the source of all happiness. (for me, your mileage may vary, in which case you might want to get your mileage checked.) But this ‘not shopping’ experiment is also up there- as is selling on Poshmark – in fact “Poshmark to Disney” is #6. Our youngest daughter and her whole school music department is going to Disney World for a series of performances in April, so Dave & I are going too. That trip is already paid for – but I have another scheduled for October and I’m challenging myself to pay for that trip using the Poshmark decluttering process. It is pretty motivating. It is also keeping me honest about the shopping cessation.
you know what ISN’T helping with the shopping cessation? Rothy’s. I got an email from them earlier with a $20 discount code in it (which is AWESOME, because their shoes are my favorite, bit I’m not shopping right now!) and then about 20 minutes later I get this email…
I have an appointment with a lawyer on Wednesday to get the ball rolling on my new company! I feel nauseous I’m so nervous. it is like I’ve been out of work forever – and while I am LOVING being here when G leaves for school and being here when she gets home, and getting to spend last week hanging out with K while she was home on spring break, and being able to sleep until 7 and spending most of my day without shoes on… this is the first time since I was 20 that I haven’t made a regular check. And I know that starting my own company – it’ll be a good while yet before my checks are regular… but I’m ready to get started. And I don’t have a location so… I’ll be able to work barefoot for a little bit longer. and if I’m barefoot I don’t even NEED new Rothy’s. right?
(sometimes *I* count the number of times *I’ve* said *I* and *I* get real self conscious about it… *I’m* not this interesting.)