It’s May. The time to spring-clean which, for me, means emptying out my closets and passing on the gently-worn-but-no-longer-fitting clothes to someone else to love. Especially my jeans, which have survived my hopes of losing weight or growing taller or simply waking up one day with a perfect body. The jeans that are like new, but taking up way too much room in my closet. Out they go!

But where to? I was dismayed to discover that the Sally Ann, aka the Salvation Army Thrift Store, that had been beside Tag’s on Fourth Avenue for many years, had closed in April.

I can’t really blame them when it, supposedly, cost more to provide a venue for used clothing than they brought in by selling them. Such stores in southern cities have a buyer for apparel that doesn’t sell, companies that recycle textiles into cleaning rags or shred them for ultimate use in insulation.

Can you see my jeans keeping a brand new mansion warm?

Value Village stores in urban areas are laid out like large department stores, with racks of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing arranged by size, category, and season. They have paid staff who sort and cull the donations, like the stuff my mother brings to the Winnipeg store.

Both Value Village and large urban Sally Ann stores also have a large customer base to draw from. Their expansive, well-lit aisles are always busy. And they have the reputation of being a site where smart shoppers go for a deal, while at the same time contributing to the needs of the organization and their users.

Whitehorse doesn’t have a big enough population to support a huge used-clothing market like Value Village, but we do have a handful of stores that specialize in used clothing and goods. I went on a mission to see if one of them would take my jeans. Here are the options I found:

Sell it Yourself?

I considered having a garage sale. Even the thought made me tired. I’m not one for sitting on a kitchen chair in my driveway and negotiating the price of sentimental items. No, I will not take a quarter. And, yes, my jeans are memorable.

I tried Kijiji. It’s either feast or famine. While the site is easy to use, and free, the anticipation of a sale is crushing. Your item sells immediately or never. And, it’s difficult to photograph jeans so that they look particularly inviting. And, no, modelling them was not an option.

I thought of just throwing my jeans away but that offends my sensibilities and my recycling gene. Besides, I don’t know whether they’re supposed to go in the grey garbage bin or the green compost bin. And, can you imagine having to remove the metal buttons first?

So, here I sit with a pile of jeans on my lap. While the Sally Ann and the Raven Free Store are no longer an option, I can check with Sequels to see if my denim measures up – that is if I can get in this month or the next.

I can donate them to All For You so they can sell them for a dollar or donate them to Renueva to be sold as-is or reworked.

I can try shrinking them so they’ll fit at Second Show (haha) or I can plan a yard sale and hope it doesn’t rain. I can book a table at the Flea Market and visit with the other vendors. I can post denim photos on Kijiji or take out an ad in one of the newspapers. Or, perhaps, I can lose weight or grow taller or wake up with the perfect body and just keep my jeans.