Every year my building hosts a clothing drive with the Salvation Army during the month of May. Which means every May I take advantage of the major convenience of having a drop-off spot in the building, and partake in a massive closet clean out.
For, though I aspire to be one of those people who cleans out her closet and creates throw away, donate and consignment piles, and then bags each pile and takes it to its respective destination. I am the type of person who cleans out her closet and creates throw away, donate and consignment piles and manages to throw away the throwaway pile (gold star for me). I then proceed to drive the bags of the donation clothes in my car for six months before eventually taking it to Goodwill (okay maybe get a silver star for that one). As for that consignment pile, well that only gets placed in bags and taken out of my trunk when a road trip or airport pick up necessitates the space. And where exactly do the bags of consignment clothes end up? Oh easy, either back in my closet on the floor or in the garage at my parents’ house. So yes, it is imperative that I take advantage of the Salvation Army drop-off downstairs.
Regular organizing, and cleaning out of closets is imperative to the elimination of clutter in our lives. Here are the criteria I use to determine what gets to stay verse what needs to be purged from my closet.
- Anything that does not fit properly: This should be a no brainer but I find I have a tendency to hold onto things that I think are cute even if the fit is off. If something can be fixed by tailoring, take it to the tailor now. Otherwise it has to go. Shoes that are wildly uncomfortable also fall under this category.
- Anything that looks worn-out/tired/is pilling or ripped: This is the section that causes me to struggle the most because these are usually my favorite pieces. However, once things start to look like they have seen better days I stop wearing them, but instead of getting rid of them I have a tendency to put them back in my closet because of sentimental value. Instead of taking up space in my closet these pieces too need to make their departure.
- Things I have had for years but never wear: these are the pieces that were almost always were purchased on sale. There could be a myriad of reasons why they don’t get worn, but I always keep them around because they have only been worn once, or worse yet still have tags. I am always convinced one day I will change my mind and I will wear the pieces more. It never happens. So my baseline rule if I haven’t worn it in two years it is time to go.
Over the weekend I was able to purge 5 garbage bags of clothing and shoes (confession, I hadn’t gone through my shoes in years and there were a lot that were in really bad shape and needed to be retired…) and gosh does it feel great. Not only did I get rid of a lot of stuff I didn’t need, but I also rediscovered great pieces I had forgotten about (oops). Most importantly my closet feels lighter and brighter, and as a result I do too!