I have spent the last week lusting after Coachella-inspired sundresses, denim cutoffs and cowboy boots. Ok… fine, stalking Pinterest for the right combo of hippie-cool that doesn’t scream Cher (back when she knew Sonny). I need a support group. Why? I already have three (three!) full closets in my one-bedroom apartment. This can’t be healthy.
As it turns out, it’s not. Clutter (aka the stuff you don’t really need or want) can make you feel tired, unbalanced and depressed. How frustrating is it when you can never find what you are looking for? How often do you justify keeping an item because you’ll wear it when you lose the weight? Or you may need that dress someday? Or you can’t part with your ex-boyfriend’s t-shirt? Clutter weighs on our emotions and insecurities. It holds us back.
It’s hard to let go of clothes. They are reminders of good times and memories that matter. Plus you spent money on them – it can seem wasteful to get rid of items you purchased. Or maybe you’re scared you’ll need it again someday – the future can be unstable. Is it really wrong to enjoy the feeling of having plenty now?
Unfortunately, these reasons don’t reflect reality. “We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.” Live in the present. And while you are there, learn to appreciate the value of quality over quantity and apply it to your wardrobe. More is not always more.
So, ready to de-clutter your closet? (Some may call this spring cleaning.) Block out some time and grab a few boxes. I also recommend a bottle of red wine and The Weeknd. Here’s how to find more more space:
- Take everything out of your closet and make a huge pile.
- Quickly sort it all into 3 piles: keep, toss and maybe. Don’t over-think it.
- Put the maybe items into a box and store it out of sight and out of mind for 6 months. If you don’t need any of those items during those 6 months, get rid of ‘em.
- Put the keepers back in the closet – organize! Feel free to get all anal and sort by colour; it will be easier to find things later on.
- Sort the “toss” pile: items to donate, sell, give away or get rid of.
Looking to donate your clothes? Here are a few organizations in the Lower Mainland that accept clothing donations: (Click the hyperlinks to find a drop spot.)
- Developmental Disabilities Association
- Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
- The Salvation Army
- Covenant House
- Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter
Alternatively, consider re-purposing your clothes with a little DIY! Make a work out tank from an old t-shirt or upcycle an old tee into a new top. (Thanks again, Pinterest! Seriously, I need an intervention…)
Feeling liberated and light yet? Perfect. Next week, we tackle your desk… (Kidding! But you should maybe do that anyways.)
Photo credit: Liz Marie, Penelope Waits