So you bought a new shirt, and you love it. You take it home and look for a place in your closet, only to have it hammered home that your wardrobe is a huge mess. There’s stuff in there you can’t even remember buying! Why not take some of it to clothing donation locations, or organize a charity pick up of your unused stuff? That’s a great way to support military families or make a charitable donation you can afford: but how do you decide what to keep and what to toss? Read on for five tips for organizing that closet and preparing a few boxes for drop off at clothing donation locations.
- You need to get past the vague feeling of guilt. When surveyed, 43% of people in America say they hold onto clothes they never wear primarily because they feel guilty getting rid of it. You need to move past this. Everyone has clothes in their closet that they don’t wear, and it’s normal for us to outgrow clothes, or for them to go out of style, or even to like something in the store but like it less and less as we wear it regularly. And remember: if you donate clothing instead of throwing it out, you’re not wasting it. Someone is going to benefit from what you take to clothing donation locations.
- Color code your clothes. Once you’ve gotten over the initial guilt and are ready to sort, start by putting your clothes into color order. Once you’ve done this, purging unwanted items can become a lot easier. If you find, for example, that you have three red t-shirts or 15 black tops, ask yourself if you really need that many of that color.
- Set up a system to see what you’re wearing. Once you’ve organized a bit, put everything on just one side of the closet. When you wear an item, put it on the right side. At the end of six months, you’ll have a great visual way of seeing what you should keep, and what should be boxed up and driven down to clothing donation locations.
- Reconsider your weight choices. A lot of people hang on to clothes are too big or too small. They either fear regaining weight, or they feel sure that after a little while they’ll be back in those smaller clothes. That’s fine, but you should put a time limit on those choices. Be honest with yourself. If your skinny jeans hanging there unused haven’t been enough to motivate you to lose weight for the past year or two, is it really going to motivate you five years from now? And if you’ve kept the weight off for a year or two, you’re probably going to be keeping it off for a while to come. Once you get past three to five years, styles will have changed a lot, too, so even if you fit in those clothes you may not want to.
- Ask the right questions. When deciding what to keep, trying pulling an item out, hanging it or folding it neatly, and then asking yourself objectively: “if I saw this in a store today, would I buy it?” If you say yes, keep it. If you say no, give to someone who’ll be able to use it. If you’re not sure, give it the six-month test and see how you feel about it then.
Our clothes say a lot about us, and we’re right to want clothes are are good quality, have the right look, and say the right things about us and our personal style. Make sure your clothes are really saying what you want, and if not, box them up and take them to clothing donation locations. That way, other people can find the right look for what they want to say, and you can rest easy knowing your clothes are not going to waste.