Cleaning out your closet. It’s in danger of becoming a daily discussion point. But although people are just waiting in line to offer their tips on how to do it, we don’t see nearly as many people talking about the why.
All of the tips are useful, no doubt. And yet, it seems like a part of why there are so many people presenting hints on purging your closet of excess items is because so many of us need to do just that — and are not. It may be a thought you’ve had, even frequently, but it’s a task that tends to get put off for way too long, or until or a wonderful friend comes and does it for you.
It makes sense — your clothing probably does not smell like garbage or something else that will force you to get rid of it for reasons of pure sanitation, and it can feel like a big, overwhelming job even if your closet isn’t massive.
Still, you can get it done, and filling up those Hefty bags or making the trips to the Container Store will be easier to accomplish once you’ve made up your mind to do it, so let’s talk about motivation to make that decision in the first place:
1. You probably need the space
This is the most pressing and practical reason to get rid of stuff you’re not wearing. We’ve all heard different people’s math about if you haven’t worn it for a year it has to go, or if it’s seasonal and you haven’t worn it this season, say goodbye.
That will certainly help, but we encourage you to take a look at your closet, dresser drawers, and shoe- and clothing-storage situation and imagine how much more space you could have in there if you got rid of things you’re not using and no longer want or need.
Think outside the traditional role of closets; if you get rid of everything that you can stand to lose, you can free up space not only for more room for your clothes, but for other uses altogether. If your living space has both linen and clothes closets, maybe you can consolidate linens and clothes into one and use the other for storage of a different kind, or for a whole other use altogether.
2. Someone could probably use your stuff
Donate things you are not using. We cannot emphasize enough the simplicity of bagging some things up and taking them to your local Salvation Army, or a church or other charitable organization that helps those in need. Many of them will even come to you for a pickup.
Or maybe you have a friend or coworker who could put something to better use than you have been. Just be careful to never give someone something based on your assumptions of what they need or want.
And please make sure your items to donate are in only gently used. Don’t donate anything that you couldn’t possibly imagine still wearing.
3. You could probably use some money
Nothing wrong with turning a profit from your excess if you can.
Whether you happen to have great designer pieces or hard-to-find trendy items that can fetch a pretty penny, or just lots of things to unburden yourself of, extra coins are another great incentive to minimize.
4. You probably need way less than you think you do
Editing our wardrobes can be a major challenge for some of us, you might not ever wear something, but what if it’s perfect for some role in some play some day?
If you have a naturally Spartan collection of clothes and shoes already, then perhaps this is not you, but it’s known that many of us can justify holding on to all sorts of various and sundry items, if not because of hypothetical auditions that may come one day, then because we think we might have a change in weight that would make something wearable, either again or for the first time, we bought a dress we thought was cute and have yet to have an appropriate occasion to wear it to, even though years have passed and the tags are still on it, and on and on and on…
One way to look at cleaning out your closet might be to get rid of things, but also to just let some things out to see the light of day. Wear your “nice” stuff out for no good reason, other than that you can be as fabulous as you want whenever you want — what are you waiting for?