PART 1: BEDROOM CLOSETS
Moving can be the perfect excuse to declutter and organize your home. It is a fresh start- one that requires you to dig through all of your possessions and take stock. Not wanting to drag a bunch of clutter to a new home makes it easier to get rid of things that you do not need. If you are like me, and find it difficult to throw things away, this is the perfect time to clean house.
We have decided to do a decluttering series because there is just too much helpful information to fit into one blog. So we have compiled some steps that, based on our experience, will make your organizing and decluttering as effective and painless as possible.
Part 1 focuses on the bedroom closets and clothing. This is the ideal place to start because most people have a lot of clothing they no longer wear and it can be difficult to get rid of it.
Decisions, Decisions…What to Keep and What Must Go
A good way to decide which clothes to keep is to use this rule: If it has not been worn in the past year, donate or consign it. If you have gone through all four seasons without wearing something, you will most likely not wear it again.
If you can start a year or even a season before your move, this is a great tactic: turn all of the hangers in your closet to face the same direction. Each time you wear something, put it back in your closet with the hanger facing the opposite way. At the end of the year or season, you can easily see what you have worn and what you have not.
If you do not have enough time for that, make a set of guidelines that the article of clothing must pass in order to be kept and follow it strictly. Try these:
- Is it ripped, stained or damaged beyond repair?
- Is it flattering on me/do I feel confident when I put it on?
- Does it fit right now or would I have to lose/gain weight to wear it?
- Have I worn it in the past year?
- Do I have anything else to wear it with or does it require I buy something?
- Am I comfortable in it?
It can be difficult getting rid of your child’s outgrown clothing. It is sentimental and adorable. Donating these items can make it easier, because you know it will be going to a child in need. Another idea is to cut a square, (about 4” x 4”) out of each item and sew them into a quilt. It is a great way to keep the baby clothes and make them into something useful.
There are also several Facebook groups where you can trade or sell outgrown baby/children’s clothes. You can trade your child’s outgrown clothing for items that will fit. LittleHandMeDowns is a good one which also has a full buy/sell/trade site- http://littlehandmedowns.com/.
One of the largest obstacles in getting rid of clothing is that you paid good money for them and it feels wasteful. Again, donating or giving them to a friend makes this easier. Look at it this way: it is more wasteful to leave it hanging in your closet than to give it to someone who will wear it.
If you are not sure where to donate to, visit http://www.donationdropoff.org/. This is a really useful site that shows drop-off locations all over the country for many different charities. Enter your area and it will show you the nearest drop-off point. Some of them – http://www.donationtown.org/donation-pick-up.html – will even come to your home and pick your donations up!
Sell or Consign
If the article of clothing is still in good shape, you can consign it. Call around to your local thrift shops and ask if they consign and if they offer cash or store credits.
There are also websites that either sell your used clothing for you for a commission, or allow you to connect with others who are buying and/or selling their clothing. https://poshmark.com/ andhttp://www.threadflip.com/ are two great examples. If you are on Facebook, there are many pages you can join to sell used clothing, as well.
Whatever you choose to do, remember, the goal is to get rid of things that no longer serve you. While this can be difficult, it will feel good when it is over. Dragging old and useless things to a new home and taking up your precious closet space with items you no longer want does nothing but cause you more work and clutter. Your new home is a new start and your new closets are waiting to be filled.
Next week we will be giving tips on cleaning out basements, attics and any other areas used for storage.