Does the chill in the air have you looking for your sweaters and your heavier clothes? What are you going to do with those summer tank tops and shorts? This month’s 1380 Clutter Challenge will help you - we are going to end crowded closets with five steps.
Step one: have a fashion show! Put on some upbeat music and maybe pour yourself a glass a wine. For the next few hours you’re going to work the runway.Try on everything and check out how you look with a full-length mirror. Power-up your session with the help of a friend who is not afraid to tell you how something looks on you. Another option is to hire an image consultant who can help you develop your own brand. Or hire a professional organizer who can take you from culling your collection, to the closet design, and to putting it all together in the implementation.
Regardless of the type of help you enlist, it is worth your time to think about what you want your clothes to say about you. Focus on what message you want your clothes to convey and, voilà, you have a strategy for creating your wardrobe. Clothes that do not convey your intended message are prime candidates to discard. Other items to discard are
· The clothes you haven’t worn in over a year,
· The clothes that look faded, worn or are in disrepair,
· The clothes that just don’t flatter you,
· The clothes that are uncomfortable and
· The clothes that leave you saying “bleh.”
If you feel out of sorts in an outfit, that feeling will be projected into everything you do. The clothes you keep in your wardrobe should fuel your confidence.
As you are going through your clothes, a little voice in your head might be saying something like -
· I paid good money for that!
· I’ll lose 10 pounds and I can wear that again.
· So it’s a little worn - I can wear it around the house.
· It’ll come back in style.
· This has been my go-to shirt since college.
This is where a helper can remind you that –
· The money is spent. Holding on to the item will not make the money return.
· After weight gain and loss, our bodies are shaped differently than before.
· How do you feel in worn out clothes? How would you feel if someone saw you in that item?
· Yes it might come back in style, but when it does it will it be stylish on you?
· Your life is a lot different than it was in college. Reflect that in your clothes.
Many of our reasons for keeping clothes that are better discarded are based on a desire to not be wasteful. However the reasoning is faulty. Clothing that is not being worn wastes the space it takes up being stored, and it is a waste of purpose when that clothing could be used by someone else. Consider the good that can be done by discarding your items in a responsible way.
There are many organizations that do significant good in our community and whose work is facilitated by donations of clothing. Some, like the Scholarshop and The Resale Shop of the National Council of Jewish Women, take higher quality donations.
· Women’s work attire can be donated to Dress for Success.
· Formal wear – and that fine collection of bridesmaid dresses – can be donated to the Cinderella Project.
· Wedding dresses can be donated to Brides Against Breast Cancer.
· Shoes can be donated to the Shoeman Water Project.
· Drop off clothing donations for Goodwill and Salvation Army at several collection points throughout the city.
· Donation Town picks up donations for several organizations.
· Recycle clothes that have seen better days by giving them to Remains.
Clothing that is in excellent condition and on trend can be consigned at a shop or sold online. Should you choose the latter, it is good to do some research into how to sell items.
After culling through your clothes you should be left with the clothing that is in sync with your lifestyle and your brand. The clothing that you discard can be put to good use by supporting community philanthropy or bringing you a little extra money through consignment or online sales. Amazingly, just a few hours of work can reap great rewards.
Now that your wardrobe has been whittled down to the best and the brightest, we’ll need to think about how to store it. Stay tuned for the next step of the 1380 Clutter Challenge: analyze your space and storage needs.