Closet Purge: The Best Practices & Benefits of a Clutter Cleanse

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Since we are in cleanse mode (hint, hint - don't forget to sign up for the 21 Day Wellness Challenge, space is limited), figured it was also good time to touch upon other ways to make your life a little lighter. When seasons change, I tend to crave a closet cleanup. Especially if you live in a city like New York, are constantly acquiring new things while hanging on to unnecessary items, and have storage space the size of shoebox. 

While it may be hard to let go of those beloved belongings you think you can't live without, you'll feel SO much better by cutting out the excess (Forever21 shirts are not actually meant stay with you forever). Trust me, once you start eliminating the clutter, you'll find the process to be very revitalizing and almost addictive...in a good way. You'll realize how much you actually own and don't really need. In clearing out your closet you'll find a weight lifted -- I kid you not. Some suggestions for a fall closet cleanup:
  • First and foremost, come prepared. You will need trash bags, an "under the bed" container like thishealthy snacks, a clean room / "work" space, and potentially a glass of red wine (a very minimal buzz might help you avoid overthinking and it's packed with antioxidants -- this can get stressful, treat yourself). 
  • Make room for four separate piles: KEEP, STORE, DONATE, and SELL (you can actually make a solid amount of cash bringing your "unwanteds" to places like CrossroadsBuffalo Exchange or Beacon's).  
  • Find a trustworthy friend with good taste to recruit as your copilot for the project. If you are on the fence about an item, try it on and listen to them when they tell you whether or not you actually need it. 
  • Don't let go of anything sentimental (unless its "sentimental" means it reminds you of your ex who was actually totally lame). Coming from someone who is a converted closet purge professional, this is my one rule that encourages hanging on to things. 
  • If you are completely torn on an item, ask yourself if you've actually worn / used it in the past 365 days. If the answer is NO, trust me when I say you will not miss it and put it in one of the "GO" piles. Still struggling? You HAVE to wear it tomorrow. Not feeling it? Sayonara! 
  • Let your friend dig through the "goodbye" piles and take what they want / will wear! It is nice payment for the assistance and emotional support. 
  • Get decent hangers that actually match and are small closet friendly. These are my personal favorite -- neutral, no slip, practical and affordable. Boom! 
  • Organize the KEEP pile in a way that makes sense to you. Some people like to do this by color, others by clothing type (so jackets with jackets, dresses with dresses, etc.). Do what makes sense for you and stick to it! 
  • STORE the things you love but are out of season. There is no reason you need that adorable but "barely there" romper in your closet during a blizzard. Just set it aside in an under-the-bed bin until warmer weather approaches! 
  • Giving is always good for the mind, body and soul. Helping people out who are in need of clothing, shoes, etc. will make you feel happier! DONATE more professional pieces to charities like Dress for Success. For the rest of your "throw aways" - remember, one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure - there is likely a Goodwill drop off not far from wherever you are.
  • SELL what you can to one of the "BUY:SELL:TRADE" stores listed above. All three have the option to donate what they don't take, so it's off your hands regardless. You'll either get a solid store credit or cash in exchange for what they do hang on to. BONUS! But take the cash unless there is something you actually need...buying a bunch of new things kind of defeats the purpose of this whole process.
Good luck and happy cleansing! Your closet will thank you. 

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