Friday, October 26, 2012

Cutting the Clutter: Closet Crackdown

I have quite an obsession with giving things away, and after I lost some weight this obsession worsened (for the better). There are often objects all over my house that I look at and begin to ask myself, "Do I really need this?!" If someone else could use it and I haven't in the last six months, then it's time to let it go. My family even says, "You better not donate this!"

 You know that saying, less is more? Apply it to your closet and use my tips below to cut the clutter.

1. Grab a bag and label it as Goodwill. When I was working at my first couple of jobs out of college, my husband and I were making our money stretch. I loved to shop (and still do), but I had a little secret: I shopped at Goodwill and thrift stores. I knew that I would get more bang for my buck there and truly appreciated that this type of store existed. If anything in my home no longer serves a purpose, I bag it up and drop it off at my local Goodwill store. The prices are low, the variety can't be matched in a big box store and everything I donate helps to provide jobs and training for many people in my community. It's a win-win!

2. Pick a night and have a mini fashion show. Yes, I know it takes some time to go through your closet, but it's well worth it to know exactly how everything fits. If you find yourself tugging at a baggy piece of clothing or pulling something down that just isn't long enough, then donate it. You want to keep things that fit you amazingly and not just keep it because you liked it at one time.

3. If you don't love it, toss it. Taking the time to truly evaluate what you love and what you don't anymore is worth the time! There were some items that were just gorgeous on the hanger but then not so much when it came to putting it on. After my weight loss, I really started to get serious about what I loved on the hanger (toss it!) and what I loved on me (keep it!). If something just doesn't resonate with you anymore, it's time to let it go.

4. Pare down large quantities to a few faves. I recently noticed that I owned several pairs of pajama pants. Who needs more than just a couple of pairs? It seemed to be the default gift during the holidays, and while I love comfy clothes, I also love to not cram them into an already full drawer. If the problem in your closet is t-shirts, do the same! Look at each shirt that you're having doubts about and remember that if you don't love it, someone else will.

5. If you bring home three items, donate two. My family used to think I was joking about this. But after all of your hard work, why ruin it by letting it all build up again? The key is to watch what you are bringing in the door and make sure things are leaving it, too. After a trip to Goodwill, I quickly scan my closet for a couple of items that no longer hold a place in my heart. It's simple. If you get into a habit of making a quick sweep of the items you have, you'll avoid another closet crackdown later.

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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