By Felicia Czochanski
It can be inevitable. The buildup of bulky sweaters, though there’s only a handful you wear regularly on rotation. The piles of shoes that you bought because they looked pretty in the store, but haven’t found the right event to wear them to. The overall clutter that takes over your closet, transforming it away from a functional space to more of a curated dumping ground.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way!
The anticipation of a new season can be the perfect time for a closet refresh. It can give you the momentum to reevaluate what’s on your hangers, in your dresser, and in various storage bins and think about what your go-to pieces of clothing are, versus the would-be items that have been collecting dust. Checking out your newly decluttered space can provide that breath of fresh air you might not have known you needed. Especially if you’re feeling particularly stressed or anxious, this is a proven method to alleviate those feelings. A University of Connecticut study found that removing or controlling clutter can directly reduce the stress that is triggered by mess, which can help people feel happier, less anxious, and more confident in themselves.
Whenever I embark on a closet cleanout project, the biggest things I try to consider as I make piles of what to keep and what to donate are which items still make me feel happy and confident, and which do not. For this season’s project, I want to tackle the items I haven’t worn in over a year. Especially now as I am working mostly remotely, there are a lot of pieces of business professional clothing that I no longer use. These clothes may no longer fit and are just taking up precious space in my New York City apartment. So, I finally decided to take the time to go through them section by section to see what I do and don’t use, and what I can commit to donating to Goodwill.
Taking a look at this picture of my closet, you can see that I’m not exactly the most minimalistic person. I love dressing to express myself and the challenge of finding the perfect outfit for the fun and fabulous events the city has to offer. For this version of my closet cleanout, I decided to start small and go through my shoes and purses.
Even knowing I haven’t worn certain pairs of shoes in over a year, I still feel weird about putting them in the donate pile. They’re like new and have so much potential! I go through the talk track in my head, that I need to clean out my space, and that I know these donations are going to a good place. That’s what helps me push through every time, knowing that my donations to Goodwill will not only put these items into someone else’s closet who will actually wear them, but that they will also help Goodwill generate new jobs and learning opportunities in my community. If you think of it that way, cleaning out your closet pretty much becomes a win-win!
I’ll be carving out time this weekend to drop the first part of my donation pile off at my local Goodwill store and will enjoy the extra space in my closet at the same time! Do you have a closet cleanout transformation that you want to share? Be sure to tag us @goodwillintl for a chance to be featured in a future blog!