I’ve spoken to quite a few people over the years who say they have very nice clothes they love but the don’t wear them anymore.
But my question is this: If you value something so much…then don’t you think you should be wearing it?
The reality is we are a society who likes to accumulate and, dating back to the Great Depression, we tend to keep everything we believe has monetary value when, in reality, it really doesn’t.
For example, a pretty dress or a nice suit you bought ten years ago went for what can be considered a lot of money.
And the problem is you haven’t touched it in nine years because, as most clothes do, it went out of style.
Could it come back in style someday? Maybe. Styles do often return.
But this is not a reason to hold onto things you don’t use…”just in case.”
You feel like, because you spent “good” money on it, you are throwing money away. But ask yourself this… is it putting money in your pocket sitting there in the back of your closet with dust on the shoulders?
Is it giving you anything? Do you benefit at all from keeping outdated outfits?
Now ask yourself one more question… will you gain anything by getting rid of it and donating it to charity?
Of course you will!
More space to be able to keep the clothes you are going to wear (we only wear 50% of the clothes we own, by the way.)
I might even suggest buying a new outfit for every three to five you get rid of.
Because new clothes make people feel good. I don’t recommend buying new clothes for the sake of buying new clothes and throwing away your money. But you’ve got to admit putting on a new pair of pants that make us look better is a nice, uplifting feeling.
The thing is the items taking up space, yes, you paid for them.
But by keeping something you no longer wear or use you are not getting anything in return but more clutter and a lack of storage space you could be using for something else.
Here is something you should do right now with items (they don’t have to be clothes) you are holding onto because you paid good money for them.
1. Go find ten items you own for one reason and one reason only… because you paid for it.
2. Grab a piece of paper and make three columns.
3. Write the items you are having trouble getting rid of in the left column. In the middle column, write “why I am keeping this item” and in the third column write “what will I gain by getting rid of this item.”
My guess is you will have a lot more in the right column than you will in the middle.
Be specific with both.
If you can honestly fill up the middle column with more reasons of why you should keep it, and they are good, legitimate reasons, then maybe you shouldn’t get rid of it.
But I’m willing to bet that won’t be the case.
Spring Cleaning Hard Work But Such A Great Pay Off
Spring-cleaning: for some a chore for others a joy. I learned about this ritual at an early age. Now, the thought of spring-cleaning evokes precious memories.
When I was a young child, back in the land of four seasons and none of them rain (Manitoba), the cold inhibiting days of winter were ushered out with a yearly farm ritual: spring-cleaning. No corner of our home was left untouched by brooms, dusters, scrub brushes, rags and other cleaning weapons. Every inch of closet was emptied, inventories were taken, value was assessed, surfaces were washed and cleaned, and then those clothes that were still ‘good’ were organized in a useful and efficient way. Beds were moved, dressers emptied, ceilings dusted.
My memory of choice is the window cleaning. After windowpanes were removed for cleaning, the windowsill became a place of pure ecstasy! I can easily recall those moments: sitting on my perfect perch, watching the ice break up in the creek behind our home. Huge pieces floated by, cracking loudly, twisting, crunching, piling up in a chaotic proclamation of the new season’s arrival. Fresh air was in abundance; pussy willows to the left, bird feeders with chirping chickadees to the right. It was heavenly!
It was that type of day where I learned that hard work pays off. At that early age, I felt the change of energy in my home and in myself after a day of thorough de-cluttering and cleaning. The house felt lighter, brighter, more cheerful. I felt like skipping.
The best part of de-cluttering and organizing for me today is hearing my clients describe similar feelings of lightness and freedom after a session together. Whether in their home or office, de-cluttering can be a cathartic passing of the old, the start a whole new season in life.
What are your plans this spring? Is a cluttered room or desk stopping you from enjoying your home or office the way you’d like to enjoy it? Have your dust bunnies proliferated beyond a reasonable limit? Do you find spring-cleaning to be a daunting task of Olympian magnitude? Has it never even occurred to you that a good spring-cleaning would be appropriate at the office?