Making Sense of “De-cluttering” My Spaces

Let’s face it. None of us has a Marie Kondo-worthy closet.  

In it, we have scary scarves gifted from a child (but will never wear), shoes we wore once at a wedding, dresses worth a fortune but only worn for an occasion that won’t repeat itself any time soon. 

It’s springtime, which for many of us means the generations-old cleaning ritual. There’s something about spring that makes you feel a little less guilty about purging. Out with the old, in with the new. 

This is all about less. Less to clean, less to organize, less to fret about. 

Once we moved from the snowy hills of NE Pennsylvania to Delaware, my clothing allowance was reduced dramatically. A good thing. I spend far less time concocting outfits, thanks to the pandemic and my own work from home situation. Comfort is a priority now, although I do still like to dress up a little, occasionally. 

But those boots! Really, do I need them? 

I rarely if ever wear heels now. My shoes of choice are either slides or sneakers. I have four seasons of clothing, and practicality is my latest motto to live by. 

Consulting with a few friends, the internet, and critiquing myself honestly, here’s what I came up with – rules I need to start abiding by. 

  • Start small. Now is the perfect time to go through last summer’s binge purchases and get rid of things you never wore anyway.  
  • Make “Yes, No, Maybe So, Definitely Not” piles. Trust me, what looked cute two years ago isn’t anymore. 
  • At the right time, recruit a friend – an honest one – who will confirm your choices, and probably add to the “get rid of it” list. Just make sure you call the friend who is more abrupt, not the one who goes with everything you suggest. 
  • Take Before and After photos. You’ll feel better about purging, and also have proof for the IRS if you plan to claim. 
  • Take 5 or 10 minutes per day to go through things and eliminate. Start a bag of donation-worthy clothing and other goods, and add a little each day. That way you won’t be overwhelmed with the larger project at hand. 
  • Write a list. What is it you want to de-clutter? Closets? Boxes in the basement? Linens? 
  • How about cleaning supplies and that beeswax you bought on a whim to cover furniture imperfections? Lots of local nonprofits are always looking for those kinds of donations, and you’ll feel better knowing it’s to be used. 
  • It’s been said. “Clutter is a lack of peace.” 

Someone certainly can benefit from your contribution of gently used clothing, shoes, furniture, etc. Always be sure to donate your goods to a local nonprofit.  

One of my most favorite stories about donations is this. 

Thumbing through TIME magazine a few years ago, I happened upon a vivid, colorful photo of children in Sudan celebrating a holiday. Front and center was a young boy wearing the very same tee shirt I’d washed a million times – local soccer club, local school. My kids had outgrown those shirts, but it fit this child beautifully, a half of our world away. 

Happy Spring and gifting season. 

One response to “Making Sense of “De-cluttering” My Spaces

  1. I am 81. I have a lot to pass on. I still have children clothes after my kids and my kids are 45 & 53.

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