I love clothes and I buy a lot of them. Because of this, I have to clean out my closet a few times a year, with usually the biggest overhaul taking place in the spring/early summer. Add a couple of kids closets to this job and it can make for a pretty daunting task.
Here are some of the questions I ask myself to help get me through a closet purge:
1. Have you worn it in the past year? Think about the last 12 months…winter, spring, summer, fall…did you wear it? If not, toss it. Fancy dresses (and suits for guys) are the exception to this rule.
2. Does it make you feel good when you put it on? If not, why are you keeping it?
3. Have you owned the item since high school (if that was 10+ years ago)? During my last closet purge, I came across a pair of well-worn Mavi jeans from grade 11. Grade 11! I had been keeping them because after each of my pregnancies, I wanted to see if I could squeeze back into them. Squeeze I did, but there is no way I would wear them out in public…even if flares are back in style. Toss! There are also exceptions to this rule. Such as my gold platform prom shoes that I am keeping for my daughter. I know she will love to play with them one day. Maybe even wear them to her prom. Haha.
4. At the end of your clean out, hang your hangars backwards. Each time you wear an item, put it back on the hanger and turn it around the proper way. Next time you clean out your closet, you’ll be able to identify which pieces you haven’t been wearing.
5. If you haven’t worn the item in a long, long time, is there someone else in your life who would enjoy it? Let’s say you have a green leather Matt & Nat clutch. You haven’t used it and you only bought it because it was on sale at Winners. Five years ago. Your best friend LOVES everything Matt & Nat so give it to her. It feels good to recycle.
Speaking of recycling…
Last year, a Kind Exchange opened near my home. I love having it close by. They are always willing to take my unwanted clothes. You can give yours too, just follow these steps:
1. Visit www.kindexchange.ca and find your closest location.
2. Take in your bags of used clothing, shoes and/or accessories.
3. The Kind Exchange will sort through your items and decide which ones they want and they will make you an offer – you can take it as cash or they will keep it on file for you as a store credit for the next time you shop there. You can also trade your stuff for items in the store right then and there if it works out.
4. They will give you a pile of clothes that they don’t want (don’t be offended – they can be picky and get a ton of great stuff all the time). You can choose to donate them (Kind Exchange will pass them along to one of their favourite charities for you) or walk away and take them to Goodwill, who will take anything.
The Kind Exchange is such a great addition to our neighbourhood. I’ve seen everything in there from Coach and Burberry to Joe Fresh and Jacob. Unlike Value Village, it has all been carefully curated with stylish and fun windows that look like a boutique, and not necessarily a second-hand shop. I hope in the future my Kind Exchange will start taking mens and childrens clothing. A Kids Kind Exchange would be a welcome alternative to Value Village for some parents.
Kind Exchange, I’m bringing more bags your way