The women of New World Library got together and held a clothing swap this week. Everyone took advice from our book Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer and let go of clothes, shoes, and accessories we no longer wanted — the lightly-worn too-big, too-small, unflattering, no-longer-appealing stuff, and even a few brand-new items we either received as gifts or bought on a whim and later realized just didn’t work. According to Palmer, “Clothing represents different emotional periods of your life. If you keep a lot of things you don’t wear, your clothes closet has become a photo from your past.” So we took those words to heart and did some clutter busting of our own.
Everyone brought their items into work and spread them out in the community room. As we looked through them, we exchanged stories and laughter as well as attire, and everyone went home with some new goodies. At the end of the week we loaded up the leftovers and donated them to the local abused women’s services shelter. This way, the clothes will help other women in need.
So if you are looking to do some spring cleaning, take a cue from New World Library and Clutter Busting to get a fresh start in your own closet. Below is the exercise I used from the book to go through my wardrobe.
- Move all your clothes to another room. Pretend that you are a buyer for a very important client: you. You don’t have much time. You need to quickly go through these clothes and assess whether or not your client would benefit from them or whether they would be a waste of her time. Remember, your client is a powerful person. She wants only what’s going to increase the powerful momentum of her life’s joy. You were hired because you know her better than anyone.
- Toss the crap with confidence. No one’s feelings are hurt. You’d be hurt if you picked the wrong things. That’s why you use your surefire, fail-safe discerning eye.
- When you are done, put the keepers in a nice pile and bring them back to the clothes closet and chest of drawers. You’ve done some great work.
After completing this exercise, you, too, can host a clothing swap, whether at work or with friends and neighbors. Just remember to donate any unclaimed clothes to an organization in need.
Good luck and happy decluttering.
Tona Pearce Myers