By Danielle C.S.
We’ve moved 5 times in the 11 years we’ve been married, and every time we have moved, we have gotten rid of things. But, something changed for me living in our new house over the past year and a half. I have taken to de-cluttering my life now more than ever.
I have always cleaned out my closet at least once a year, and if I had not worn the clothing hanging in the closet or folded on the shelf, it went in a bag and was donated. I have now taken to this task twice a year — probably in admiration of my husband who, after he receives gifts of clothing on Christmas Eve, comes home and, that night, cleans out his closet to fit in the new stuff. Some people would just hang up the new items and move on with life, but not my husband.
When I look in my closet, I find myself asking the questions: why am I holding on to this, do I really need it and what purpose has it served me over the past year? And, I don’t just ask myself these questions with clothing, but with anything that is in the house. If I don’t have a good answer to any of those questions, then it gets added to the donation pile. I’ve taken the view that there are several people in the world without the luxuries I have, and if they can get more use out of the items than me, then off to a better home they go.
I take this same approach with my children’s toys, clothing, and the piles of paper they bring home from school. I’m sure those of us with children understand when I say kids get lots of “stuff” pretty much all year, and not just during the holidays or other special occasions like birthdays. I have taught my kids that when they get something new, they have to get rid of something old; something that they no longer play with or enjoy, and that other children might like.
How many of us hand down clothing from one child to another? I was very much guilty of this habit until last year. After running out of room and storage bins I said to myself, “I keep spending money on bins because she isn’t growing fast enough to recycle the clothes to her. When she will finally fit into them, either she will not want them or the styles will be outdated.” If you’ve been following along with me so far, you guessed it, I brought out all the clothes I was saving and finally bagged them up and donated them.
I’m not saying it’s easy to part with things you’ve invested in, but it’s a good feeling to be able to look around and feel like I have de-cluttered my life, and helped others in need.
Danielle has a MBA and two young daughters. She works full time for a commodities trading company and lives in New Canaan, CT. In her spare time, she likes to dabble in photography.