Is not Autumn the greatests season of all? It's that long deep breath before winter catches us unawares - it always does, each year, doesn't it?! Autumn makes one smile wide and cuddle and dream, it is the perfect time to wrap yourself in a blanket and enjoy a pumpkin spiced latte and a yummy apple pie with cinnamon but it's also the best time of the year to let things go. Autumn is the perfect season to look upon your life, your style, you ideas and your closet and throw away everything that is not good for you. Keeping the unnecessary stuff (just in case we might need it...) only clutters your home and your mind. Let's do an exercise today towards being less materialistic and more minimalistic in our way of living and thinking!
We will start this exercise just as I did a while ago - with the closet of clothes. If you are brave enough, after that you can check the shoes and purses closet (you know, you lovely ladies out there, that we have a habit of hoarding all styles of those items just in case we might need them and they would match a certain object - accessory). Now take a deep breath and play some relaxing music or some kind of music that make you happy/smile/in a good mood. Open the closet and go drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf and take out everything. Here is what you should put in the pile "to go away":
- something that you have not been wearing for a year or more (let's face it, if you didn't wear it for 365 days for sure you won't be wearing it in the new year ;) be true to yourself!) - I sometimes do the hanger thing: put all the hangers facing one way and as you wear them through the year turn the way they face. By the end of the year you will have hangers facing the same way at the beginning = pile those away!
- items that no longer fit you - stop saying you will get to the gym one day and train hard! When you will do that you can treat yourself to more items but for the time being... put that on the pile!
- items that are too big - nope, those don't suite you and you should not keep them. You are tempting your luck and wanting to make sure you have something to wear in case you put an extra kilo or so. Don't! Keep only things in the size you wear now!
- items overworn or with defects or that look over washed or that have small stains or wholes - No! No way you should keep that even it they have a certain memory value to yourself... you won't use them or wear them or do anything with them... they take space and you don't need clutter in your life. Collect memories not things!
- items that are no longer your style - the way you are changes throughout life and maybe at one time of your life you would not get out of your jeans and t-shirts.... and now you are more into dresses or black pants with and nice blouse.... well it's time to throw all those jeans and t-shirts away! Declutter!
|The typical sign on the front door for clothes pickup|
Now living in Poland I have more options of what to do with that pile of items I have de-cluttered. To tell you the sincere truth I have 2 huge wardrobes filled with loads of dresses and bags and shoes and what not... so I felt the need to minimalise... at least a bit! Once the little LadyBug Baby Girl was born I had a bit more time on my hands to work home at the things I have postponed for quite a while... like cleaning up the closet(s)... I wanted to narrow things down drastically and I must admit I did not crept defeat and I have taken out items my heart broken for... like the lovely blouse I got and wore for my 18th birthday from my mum... but hey! It's not like we will take things to our grave! So... after a week of constant taking things out of the closet and daily thinking and taking another item and another and putting it into the pile, I have summed up to 2 bags filled with shoes and bags and 8 filled to the brim with clothes and scarfs. Now the entire wardrobe can eventually fit into one big closet (not two!) and guess what?! In the end it actually feels rather good and it got me thinking of doing it again! Maybe more often... as I have not done such a big checkup in years!
|Boxes for letting anytime/anyday the clothes you no longer feel you should keep (hoard)|
As I said... in Poland letting things go is easier and more convenient than one would imagine and I wish it would be like that all over the world. Here are some options:
1. At the beginning of each season (and actually I think even more often!) you will see signs posted at the entrance in your block of flats or in the area that you live in. They usually have the same shape and size: a half of a A4 paper or a A4 sized paper, landscape oriented, usually written with green and red or simple black color. It will have a red stamp with a date - that date (and hour) is the day when the local charities come and collect bags of clothing that you leave at your home door or at the block of flats entrance. All you have to do is put it all in a large bag and leave it to them to pick it up. It's for charity so do leave only the good looking items not those worn and tear up! Think of the families in need and the people who sort the clothes for them - don't make them waste their time.
2. If you missed the date on the piece of paper placed at the entrance to your block of flats worry not! In Poland and especially in Krakow you can find in the neighbourhood you live in containers for clothes where you can drop off your pile ;) the are usually green or white and with some children sticker on it. Inconvenience: it might be a few blocks away from you and you need to take the things there are drop them off in the bin. The plus: you can do this at any given time ;) so if you are in a cleaning spree you can always use that... or wait for an announcement at the front door.
3. Selling them or offering them to the ones who wish to pick the items up - if you have the time and patience for it there are many Facebook groups that do monthly swaps or daily postings of what one has to offer. I think that is quite of a hassle and not quite my thing but it is an option you might consider and you would get cash back from it ;) just don't go spending that on more clothes!
4. Giving the items away for friends and family - if you think someone might benefit from it, if the items are good and your family/friends wear the same size as the things you let go, then the nice thing would be to let them know and see if they would pick it up. Maybe you might make someone happy with that ;)
5. Taking then and leaving the at a charity shop - in the good old USA you might do a yard sale and get a buck or two, but in Europe it's not that common so the last thing you could do is just take the items to a second hand store and see what you can get. It's an option, I never done it, but I guess it's worth a shot?!...
Anyway having said all that, I really hope you will consider de cluttering your life, thoughts and closets at least every fall. Do this now and let me know how many bags you pulled out and if you broke my 10 bags record. What did you manage to throw out? And don't look back at the things you pile up - they are just items you can sincerly live without!
Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Autumn (and letting things go...)