It’s easy to accumulate junk in your personal space. I’m not just talking about closet space, but literally around the house. If you’ve got a shopping addiction or sentimental attachment to things around the house, you know you’ve got a space full of junk that just has to be thrown away at some point in your life.
I recently participated at the Colombo Flea Market so it was a really good opportunity to clear out my wardrobe and get rid of items that I had never worn, used or wanted anymore. For those who are stuck with a bunch of junk in their space, I thought I’d share a bunch of tips on how you can let go of it all and start anew.
It helps to have a support system. It could be a best friend, a sibling or relative you are close to, but it should be someone who is not emotionally attached to what you have in your space. It should also be someone who can help you during the cleaning out process and help you sort through the items you want to keep and/or giveaway. I did the cleaning out on my own so it literally took me a week to sort through clothes, shoes, bags and also accessories. It helps to take your time while doing this, give your mind a day or two to process your decisions and get used to giving away some personal items from your life.
When it came to clothes, I made a mental note to giveaway items that I had not worn in the past two years. Shockingly, I had so many that fit into that category so they all went into the junk giveaway pile – clothes, shoes and bags. Some of the other clothes, I made myself literally get into each and every one of them and see if they fit or if I liked how I looked in them. If they didn’t fit or I didn’t like how they looked, they went into the giveaway pile. I also made use of taking snaps of the clothes I wore and sent them to friends for approval – if I should keep them or not. This also made it a lot easier when it came to making the hard decision of parting with some of my favourite clothes that did not necessarily flatter me anymore.
I did the same with shoes (apart from the ones I had not worn in over two years). I walked around in them, did a bit of a hop and a skip to see how well I could move in them and also checked them for wear and tear. Whatever did not fit the bill went out of my shoe boxes. I had plenty of shoes that were peeling and were pretty worn out so they went into a separate waste pile. I had to do the same with some of the handbags I owned. Some of the straps were beginning to peel, some had discoloured with wear and others…well, I just had not used and didn’t see myself using.
I have to admit that none of these were easy decisions to make but I felt like this would not just cleanse my closet, but also help cleanse my soul (getting all sentimental here). I felt like I needed a change and the best way I could do it was to get rid of the junk in my personal space. When it came to my accessories, especially earrings, I dumped literally every pair I owned into the giveaway pile. I have not changed my earrings in over a year and did not see myself wearing another pair so why collect dusk over the space? I also wear the scarf around my head so my ears are covered (hence the no need to change earrings) so…out they went.
With everything that I had left, I began reorganizing. Do this in the most convenient way possible that would make it easy for you to find items in your wardrobe. Hang every top and dress you own and pile away the pants and jeans. Cardigans and other add-on items of clothing could do into another pile and space in your wardrobe. Organize this way so that it helps you when you have to get ready to go out. I also find that labelling boxes (I use boxes for my add-on items and shoes) helps because I know exactly what item is and do not have to pull out clothes and make a mess of my closet.
Use these tips to do the same around the rest of the house – the kitchen, the living room and so on. There’s plenty of unused items that someone else could possibly use so think of it as a sustainable way of clearing out your space. If you do not want to do this alone or have a sentimental attachment to things, get someone to help you. Do not rush the process. Be mindful of what you are giving away. If someone else can reuse it, donate it. Otherwise turn it over to a sustainability organization like the Colombo Flea Market and they will recycle it.
**As published in the Ceylon Today newspapers**