The holidays are fast approaching and if you are one of the millions of Americans who participate in the gift giving tradition you can expect lots of items coming and going. The bigger your family, the more will be coming in, so if you have a few kids, it’s time to prepare for the influx of new items. We often think of spring as the ideal time for cleaning and organizing, but clearing out some closet space before the gift giving season is practical and smart and can help you ease into the new year with a better sense of organization and control. So here are some quick tips to help you clear out some space in your closets.
- Assessment. Take a good critical look at your clothes. In order to confidently get rid of some items, ask yourself the following three simple questions, and if the answer to any of them is “No,” then off it goes.
- Does it fit?
- Is it stained, ripped, musty or just too old?
- Does it project the image that I want to project?
- Seasonal Spirit. In this season of giving, not all gifts need to be purchased. Consider how much it might mean to the less fortunate to receive good quality but gently used clothes like the ones you probably have in your closet somewhere. Donate whatever you can!
- In the Bin. Put one of those big plastic storage bins outside you closet door or somewhere that you see it every day. Every time you use your closet, see if there is something you can add to it. When it is close to full, bring it to your local donation center. Then do it all again.
- Maybe you have some items that cost a bit more and you are reluctant to just give them away. You think you might wear them “someday.” But that someday will probably never come, so consider offering them to a consignment shop. You can make a little extra money and the buyer gets a great deal on some clothes they might not otherwise have been able to afford.
- Kid’s Stuff. Kid’s closets are a special challenge and may need more frequent attention, since all kids have one thing in common. They grow! You can safely get rid of clothing every year by either passing it on to a friend or relative who has kids a bit younger, or once again, by donating the unneeded items.
- Toys and Games. If you have a growing family, chances are you also have a growing collection of toys and games. And we all know how fast kids get bored of things they once loved and move on to other interests. I know one family that makes it a monthly task for their twin boys and their older sister to choose one toy or game to give away to less fortunate kids. Not only does this keep the clutter at bay, but it instills a sense of understanding, generosity and responsibility in the kids who are otherwise bombarded with messages of excess and disposability.
A little extra effort in the storage and organization department before the holidays fully set in can go a long way towards giving you a sense of control and reducing stress. Plus, it will help you feel more organized as you star the New Year, and may even help you and your family form some good, lasting habits.