Spring is in full bloom and you don't need to tell me twice, because my allergies have been gently reminding me every day.
What does that mean for us? SPRING CLEANING!
Because a clean home to us, means a happy home, we pretty much try to stay on top of our cleaning as much as possible. Even ask our friends — we try to keep our place as clutter-free as we can, and even this is messy in our eyes. But here in our home lies a hidden mess that we tackle only once per year, and now, friends, the time has come upon us once again.
Whenever the we start putting our coats away (after the May gray starts to burn off, that is), we have a little tradition of going through our closets and drawers and doing our own kind of Spring Cleaning. We pull out whatever articles of clothing we haven't worn over the past 365 days, and put it in piles. I take a general inventory of each item and its condition, then we load it all up into trash bags and take it to our nearest donation center each year over Memorial Day weekend.
Why take an inventory? I do this for tax purposes so when tax season rolls around, I can easily see what we donated, what it was all worth, and can quickly and accurately summarize what items were donated, and exactly when the donations were made (along with the donation slip they give us when we drop the bags off). I keep the inventories stored on Google Drive, so it's easily accessible each year, and doesn't get lost in my computer somewhere. You can find valuation guides for all of your donated goods online - here's a good reference, but something to keep in mind is to also ask yourself whether you think it's a fair price to charge someone if you were to try selling it in your own local community.
We've done this 2 years in a row now, and it's something I've grown quite fond of. It started moreso when I began packing to move out of my parents' house, but I liked being able to keep up with it to streamline my closet without adding to the clutter. Throughout the year, whenever I notice I'm not really utilizing an article of clothing to its full potential, I'll go ahead and throw it into a bag that I designate specifically for donations. This makes it easier for me to keep my closet as current as possible without losing precious hanger real estate... but these Spring Cleaning sweeps are truly when I get to dig deep and really get rid of all things that I feel are just cluttering up our closets and drawers!
I'll admit - sometimes it's really hard for me to let go of pieces because I have some sort of emotional attachment to them. I used to wear this thing here, or it's really comfortable for times when this happens or when I need to go here or do this. But honestly, if it's something you haven't needed in the past year, what are the chances you'll need it again? And if you do need it again, what are the chances you aren't going to just want something else when the time comes? If it's purpose is better served with someone else, or if it'll benefit someone else more than just taking up space and collecting dust in my possession, I'm all for donating it.
And, if I happen to run across something old and dingy, I'll also use this opportunity to just trash the darn thing. Ripped or stained old t-shirts, or just basics that I've been collecting duplicates of over the years or items that have just been through it... here's my chance to say au revoir. Sometimes I'll even run across things that are still holding onto their price tags, or something I probably only got the chance to wear once. Such a shame, but alas, there's really no point in holding onto something that I has no greater utility to me than just having potential. Deep down inside, I know what I use and what I don't and I just need to learn to let it go.
I'm all about keeping it simple, so if you're also wondering why I don't just sell my clothes, 1) the hassle of putting them up and keeping track of the inventory and then going through the motions of actually selling them is yet just another task that I'd rather avoid, and 2) they honestly probably aren't even worth much! I usually hold onto my clothes for years so I typically get a lot of use out of a majority of my pieces and I just don't want to waste time attempting to sell anything that even appears worn. That's just me.
Speaking of selling - you know what I've finally got around to selling?
Our wedding decor and accessories! I didn't have much since a lot of our items were rentals, but I did manage to get rid of some acrylic risers that we used to stagger our dessert table trays, some floor easels that we never even removed from their packaging, our table number/place card holders, and some acrylic frames that we used for our bar menus. We have some rolls of silver mylar tape here if anyone needs some. Buuut... The one thing I'd really like to sell? My wedding dress! Interested? See it here!
The thing with all of this purging is that I'm not here trying to make money - I'm just trying to tidy up in hopes of finding these basically like-new items a more practical home where they'll find themselves a new lease on life in (probably) another wedding or baby shower or something of the sort. Here, they've just been in a box on the couch in my office, taking up valuable sitting space and making our house feel cluttered and messy. Slowly but surely, they're making their way out! :)