I speak from personal experience, opening the door to a well-edited assortment of clothing that makes sense for your lifestyle is one of the most empowering and relaxing ways to start the day.
Currently I am reaping the benefits of what was by far my most rewarding closet clean out ever, and in the interest of helping you enjoy the same elated feeling every time you go to get dressed, here are the 3 things I did BEFORE setting foot in my closet that set me up for success:
1: Know Where Your Cast-Offs Will Be Donated, How and When: Do your research. Before you set foot in your closet for the big clean out, know exactly where the items you don't keep will be going, and how they are going to get there. Mentally, it makes the process much less painful and more rewarding- you won't have as much guilt getting rid of something when you know how happy it is going to make someone in need. But go 2 steps further for maximum results: find out how the items should be packaged (some charities prefer paper bags, others want boxes) and schedule when you will deliver them or confirm a pick up that will take place within 24 hours of the clean out.
2: Enlist A Partner: You can't go it alone, for a few reasons. It is way too easy to bail on the project when the only person who has it on her calendar is YOU. By bringing a friend into the fold, you schedule the time, she shows up at your door, and you just gotta get it done. And the process can be tiring- both physically and emotionally. Having a friend with you makes giving up half way through a little trickier, plus she can help speed the process along by re-hanging or folding keepers and piling cast-offs into bags.
3: Enlist the RIGHT Partner: They should be style-savvy- but don't feel like you need Rachel Zoe or something. A friend who's fashion sense you respect is sufficient. Your partner doesn't need to be your BFF- and in many cases, it may be best if she isn't because there is less baggage, you know? And she must be HONEST when it comes to two things:
- The basic judgement of whether an item of clothing is ugly/outdated/simply not flattering on you.
- She should know the way you live and not feel bad reminding you of it. If you spend 80% of your week in workout wear, it isn't necessary to keep an arsenal of Theory black pants and Milly mini-dresses that you wore to work back in the day. If she hasn't seen you wear shorts since the birth of your now 5 year old kid, you can't pull the "but maybe one day I'll have a hankering throw on cut-offs to hang out at the beach" card.
So go ahead- Google local charities and make a list of the donation details. Then, scroll through your Facebook feed and find a candidate or two to help get the job done. Put a 3-5 hour block of time in your calendar, start collecting paper bags, and psych yourself up to actually ENJOY getting dressed again.