It's really no secret. We are a nation of consumers. Watch television for just one evening and you'll know of a dozen sales and promotions happening in your local area. Whether it's retail or sale, there are more than a handful of us that have consumed our ways to a stuffed closet.
Call it early Spring cleaning. Call it a simplification. Organizing and cleaning out your closet can be a great selling tip, because buyers do and will open your closet during a walk-through. And one stuffed to the rafters will appear small and cramped, no matter it's real size.
There is, however, the altruistic side. Today there is an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent. This translates into around 15 million unemployed Americans. That is why it is important to lend a helping hand to members of your community. Unemployed families still need clothes, even after the paychecks stop.
Consider what it is that you really need. Do you have clothes that don't fit? How about clothes and shoes that you really don't need? Are there items that aren't your "style" anymore?
Many of us like to hold onto clothes that we think we might wear again. But use this rule of thumb. If you haven't worn it in the last year, then it is time to donate.
Resist the urge to refill your closet once you've downsized! "But what about that new pair of boots I've been eyeing?" you say. Find creative ways to reuse items you have already bought. You may be surprised at how much variety you have in your closet when you rely on what you already have. And for those green activists out there, the fewer new items you buy, the less you consume. Every item that is manufactured takes a toll on the economy, through the power used to run the factories, chemicals and oil used to create certain fabrics, and even the gas it takes to ship items to the store.
Start locally. Do you have relatives or friends who would welcome children's clothes? Kids grow fast and many families are struggling to afford bigger sizes. Most communities have local thrift, Goodwill, or Salvation Army stores that will gladly take your donations.
There's also a great site called thredup.com that allows you to exchange kids clothes with families from all across the country. Traders can get a box of clothes for only the cost of shipping at $5.
Adults need donations, as well. Job interviews and changing seasons may put many adults at a disadvantage. Donation means your old piece of clothing can be given a new home.
Cleaning out your closets is a winning situation. It's good for the community, good for sellers, and of course, it's good for the environment! So start your closet on a reduce, reuse, recycle diet today!
Carla Hill Realty Times January 20, 2011