Tidying Up Responsibly

With the recent boost in momentum of Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” movement, many American’s are rushing to their closets to clean up all that does not spark joy. Anyone else jumping on that bandwagon with me?!


When walking through the process a roller coaster of emotions can develop. Emotions can quickly move from the excitement of taking on this project to overwhelm at the sight of how many clothes you actually own; to relief when you put back those joy sparking gems you have decided to keep in your newly organized closet. But then, you turn around…A giant pile of clothes of which you need to let go stares at you in the face like a cat on the prowl.


Looking to encourage the highs without experiencing the lows of purging your closet? Try one of the following options to keep the feel goods flowing, knowing that you are making a responsible choice instead of joining the average American who throws 80lbs of clothing away in their lifetime!

This is, by far, my favorite way to extend the life of a garment and have a fun excuse to get people together! Did you know that by extending the life of an item by nine months it reduces the related carbon, water and waste footprint by 20-30%? I mean, let’s be honest - many of us wish we could still share closets with our best friends so why share for a good cause.


The swap is super simple. Just gather a few friends and ask them all to bring wearable items that are no longer making the cut in their closet. You can set ground rules if you want or let it be a free for all - either way, prepare to have some clothes left over at the end. I have attended swaps that had all the clothes hung up and organized and others where there were simply piles of similar items (i.e., shoes and accessories, coats, jeans, etc.) in different areas around the space. Guests can rummage through the items and take what works best for them!


You can score some fun new looks for free and are able to get rid of clothes in a way that does better than harm to the planet! Talk about sparking joy!


If your clothes are in good condition and still on trend, you can also try selling your clothes to a local consignment shop for some extra cash. I tried this option today for the very first time and was able to earn some date night money on top of giving my clothes a longer life! You could also try your local Facebook marketplace or smaller buy, sell, trade groups online for additional resell options as well. If you have the looks and some extra time to wait in line with other hopeful sellers, this is an option that can really pay off for you and the environment.


You probably could have guessed that this option would make the list and you would be right! Swing by your local thrift store and donate your unwanted, unswappable, unsellable clothing and don’t forget your receipt to write off the donation when tax time comes around. Check to see if your local homeless shelter or aid centers are in need of secondhand clothing as another donation location option. Donating really can make a big difference to families in need.

Don’t let the joy stop at having a clean closet and avoid throwing your clothes in the trash. Be proud of the decision you make and enjoy the new, organized you!

© 2020 by Shea Smith