The beginning of summer vacation can be a beautiful time. Filled with relaxation, reunions with high school friends, and a lot of home-cooked meals. But let’s be real. We all know that this does not last long. Before you head off to start that new internship or summer ice cream scooping job, you are probably looking for some ways to fill your time. Well, why not take a moment to clean out that closet that remains untouched while you are away at school, yet seems to shrink every time you come home with more free Rock the Vote t-shirts, Marathon Monday tanks, and sweatpants that you found on sale at the bookstore. Here are some ideas to help you with this daunting task, because we know it can be both grueling and sentimental at the same time.
The key to cleaning out any closet is to approach the task from a few different angles. First, don’t try to do it all at once. As Reader's Digest suggests, if you empty out your entire closet at one time, you will more than likely end up throwing everything back in because the realization that there is too much to sift through at once can be discouraging. Instead, break it up into sections. Start the morning off with some shoe organization, take a lunch break, and spend the afternoon tackling summer shirts. And this will leave time to finish off the day with a celebratory trip to the movie theater, or something of the sort.
Second, keep in mind that old prom dresses (or for boys, the snazzy bow ties) that you pull out, while sentimental, might not be necessary keepsakes. You may remember your prom night as one of the highlights of high school, but keep in mind that you probably will never wear these items again. The pictures that you took for hours prior to prom will provide sufficient memories, and there might be someone out there who can have a similarly stellar prom night, given the chance to buy a beautiful dress or cool bow tie at a second-hand store. This is good advice for anything sentimental that a closet clean out can bring to the surface. Sure, there will always be a couple old Halloween costumes that you just need to keep, or that shirt you wore the time that really memorable thing happened. Hold on to those, but for the most part be unforgiving with your closet. If you didn’t wear that black sweater throughout the entire winter or fall season, you aren’t going to wear it next season – get rid of it!
Now, here are some tips about what to do with the bags of clothes that you (hopefully) decided to part with. The first thing to keep in mind is that pretty much no one wants second-hand undergarments or stained clothes. If you have any of those, using your own discretion, decide what to trash and what to pass on. This will leave you with a good pile of clothes, with which you can do a couple things.
For those of you that aren’t necessarily looking to decrease the amount of clothes you have, organize a clothing swap with your friends! You never know if they might have a shirt that they are bored of and happy to give away in return for the shorts that you stopped wearing. This is the first thing my friends and I did at the end of the semester when we were packing up our clothes for summer storage.
Don’t have the same style as your friends? Look for local consignment stores where you can earn a little bit of profit for the clothes you are giving up. These are very easy to find with a simple Google search for consignment stores in your area. Or, if you are feeling even more generous, drop the bags off at a Goodwill Donation Site or local soup kitchen. Here your donations will most definitely be put to good use and you can be confident that you cleaned out your closet for more than your own personal benefit.
Keeping these tips in mind, hopefully your intimidating closet clean out will be successful, and you can keep yourself busy for a few days, or even just a few hours, while you are waiting for all of the summertime fun to start. Happy organizing!