Deciding What to Donate

Have you heard of the Konmari method?

I have heard of it, and read a little about it a few years ago. This woman says her method for organizing and cleaning comes down to a few questions you must ask yourself about the item in question. One of which that stuck with me: Does the item bring you joy?

When I first heard this question, “Does the item bring you joy?” I was caught off guard. Things can’t bring joy. We know that “things,” items of clothing in this case, are too often what brings people this temporary joy.

This feeling fills up our closets, empties our bank accounts, and leaves us looking good on the outside, but hollow on the inside.

In deciding to be more eco- and fashion-conscious, an enormous closet-purge was on the horizon for me. I started out just asking the basic questions, but as I dove further into the drawers and hangers, I had to ask myself some difficult questions. “Why am I keeping this?” “Who gave this to me in the first place?” and “Would I hurt anyone’s feelings if I got rid of this?”

Those questions may seem strange, but if you are attempting to journey through your own closet, the surface level questions get left in the dust quite quickly.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding what to donate, re-sell, or keep in your wardrobe:

  • When did I last wear this? Will I wear this again in the next 6 months? Will I wear this in a year?
  • Who gave this to me? Will I feel comfortable explaining why I decided to get rid of it?
  • Why does this item have sentimental value? Am I keeping it because it reminds me of something?
  • Why did I purchase this? Was it a one-off situation, or a carefully executed purchase?
  • Was this worth what I paid for it?
  • Why haven’t I worn this yet? Will I ever have an occasion to wear this?
  • Do I feel confident in this item? Is this item flattering to my figure and complexion? Will I never wear it because of those reasons?
  • Is this item outdated? Was it a fast-fashion purchase that I only wore once?Deciding What to Donate

Of course, there are many other questions to ask yourself when deciding on what to donate and purge out of your wardrobe. If you are uncomfortable with any of the answers, it is important that you evaluate what to do with that item. If it is still in good condition, sell it. If it has been worn a few times, but you cherish it, donate it to someone who can love it further. If you wear it once a month, keep it!

The process of altering the way one shops is harder than it seems. There is a learning curve, but once you take a look a your closet and it contains items you love, wear often, and look good in, you will never worry about having nothing to wear again.