If I were to ask you to open up your closet and your dresser drawers for me right now, would you be embarrassed to show me what's stuffed, crumpled and hidden away? Ask me the same question around this time last year and I sure would have been! It was a constant fight between me and the overflowing drawers, stuffed with receipts I no longer needed, single socks missing their match, and who knows what else. Not to mention the fact that picking an outfit was far from fun as I was sifting through pieces that I felt just “eh” about instead of making me feel excited to put them on.
On a journey to declutter, I recently discovered a few documentaries that inspired me to make changes, as well as an app that has helped me flip my decluttering into a little side hustle.
In the past four years, I have lived in five different homes, some of which included dorm rooms and one small bedroom in my college apartment. Living in tiny spaces helped me figure out which items I absolutely needed and loved and which ones could stay behind during the moves. But whenever I returned home, those “extra” items that I never felt like sifting through were always patiently waiting for me right where I had left them.
Recently, I have donated, sold and disposed of items that had been lying around for months (maybe even years) without use and trust me when I say ditching those things has brought me so much clarity, peace of mind and appreciation for the items I kept.
To bring new things into our lives, whether that is creativity, inspiration, or change, making space and taking a closer look at our possessions and personal style can be very helpful. With the new year quickly approaching, it is a great time to start re-evaluating excess stuff and making space for only the things you love.
Here are some resources that inspired me to declutter my closet and living space along with some tips to refresh your style and surroundings.
WATCH TIDYING UP WITH MARIE CONDO
As Marie Kondo addresses in her book and Netflix show, there are many reasons why we cling to objects, such as feeling guilty to part with gifts from loved ones. I know, I know, some day we might need those costume butterfly wings or that high school prom dress. But if an item is just taking up space without use or, in Marie Kondo’s words, not “sparking joy”, those items can be sold, donated or ditched. Because realistically, if it doesn’t make you happy and you’re not using it now, it won’t be of much use later either!
Watch “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” here
WATCH THE MINIMALISTS
This is a documentary that addresses the constant need for “more” that our culture seems to get trapped in. We think that if we just buy more clothes, more makeup, more THINGS, we will finally be happy. But just like a child with a new toy, it won’t be long before this material thing becomes part of the background, forgotten and insignificant. Often times, the hole that we try to fill with stuff is a need for something more, whether that is connection, meaning, or a sense of enough-ness and belonging. These are things that cannot be bought. As “10% Happier” author Dan Harris says in this documentary, “We spend so much time on the hunt, but nothing ever quite does it for us. We get so wrapped up in the hunt that it makes us miserable.”
Watch “Minimalism” documentary here
WATCH THE TRUE COST
Ever wonder why that brand new H&M t-shirt only costs $4.95? This documentary reveals the hard truth about the fast fashion industry. After watching this, it has made me more conscious about where the materials that I wear are coming from, how they were made, and how long they will last.
Watch “The True Cost” here
SELL, DONATE, DITCH
The Depop app couldn’t make it any more simple to snap a picture and sell your clothes right from the comfort of your bedroom! I have set up a shop called “The Shady Pineapple” where I sell items, in great condition, that I have outgrown or simply don’t wear anymore. I have also found some treasures on the app from other sellers, such as a 100 percent silk blouse and a 100 percent cashmere sweater. Not only is it a fun way to make some extra cash while you declutter your closet, but it is also a great place to find unique second-hand pieces rather than buying new ones for triple (or quadruple) the price. By purchasing second hand, you are being a conscious consumer and saving yourself a lot of money! Some other great options include Poshmark, eBay and Mercari. Create a Depop shop here
If you have excess items that are still in good shape but wouldn’t necessarily sell, put them in a bag to bring to a charity, like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a dropbox which are often found locally.
And finally, anything that is worn out, ripped, or stained beyond repair should be ditched, because let’s be honest, you can’t get excited about putting on a top with a ketchup stain from last June’s family BBQ on it, no matter how much you use to love it!
ORGANIZE AND BEAUTIFY
I recently gave my room a deep clean and moved my desk and bed around. Next, I added new pictures, fairy lights and some plants. I also wanted to make sure all of my belongings had a “home,” whether that was a drawer, basket, or shelf. This makes it so much easier to clean up and put things away which will keep your home organized without even trying.
As for your closet, it is much more fun to pick clothes from a neat and pretty space. Stack your favorite sweaters that you love looking at, steam and hang things that easily wrinkle. If you’re feeling extra fancy, place lavender sachets for a nice smell when you open your drawers or closet door. Maybe even hang some fairy lights around the space and empowering notes around your mirror. Whatever makes you excited to get dressed, create that ultimate space for yourself! Pinterest boards such as this one are a great place to look for closet, room, and organization inspiration. It is amazing how inspired cleaning and reorganizing made me feel. I really think that change is the spice of life, and this is a great way to sprinkle some in yours any time of the year.
As we move through the seasons, let’s evolve and grow with the change and release the things that no longer serve us, whether those are physical things or not. I hope these resources and tips are helpful, and if you have some of your own to share please comment below!
Follow Shannon @shanabananawellness or on her personal blog shanabananawellness.com for recipes, wellness, lifestyle and happiness content.