I had been carrying around with me an extraordinary amount of stuff, moving from house to house - taking up the majority of our extra closets with clothing I had worn in college, used for my pre-Cupcake professional life, and things that were just smaller sizes than I am wearing right now. I had shoes, suits, shorts, jeans, shirts, coats... an endless list (basically a full wardrobe!) stuffed into our guest bedroom closet and a closet in our extra bedroom. I wasn't ready for an episode of Hoarders just yet, but when I really got to thinking about it, I couldn't figure out why I had kept so many of these clothing pieces in the first place. (And paid to move them multiple times!)
So I set off on what turned out to a week long clear out (that truth be told, is still a work in progress) to go through the items to sort through what need to go straight to the donation pile and pull out the things that were (shamefully) only worn once, a few times, or... still had tags on them that could be tossed up on eBay to see if there was any interest in them. As luck would have it, the same day I checked into eBay to start listing things, I found that eBay was running a free listing fee special, where the listing fee was waived and you only had to pay the final value fee if the item sold. (Which these days still ends up being 30%.) And I was able to clear out alot of casual wear, that had been sitting around unused for almost a decade.
For the professional wear, I'm looking into donating the better pieces to the organization Dress for Success. Which is a non-for-profit organization that now has locations across the country, and donates career wear to economically disadvantaged women to wear to job interviews. They have a number of locations and probably may even have one local to you.
I think especially in times like we're in right now, with high unemployment rates and a continually rough job market (I unfortunately know more people personally, that have been directly affected by the economy in the past six months, either laid off or have had to take a pay reduction, than in the previous two years) organizations like Dress for Success can be a great help to those in need by giving them one less burden to figure out while getting back into the job market. And while I'm generally a person that is always focused on consumption and the acquisition of all things material - I like to remind myself occasionally that's there's more to life than acquiring pretties.
So the closet clean out continues, but I realized an amazing thing when I was in the middle of it. It was fantastic! It was cleansing! I am ridding myself of all of these extra "things", that I had been stowing away for an unknown reason, and I don't need them anymore!
I imagine that this project will continue well into Spring, with me putting the final items that I come across into our annual HOA yard sale or donating to our local Salvation Army. It's worth the work though, because at the end of the clear out, my hope is that I'll have more storage room in my closets, a more defined wardrobe in my own closet, and be carrying around a lot less baggage.