If you have no clue what Simple Act Sundays is, check out this post and sign up to commit to simple acts of your own! Since I've been crazy busy, I decided to just do blog posts at least for the first two Sundays while I finish up my exams. Sorry if you were expecting a video, but I am vlogging every day for Vlogmas (see below.)
For my first Simple Act Sunday I did something super simple. In theory. I donated a ton of clothes that had been taking up room in my closet, which took a few weeks to completely weed through, wash, and organize. If you were wondering why my office and hallways have looked like a complete mess in my last few videos, that's why!
Getting rid of clothing is hard, especially when you're a fashion lover like myself, but it is so helpful to all parties involved. It's easy to take advantage of the fact that you can wear clean, in tact clothes every day, but it's important to remember not everyone is so lucky.
A simple fact about me: growing up, nearly all of my clothing was purchased at the thrift store. I was raised by a single mom and brand new clothing was just not in our budget. The thing is, I never felt like I went without, and looking back, my sister and I were always dressed so cute! I remember going to the thrift store and to churches and picking out adorable pieces and feeling so beautiful putting together outfits. My mom loved dressing us up and proved that money doesn't buy style. It's just in you. I hate that there's a stigma that poor people are dirty, smelly, don't care about their appearance, etc. The fact is, there are a whole lot of working poor people trying to dig themselves out of that hole. I know we sure did, and now that I'm a little better off, I want to pass on what I have to those who need it.
My jobs have always required me to be semi to very fashion conscious, so I'll admit - I have more clothes than most. And clothes are something that are important to me; a creative outlet, if you will. It's hard for me to decide what to keep, what to sell, and what would be better off in someone else's hands. Here are some tips that helped me figure out what to do with my mess of a closet.
What does your community need most?
I donated a ton of summer dresses and shorts I no longer needed, but it took a bit more guts to part with my heavy knits, a few coats, scarves, and other winter apparel. I decided to donate a few of each of those items because it's what the people need. I live in Michigan and it's cold. I hate seeing people go without proper winter clothing because they can't afford it, so by getting rid of 3-4 of my 10+ coats, I'm actually making a difference. I also made sure to get rid of a ton of dress pants, coats, and blouses. If you're living in poverty, chances are you're not springing for nice interview or work clothes and I know how important that can be.
Who needs it the most?
While donating is great in theory, I urge you to think long and hard about where you're dropping off your goods. I prefer to donate to local organizations like the YWCA, the local homeless shelter, and the "free store" because I don't like the idea of a company making a profit off of donations. While stores like Goodwill do offer clothing and goods for way below retail, people still have to pay for them. I'd rather know my old clothes are helping someone who needs it, regardless of how much cash they have.
When was the last time you wore it?
This is a no-brainer, but I still find myself fighting it with excuses. I pulled out several items that had sat for years in my closet without being touched. There's always that "what-if" factor, but if the item has sat that long I can almost guarantee you will never really need it. Someone else would love to have it, so let it go.
How much did you pay for it?
Getting rid of pricey items is tricky for me. If I know for a fact I will never wear it again, I use Poshmark to get some of what I paid back for it. If the items don't sell in a reasonable amount of time, I take them down and donate. I think that's fair. I'm not rich, but if I was, I'd happily donate designer and expensive pieces to charity. Use your gut and do what you think is best.
I'm excited to check out all of your acts of kindess. Look out for my next one on Monday, and make sure to follow me along for Vlogmas!