In my last post, I described my new strategy for purchasing clothes: I ask myself whether they’re reunion-worthy.
I adopted this strategy for the first time before a class reunion a few years ago. Pondering what to wear to the reunion, I decided to no longer fill my closets with clothes I wouldn’t wear to an event like a reunion, where I wanted to look my absolute best.
Recently, when another class reunion loomed, the issue was once again front and center.
Now that (more recent) reunion has come and gone, and my strategy proved to be a huge success. When I packed for my flight to Reunion City, USA, I selected only reunion-worthy clothes to wear during the reunion weekend. And I think I accomplished my goal.
In photos taken during that weekend, I look simply smashing.
Now let’s focus on another question: What about those duds you and I still own that are NOT reunion-worthy?
I have two suggestions. My hope is that you’ll adopt your own version of one or both of them.
- Donate non-reunion-worthy clothes to charity.
I have a longstanding policy of donating to charity those clothes I’m no longer wearing. I donate still-attractive and wearable items of clothes (as well as shoes, costume jewelry, household items, books, and a whole host of miscellaneous stuff).
I prefer two nearby charities. One favorite is Goodwill. This is a venerable charity organization that channels clothing and other items by selling them in their stores to those who want to acquire these items at rock-bottom prices. Goodwill also plays another role: It will happily take possession of almost any electronic device you no longer find useful. It apparently hires people who know how to extract usable parts from these devices, working or not, and repurpose them for the greater good of humankind. Bravo!
My other favorite charity? The Discovery Shops that dot the landscape in the Bay Area. Discovery Shops are attractive stores filled with beautiful things donated by people who decide to pass them along to others and, at the same time, support an important goal. Because Discovery Shops are affiliated with the American Cancer Society, the money raised in their shops supports research aimed at defeating the scourge of cancer. I donate to Discovery Shops the most desirable items I no longer wish to keep but sincerely believe would enhance someone else’s wardrobe or home. Passing them along this way makes me feel great.
- Create a “jettison pile.”
Some years ago I created what I call my “jettison pile.”
My jettison pile serves a valuable purpose, a purpose that benefits not only me but others as well. The end result resembles donating to charity, but in practice it operates somewhat differently.
First, I periodically review my wardrobe and set aside clothing that has become less and less useful to me. These are usually clothes that are somewhat ill-fitting or no longer suit my lifestyle but are okay to wear one more time when I’m traveling. I’ll add clothes like these to the jettison pile, and next time I prepare for a trip, I’ll throw some of them into my suitcase.
Then, when I arrive at a destination, I jettison them.
I often jettison them as I depart from a hotel room. I’ll leave them in a neat stack for the cleaning staff with a note that clearly states something like the following: “These items are for you if you want them. I no longer need them.”
In a foreign country where I know the basics of the language, I’ll try to write my note in that language. If I don’t know the language, I’ll ask English-speaking staff at the front desk to help me write my message.
Jettisoning clothes (and sometimes other small items, like an extra flashlight) serves a double purpose. I’m leaving things for cleaning-staff people who may be able to use them, or who know someone else who can use them. (Of course, they have the option of dumping my stuff in the trash.)
I benefit as well. When I leave these things behind, I make room in my suitcase for new things I acquire during my trip, like souvenir t-shirts or books about local sites or……well, you get the idea.
On a recent river cruise, a young woman from a not-very-prosperous country was assigned to clean my cabin. I’d prepared for the cruise by bringing very nice but no-longer-wanted-by-me tops, pants, skirts, nightgowns, and miscellaneous stuff. When the cruise ended, I left my cleaning woman two shopping bags full of things she could either use herself or pass along to her family and friends. And I now had newly freed-up space in my cases for things I’d acquired during the trip.
Passing things along this way seems to be another good choice.
Please decide what works best for you. Just remember to make choices that bring you joy!