In theory, the process of ‘clearing out’, whatever that may mean to you, is a cathartic, rewarding experience. Think of all that extra room, you tell yourself, as you imagine bundling neglected clothes into bags, freeing up acres of space you never believed you had. In practice, it’s boring. Really, really boring. You work hard all week, only to arrive at Saturday to find that, rather than enjoying a bottomless brunch with your friends (that you’ll have to enjoy vicariously via Instagram, anyway), you’re spending all day cooped up, knee-deep in stuff.
This is possibly why Marie Kondo has enjoyed such unprecedented success in showing the world how to not only fold your T-shirts into teeny, tiny triangles, but also how to free yourself from the tyranny of this Stuff. The spaces in which we live are getting smaller, so it makes sense we’d all turn to an oracle, of sorts, to discover how to maximise our joy in our own spaces. Indeed, as Kondo advises, the whole idea is to pick up an item and assess whether or not it instills said joy within you. It doesn’t? Throw it away.
Except, to make the process of clearing out more worthwhile, don’t throw it out. Instead, why not donate it to a brilliant cause that will actually improve, and maybe save, someone’s life? TK Maxx is providing such a service – simply fill your bags with pre-loved clothes, accessories and even homewares, drop them off at your nearest TK Maxx store and be a part of the Give Up Clothes For Good campaign, which over the past 15 years has seen a whopping £32.5 million, including cash donations, raised for Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People.
So, with all that in mind, and because we’ve partnered with TK Maxx to ensure that we can raise as much money as possible, here’s our three-step Grazia guide to making your next wardrobe clear-out more meaningful than ever before…
Dedicate some time to sorting through your items before you decide what to donate. Don’t rush this and do it on impulse as, chances are, you may end up keeping lots of pieces you don’t want anymore and donating those that you still use regularly. Lay everything out on your bed, as this allows you to see everything clearly. Hold up each item – do you use it every day? Does it – wait for it – spark joy? If the answer is yes then put it in the keep pile. If not, fold it into a bag ready to be donated to TK Maxx at a later date.
Invest in storage
Living among clutter will inevitably leave you feeling disorganised in every area of your life. For some, this happens straight away but for others, it can develop over time. To make your life easier, invest in some handy storage solutions so that you can tidy everything away and feel more serene. Even if your living space is small, great storage can make it feel twice as big.
Look for ingenious ways to work storage into your space – Pinterest is a good place to start for initial ideas on this. Some of the most common suggestions include shoe racks – either attached to doors if you’re short on floor space or built into wardrobes as extra shelves. Or, perhaps you need to compartmentalise your drawers or shelves, giving everything its own individual space. Either way, storage can really make or break the way you feel about where you live.
When you’ve finally sorted through your belongings, stored everything you want to keep and put everything else into bags ready to go, make sure you locate your nearest TK Maxx store and donate your items to the Give Up Clothes For Good campaign. Since 2004, the initiative has seen 1.5 million bags of clothing and household goods donated, which equates to around 7,518 tonnes of pre-loved items that have been given a second life. And it’s not just Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People that is benefitting from this, either – it’s also helping the planet. Every tonne of clothing that is donated results in a net saving of 4.5 tones of greenhouses gases.
At Grazia, we are in the midst of our own wardrobe clear outs, ready to donate to the cause and help to fund the amazing work of Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People, which is working to improve survival and reduce long-term side effects for children and young people with cancer. Join us and sign up to our pledge to help at graziadaily.co.uk/fashion/news/pledge. After that, donate away and turn the simple act of organising your wardrobe into something altogether more significant.
For more inspiration, see all the celebrities who have supported the Give Up Clothes For Good campaign over the past 15 years...