I recently spent time with my sister, but this time it was in a bit of a role reversal–she was the accountability partner for me, the professional organizer! I needed help going through my closet and purging pre-pandemic clothes, along with pre-pre-pandemic items that had found a permanent hiding spot.
So, here’s the scene:
We are be-bopping to NSYNC as I pull out each item. There are many items that I immediately say, “I love this.” and it goes on my bed to be returned to my closet when the process is complete. There are many items that I pause, stare at and then shrug and look to her for guidance. Maybe we discussed it for a minute, but more often than not, she shook her head and it went into the “donate” pile. At that moment, I realized, just like many of my clients, sometimes what is needed is the reassurance that you are making the correct decision. She “gave” me permission to donate. Sometimes it was difficult–a dress I loved from 8 years ago that I wore to my husband’s college reunion when we danced the night away. For the record, I held on to that one, because I reminded myself that the goal was not to empty the closet completely. It was to discover the items that no longer fit, were somewhat out of style, or made me immediately smile when I held them.
A few items made me smile but I still decided to donate them. A few items were in beautiful condition–a few formal spring dresses that were worn once and then forgotten. In that case, I decided to post them on our local “Everything is Free” site and they are already spoken for. I am happy someone in my community will be able to use them!
My sister was a supportive presence–we laughed, we told stories, and before I knew it, my closet was done. We treated ourselves to lunch as I marveled at the 4 garbage bags filled with clothes that I said goodbye to without much fanfare. How great it was to have a buddy to help–that’s what makes my job so fulfilling. I can sit with my clients as they reminisce, laugh, sometimes cry, and learn to donate those items that no longer work for them.