Bagging Emotions

Advice on downsizing your wardrobe for the greater good

By Kristie Jacobs

Being in a middle-class family, I grew up learning to appreciate what I was given and the chances I had to buy what I wanted and not only what I needed. I also learned that hand-me-downs were awesome and fun, and dollar stores and thrift stores could give you the hook-up. But the moment I turned the age that I could  legally work, I jumped at the chance to earn some money. It wouldn’t be long until two words would change my life: direct deposit. I quickly fell at the feet of online stores and having a debit card on hand; the label “shopaholic” could not even explain this phase. I had packages of clothes coming in multiple times a week and never stressed about having to repeat an outfit. But now the label of “broke college student” could not be more accurate and I am now, officially, the daughter of my father. I’m cheap and can’t be spending that much money on clothing anymore.

It takes me years to part with clothes. I think about how they hold sentimental value when, in reality, they don’t. I always complain that I need a bigger closet when I just truly need to toss out those out-of-season pieces that will never be worn again. But after spending hundreds of dollars on clothing, I admit it is quite painful to just throw them away. As much as I hate to admit it, 16-year-old me justified buying a $175 shirt for work. What was my job? I was a cashier at the local grocery store. Why would I ever need a shirt that expensive to be covered by an apron? So now you may be asking, Kristie, what do we do if we hoard our clothes? Well, you are in luck! I am here to save the day by making room in your closet.

Almost a month ago, I decided to take out my emotions on my clothing and stood in my closet staring at the hangers that were jammed together to the point that no one could move anything to glance at what was there. I immediately started yanking shirts one by one, throwing them behind me into a pile of nothing. If clothes could talk like the toys in the film Toy Story, they’d be screaming for help.

I packed up four garbage bags of everything: shirts, skirts, shorts, dresses, rompers, jeans, shoes and literally anything a person could think of that is deemed acceptable to donate. I recruited my roommates to help me carry the bags down to the backseat of my car and off we went into the night on a mission. First off was the best option in my opinion: a consignment store that would buy your old clothes from you. The three of us carried in the bags of clothes to the woman at the counter and were instructed to wait until my name appeared on the board. Not too long after, I was told that they could only buy 10 pieces out of my bags for $30. Although it was better than nothing, I sighed in defeat. We left with the clothes and the closed sign was placed on the shop’s door. It was now past 9 p.m. and every store was now closed. It was time for Plan B.

In the distance was a blue dumpster that read Clothes & Shoes Donation Drop-Off. We drove up to it and saw it was already overflowing to the point where no one could toss their bags into the bin. I frowned in confusion, not wanting to leave my bags out in the open in fear that rain would ruin them all. My old clothes deserved much more than that; they deserved a home where another girl would wear them proudly. My roommate suggested checking out another local thrift store. After a 10-minute drive down the road, we discovered that this store was closed too, and would reopen at 9 a.m.       

The next morning, I decided to find the nearest Goodwill and hope for the best. I found out that there was one only a few miles away and quickly headed over there. I pulled up to the convenient car drop-off area and was immediately greeted by a worker with a friendly smile. He helped me carry the bags inside, handing them to another worker as I walked back to my car three steps away. They thanked me and asked if I wanted a receipt for my taxes. I declined in pure laziness. I realized how effortless it was to donate my clothes and was grateful that I could afford to part with them. In the end, donating clothes is the best way to go and Goodwill will always be your best friend.

Tags: #style512 #fashion #style #middleclass #appreciation #clotheshorse #value #quality #quantity #savings #goodwill #emotions #shopping #closets #purge #collegelife #grownupdecisions
Subscribe to the blog