RAID Your Closet This Spring

Did you know that getting rid of closet clutter can be liberating, increase mental clarity, and even help relieve stress? It's true. And what better season than spring to unburden your stuffed wardrobe.

To get you started, we've come up with a straightforward decluttering approach that we've dubbed the RAID method, which stands for Remove, Assess, Ignore, and Donate.

Remove the Obvious

Your first pass at decluttering should be easy. You know the things you absolutely hate (the "what was I thinking when I bought this" stuff). These are usually hiding in the nether regions of your closet. Pull those out first. That will free up space and make it easier to do a second pass.

Assess Everything

Ok, now it gets a little bit harder. It's time to take a look at each and every item, one by one, and do a little soul searching about whether you can let it go.

Everyone holds onto a shirt or slacks that have sentimental value (e.g., that Hawaiian shirt from last year's vacation) but will never wear. Addressing the emotional bond that keeps certain items in your closet can be the most challenging hurdle in the process of decluttering.

There is also the issue of quantity. Do you really need 20 handbags and 10 pink belts? Yes, it's lovely to have choices, but if most of your choices are simply collecting dust and taking up space, it could be time to have fewer of them.

Ignore Nothing

Now the third pass. At this point you should have some momentum and be in the lightening-your-load groove. Take another look at what remains in your closet, and omit nothing; for example, items that you are attached to but are no longer your size.

We all have things we absolutely love, but are now too large or too small to wear them. If you are holding onto an item because you someday think or possibly hope to be able to wear it again, instead maybe promise yourself the reward of something new and exciting when you drop a size.

Donate, Don't Dispose

Congratulations! You should now have a pile of stuff on your bedroom floor. Bag it all up and donate it.

If you are in one of the Planet Aid service areas, you can find a nearby bin. If not, then please find another good cause that is accepting used textiles. Never, ever dispose of unwanted clothing. Textile waste is a huge problem, and, along with taking up landfill space, is contributing to global warming.

For more tips, tricks, and spring cleaning ideas, see the rest of our Spring Cleaning Guide!