Spring Cleaning My Closet: How I Let Go of Sentimental Clutter

I have a confession. After fifteen years, I finally parted with my prom dress. It's my job to help people declutter so yes, this is embarrassing to admit! The truth is, it’s very easy to talk yourself out of getting rid of something, clothing especially. “It was expensive!” “I got a great deal!” “It was a gift.” “I might fit into it again.” Sound familiar? I had to shift my mindset and ask questions like “What purpose is this dress currently serving?” Answer: it’s serving no current purpose. Conclusion: it's clutter.

Well, the initial dip of the toe set off a ripple effect. I also let go of the dresses I wore to my graduate school graduation, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and baby shower. For years, these dresses hung in a garment bag at the back of my closet. Year after year, I spring-cleaned around the garment bag, donating other articles of clothing. This season, it was time to stop ignoring the clutter. How did I feel afterwards? So. Much. Lighter! I do not miss these items like I feared I would. My memories of these events are intact because they’re within me, not my dresses. Most importantly though, I am happy that my sentimental items will be useful to someone else. 

This spring, challenge yourself to tackle the sentimental clutter. If the thought overwhelms you, start small like I did. Donate one dress. Your closet (and your mind) will thank you!