Cleaning out your closet

Jun 13, 2013

For a final spring cleaning push, we want to help residents of our London, Ontario apartment communities to purge and clean out their closets. Purging can be a cathartic experience, especially when you can donate or repurpose old belongings and skip the landfill. Here are some tips and tricks to efficiently tackle your closet and some information on services that help you donate your items.

Prepare
Before you begin your serious closet cleaning, make sure to have some containers, corrugated boxes and clear plastic garbage bags on hand. This will help you sort your items for repurposing or donating.

Work on Individual Areas
Don’t make anything more complicated than it needs to be. Resist the temptation to pull everything out of your closet only to push it back in. Set a Saturday or Sunday aside and break the task into smaller projects to make your cleaning more accessible and efficient.

Consider if an Item is a Want or a Need:
Fight against any hesitation you may have to throw items away. Try to distance yourself from sentimentality and see clutter for what it really is – junk!

Use the three pile system when clearing your closet: keep, donate and maybe. When you’ve divided all of your items, take an hour or two away from your closet to clear your head. Time will help you distinguish which items should be kept and which shouldn’t, so take a break before you jump back in and tackle the maybe pile.

The Hanger Trick
If you still can’t decide which items of clothing to get rid of, try the ‘hanger trick’ to identify which items you never wear.  To start, place all the hangers backwards on the closet rod. Whenever you wear something, return it to the closet forwards on the rod. By the end of the summer, it will be clear which pieces you never wear. It’s time to donate those pieces; if you haven’t worn it in months, you probably don’t need to keep it.

Host a Clothing Swap
Invite some friends over and ask them to bring along their own unwanted clothing. Break out a few snacks and cocktails and spend the evening putting on a fashion show. You’ll each replace your unwanted clothes new pieces to wear. Don’t worry about getting stuck with the cast-off clothing at the end of the night. Instead, schedule a Clothesline pickup from the Canadian Diabetes Society. The Clothesline program lets you schedule a free clothing pick-up from your door. In addition to used clothing, the Canadian Diabetes society also accepts electronics and household items. 100 per cent of proceeds raised by Clothesline support the Canadian Diabetes Association in its research, education and advocacy work.

Other Options to Donate

Life Spin (Low Income Family Empowerment) Free Store
Life Spin works to empower and provide support for low-income Ontarians. Its Free Store offers a service where London residents in need can pick up household items, clothing, shoes, toys, books and furniture. No one owns the free store or the pieces within; it belongs to everyone.  People bring clothes, books, household items and appliances and are free to take whatever they want. No money exchanges hands.

866A Dundas Street
London, ON
http://lifespin-org.doodlekit.com/home/free_store

Community Clothing Centre
The Community Clothing Centre works alongside businesses, charities and community groups to distribute free clothing to those in need. Keep an eye out for donation bins around local businesses and locations throughout London.

924 Dundas Street (West of Quebec Street)
London, ON
info@communityclothingcentre.org   

We’d love to hear your feedback on the best way to clean and de-clutter your closet. We’re also eager for feedback about donation centres and causes to support around London.

Timbercreek has a number of rental apartments in some of the best neighbourhoods throughout London including the historic neighbourhood of Woodfield, the Western University community as well as apartments in the heart of downtown London.

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