Most of my friends/family/staff/mailman know that there are two “Emilys” – The one that hoards and the one that purges (click through to see such purging). Trust me, you WANT to be friends with “Purging Emily.” “Purging Emily” gives away anything to anyone, within a short physical distance to her/me – including the guy that was repairing our roof, the FedEx dude, and everyone who works for me.
So this year for my spring cleaning I partnered with Glad, and their #GladToGive campaign for my purging habit, because all of my lightly used goods go to charity – and the most convenient part? They come pick it up from you. And you want to know the BEST part? It all goes to Habitat for Humanity, OR if you have a charity in your community that you want to donate to, you simply go on the site www.gladtogive.com and put in the organization’s name and they can add it. It’s a WIN WIN WIN.
Talk about winning, enter the sweepstakes while you are at it. Take a photo of what you are donating, and share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #gladtogive AND #sweepstakes. You could win a copy of my book, a gift card to Target, and a lot of Glad product. OK. Tips. You want tips, I got tips.
Now that you know what to do with your items and how to give them to a good cause, here is how you determine what to donate versus what to keep.
I’ve said this a million times but in case you missed those posts – everything in your house needs to be one of three things: sentimental, functional, or beautiful. If you have a small house or not a lot of storage then try to have everything be 2 of those things. This means that random canister in your kitchen that doesn’t have a lid and is just kinda plastic and cheap? That has to go. You have to ask yourself WHY about everything you own and much like that Japanese book “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” that even my cats have read, everything you own should spark a bit of joy.
Speaking of books, lets start with books:
1. BOOKS: Throw away any books that you a.) won’t read/look at again, b.) won’t share with a friend, and c.) holds no sentimental value. While the “Hunger Games” series brought me joy the first time, there will not be a second, so it is time to let someone else enjoy those by donating. Toss it in the bag.
2. TEXTILES: For textiles get rid of any pillow inserts that you wouldn’t give to a guest, any mismatched towels, and keep one backup of set of sheets per bed but get rid of the rest. If it has been in your linen closet unused for a year it is time for it to go unless it is something sentimental that you are keeping to pass along to someone special.
I have hoarded these vintage plaid blankets for years – saving them for the perfect Instagrammable picnic. But the fact is they are itchy and not that cute (and they certainly aren’t sentimental) so therefore, OUT.
3. HOME DECOR- Accessories and tabletop Goods: Same rules apply – if you don’t use it, it doesn’t hold any meaning for you, and it’s not beautiful, then chuck that cheesecake pan and that jello mold.
Quick tips – individual mugs are never fun to see in your cabinets (which is hilarious for ME to say because I have one particular mug that is MINE, I love, and I would be so incredibly grateful for anyone that could lead me to the plain version of them so I could buy 12 of them for our cupboards. The lip is so perfectly thin yet durable, it holds so much, and keeps it hot).
Duplicates are also, obviously not necessary. Most of you might not have doubles of things like I do (leftover from shoots normally), but if you do, donate them. I had 5 of those candle pillars in the middle so I decided to keep three and donate two.
4. TECH: We all have too much tech which we don’t play with or listen to anymore. Free that tech and let someone else enjoy it while it is still relevant. You won’t use it, you don’t even know where the chords are. Donate it and make it somebody else’s project.
5. TOYS: Here are my rules for toys: Anything that needs multiple parts to play with, and you only have some of the parts should be gone. Anything that takes up a lot of space or something your child has a very similar version of should be gone. Anything unsentimental and bulky should be gone. Keep only what they love, or what you love. It’s that simple.
Charlie loves none of those things above (the books/truck are duplicates) and neither do I. Time to move on (and out). There are plenty of children that will get use out of these toys and give them much more love than you do when they sit in your cupboard. Speaking of, my new credenza has worked wonders in helping to keep me organized and to keep the clutter at bay. I didn’t have room for a unit that had doors that opened so this one has been just the right fit. (pun intended)
6. CLOTHES: These pretty little guys are one of the hardest things for most people to part with, and yet the most liberating. We often find ourselves holding on to them for YEARS thinking they will either come back into style, we will either fit in them again, or we will have just the right occasion for that perfect peacoat.
Here are some quick clothing tips:
1. Keep anything high quality/designer but slightly out of style – they will come back at some point so it might be worth the hoard. If its cheap and dated, then feel free to donate – it probably wont hold up too well even if it does come back into style.
2. Keep some skinny clothes, but chuck the fantasy ones. I like how im assuming all of you have piles of skinny jeans. Be realistic. I’ll keep some that are a bit snug but the fantasy clothes from when I was a size 2 are less likely to happen or worst case scenario it does happen and I have to buy a new wardrobe. How terrible.
3. I constantly find myself buying the same staple pieces over and over which leads to my closet being filled with 10 identical chambray shirts, a plethora of plaid, and a enough navy lady blazers to clothe an entire news channel. Rather than going through your clothes one by one in the closet pull out all similar items and start placing them in piles. This will help you sift through what needs to go and what can stay.
4. Here are a few tips: chuck any clothes that are damaged, have stains, don’t fit (or will never fit), or that you haven’t worn in a year make them all good candidates for the donate pile.
5. Donate the clothes you never opt for. I have 14 chambray shirts. I love a good chambray shirt. There are 3 that I never ever opt for.
7. KIDS CLOTHES: It’s the same rules, just for your kids clothes. The main exception to this is, if you have hand me downs that will work for your next kid and you know that they will wear them or they are sentimental and have been passed down then you can keep them. But also if you got something at a shower that you don’t think is your child’s style (read: your style) don’t just hang on to it, let someone else enjoy it.
She’s all “keep, keep, donate, keep”. She was a big fan of keeping the onesies, but not such a big fan of the vintage shoes I had been hoarding for her tiny little feet to grow into.
8. Keep anything that has heirloom potential. If you have some kids clothes that are really special or exceptionally high quality, or maybe you get a big smile on your face every time you see it, keep them. I received a few gifts (that cashmere onesie from Marie Chantal) and have purchased some things that despite her growing out of I’m not ready to let go of.
Those teeny tiny white leather shoes are quite possibly the least comfortable and probably damaging shoes ever. No child will ever wear them. But I can’t let go. Keep the special pieces and pass them on to your children’s, children. They’ll be like ‘Crazy NANA Em gave me some garbage because she is a hoarder’.
Purging is hard and stressful (I know), but knowing that what you are giving up and donating it all to a good cause makes it a tad bit easier. Thanks to Glad for providing such a seamless and selfless way for us to donate. Less work for you, more good for others. Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes while you are at it. Take a photo of what you are donating, and share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #GladToGive AND #Sweepstakes. You could win a copy of my book, a gift card to Target, and a lot of Glad product.
Now get out there and purge… hoarding has never been a good look for anyone or their houses.
*This post was in partnership with Glad for their GladToGive campaign but all words, ideas and opinions are my own.