If you have been following my Facebook page, you know that in July I decided to embark on a self portrait challenge with a twist: I took a self portrait every day and the outfit I wore for the photo was to be donated to a local charity/organization. The idea behind the project was to make me create something daily and also help me let go of some clothes/shoes I no longer need/wear.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to accumulate clothes easily. I love clearance sales and resale shops, and I often buy outfits with photos in mind. However, little by little they tend to add up in my closet, and although I regularly gift/donate some pieces I decided it was time for some more major closet clean up.
Clutter in my home often creates clutter in my brain. This year I have been traveling more, and being on the road made me realize that the less clothes I own, the easier packing will be. Inspired by Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Lifestyle and minimalist wardrobe, I have been loving picking an outfit daily for a month, photographing it, and setting it aside for donation. Thanks to my friend Michelle Anne with MK Designs Photography / Fine Art and Portrait I found the perfect charity to donate all outfits to. Jenny’s Closet, a local non-profit organization that has been started by Theresa Jones, a custodian at Washington Middle School. They provide clothes, shoes, hygiene items, school supplies and more to children and teens in need.
What struck me while taking all outfits to be donated out of my closet, is that I have accumulated all these clothes in the last 5 years I have been in the USA. Back in 2010, all my possessions fit in a suitcase. First I bought a winter coat, then a pair of jeans (to fit in the Midwest), and the rest followed. When you find a nice sweater for $5 on clearance, you buy it…
I don’t collect much stuff. I do hoard photos but it’s part of my job – it never fails that people lose them and ask me to retrieve old files. Looking at my closet, though, I think I have a little bit of clothes addiction. Taking everything out and giving it to people who need it more, felt extremely liberating this morning. The extra space in my closet makes me happy. And, no, I don’t have the urge to go shopping to fill it up. I have the intention to free up more space!
It was such a joy today to meet Theresa Jones and hand her all the outfits and shoes! I believe what she is doing is wonderful and I am honored and glad to help with her cause. She could use more pants and tops for the upcoming school year, as well as toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and other hygiene products. If you want to contribute, you can call her at 636.629.4274 or simply drop off your donation at the Washington Middle School for Jenny’s Closet.
Was it hard to part with some of these items in my closet? Yes, they are all very nice clothes and some of them I have worn and loved a lot. But letting them go felt so much better than keeping them, especially when knowing that they are going to somebody who needs them more.
“Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable, you will never be able to truly change at all because you will be forever in control of things you can’t give up.”
Inspired to simply your closet? You can start with just a few items and make a difference. Feeling bold? Click here. 😉
Feel free to share your comments, ideas and suggestions below!