Claim Free 250pts Comfy Cozy Club Claim Free 250pts Comfy Cozy Club
Back to School Decluttering - Quality Products Make Good Hand-Me-Downs

Fall Is A Good Time to Get Organized

Do you go on a cleaning spree in the fall? I do. The cooler weather, going back to school, and the need for a streamlined routine to get everyone where they need to be on time spurs me to get the house organized, rid of clutter, and ready for the paper overload that homework and school projects bring.

Now that the temperatures have dropped, it's time to get moving. And my go-to guide for ridding the house of excess is Marie Kondo's popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Surely you've heard of Marie Kondo and her drastic approach to clearing your home of unwanted and unnecessary items. Kondo's name has even become a verb, as in "I have Kondoized my closet." Which, for the uninitiated, means to take out all your clothing, lay it on the floor, and sort by type. Then gently hold each item. If it sparks joy, keep it. If it doesn't, out it goes.

In our household, and yours, too, I suspect, to Kondo is an ongoing process. Growing kids, changing fashion, updated technology - all these things result in too much stuff. We have recently moved not once, but twice, which means we went through all our belongings multiple times. It's much better to downsize your belongings before packing day! So we've touched each item, and decided whether anyone felt the joy.

The Four Piles System

In our house, we organize by piles. There are four piles:

1. Keep

2. Sell

3. Donate/Gift

4. Throw Away

This process has sparked many donations to Goodwill, a little bit of selling, and occasionally just throwing things out.

Items which made the keep pile: My Patagonia ski pants, a few favorite books, and the white basket my grandmother used to carry flowers on her wedding day.

Items donated: Clothes my daughter has outgrown, chairs that are too big for the scale of our small house life, and many, many books.

Items that went straight to trash: School art projects made from macaroni and other perishables, cat toys losing their stuffing, and clothing with stains, holes, and tears that just couldn't be washed or repaired. It's amazing how fast a busy, active teenage girl can wear out a new knit top!

Quality Products Pass the Kondo Test

One lesson from all this touching and evaluating: the quality products, the ones that are made well with durability in mind, are much more likely to go on the keep pile. Whether it's a wicker basket from a 1920's wedding that hasn't decayed a bit, or the Patagonia ski pants that have lasted a decade or more, these items tend to be made with the integrity that comes from a commitment to quality materials and workmanship. They spark the kind of joy that comes with good old-fashioned lasting quality.

Quality Clothes Become Hand-Me-Downs

And of course, our Lucky & Me leggings made the cut. They have held up after many wearings and multiple wash and dry cycles. The fabric has softened and become more comfortable over time, and the colors remain vibrant. Although my daughter has outgrown them, our grandaughter is going to love wearing these hand-me-downs!

By Liz Smith. Liz has worked across the globe for many of the world's best known apparel brands, including Justice, Chico's, Victoria's Secret, and Hanes. She has worked closely with dozens of factories in more than 20 countries to ensure that production is of the highest standard. Liz has managed all aspects of garment production, from design through fabric development to sewing and merchandising - so she knows what it takes to make high-quality apparel. Liz is thrilled to share her knowledge about clothes to help discerning customers choose the finest products.