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Spring cleaning: saying good-bye for a good cause

April 5, 2013

It’s been a tradition in my house that when the weather finally gets warm, my family does some spring cleaning. We get rid of old clothes and items we don’t want any more—rather than mopping the floors or dusting the house, as the name may imply.

My mother’s idea of spring cleaning is a really good one, but I never used to appreciate it. When I was younger it was always hard for me to get rid of my old toys. I would argue that I still played with them, and even though the Barbies would sit in a box under my bed for the rest of the year, I hated the idea of giving them up.

According to an article from “Radish” entitled, “Out of fashion: Weighing the hidden costs of bargain apparel,” Americans are consuming way more than we need. The average American buys 64 clothing items a year, according to author Leslie Klipsch, a self-described fast-fashion addict.

Sixty-four is a pretty big number. I don’t consider myself a shopaholic, but I have 27 shirts hanging in my closet here (that’s not counting all the clothes I leave at home). That makes 64 look like a small number if I were to add in my pants, dresses and scarves. Consumerism is a huge problem in America. I’m not saying we all do it, but I do think that we live with many unnecessary things in our homes and dorm rooms.

That’s why I brought up my mother’s spring cleaning technique. I’ve grown accustomed to it and have my own strategies to know what to get rid of. Just after a spring cleaning, I put all of my clothes on a backwards hanger. After I wear the piece of clothing when I’m ready to hang it up again, I put the hanger on the hook the right way. When the new spring cleaning comes along, I will automatically know which clothing items to give away based on the way the hangers are facing. If I haven’t worn a shirt in a whole year, then I should probably say good-bye. It’s a good technique to help me cleaned my closet in the spring, so I don’t feel the need to hang on to things I know I’ll never wear.

Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning out your own closet though. The most important part to spring cleaning is donating. My mother would drive my little brother and I, with our bags full of old clothes and toys, to a local donation center. Even though it’s hard to believe that there are people in America who don’t own the latest H&M fashions, there are probably a handful of people just in Monmouth alone who would love to own old clothes in order to keep warm next winter. The Jamieson Center in Monmouth is just one example of a good place to donate clothes or other items.

A new pair of shoes is usually a way to impress others, but those shoes could mean the world to someone living just down the street. It’s never too late to do some spring cleaning, and if you don’t want to give away your clothes here, you can always start your own tradition of summer cleaning.

Stevie Croisant
Copy/Layout Editor

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