Girlfriend Get-Together: A Declutter Date | Guest Blogger Betsy Talbot

Is your closet too full girlfriend? Need to declutter your closet but just can’t?!

Girlfriend advice on decluttering your closetsThe changing season has me back in my closet wondering: ‘what did I wear last Fall/Winter?’ That is, if I can find what I wore last year in my closet! That’s where girlfriends can help!

Girlfriend and guest blogger BETSY TALBOT shares an idea to have girlfriends help with closet de-cluttering. What is your advice for decluttering, girlfriend?

It’s true of almost every woman in the modern world: your closet is overflowing, but you only wear a fraction of what’s in it.

For some unknown reason, you can’t get rid of those jeans that haven’t fit you in nearly a decade, or the funky sweater with the price tag still attached that doesn’t go with anything you own. You bought that suit when you thought you wanted to be a corporate superstar, but today you’re more of a yoga pants type of gal. Or vice versa: now that the kids are older, you’re ramping up your career and ready to make some waves in the workplace.

Your closet is filled with the you of the past and the you you hoped to be at one time with only a tiny spot left for the you of today. And when you get dressed every morning, you’re marching through your timeline, digging through what used to be and what never was to find the 20% or so of clothes that fit who you are now and the direction you are taking your life.

Is that any way to start a productive day?

It’s time to make your closet 100% in tune with who you are, and the best resource to help you make that happen is your close circle of friends and a little shindig called a Reverse Birthday Party.

How to Host a Reverse Birthday Party (Even If It’s Not Your Birthday)

By harnessing the power of your friendships, you can easily sort through your closet and release what no longer fits your life to people you love, making warm and fun memories in the process.

My favorite strategy is to host a Reverse Birthday Party, which you can do even if it isn’t technically your birthday (just give it another name!).

Here’s how to plan it:

1. Invite as many of your good friends as you can reasonably fit in your living room. I invited 20 friends to my small townhouse for a come-and-go event, and it worked just fine. Remember that most people will be standing and moving around, so you don’t have to make room for everyone to sit at the same time.

2. Take out everything in your closet that you love but no longer use, like clothes that don’t fit (in size or lifestyle), accessories you never wear, and shoes you don’t use. Pick out the ones that are still in good condition. Don’t worry if it seems tough to let it go; your friends are going to help you through this.

3. Make a tag for each item and write a little bit of the history. Why did you buy it? When did you wear it? Why are you giving it up? This tag helps you process the letting go and tells your friends a little bit more about you. Attach the tag to the item.

4. Set up a little boutique in your living room with all the items. Hang them from a shelving unit or a coat rack – whatever you have on hand. Think about how you’d see them displayed in a store.

5. Invite your friends to shop as they sip wine, listen to music, and munch on snacks. As they find an item they like, have them write their names on the back of the tag.

6. About an hour into the party, go through the items in an auction-like format, announcing the “winner” of the item. You can either give it away or have the winners donate an amount they would have normally spent to buy you a gift on your birthday (I had people contribute to our trip fund in lieu of a gift). If more than one person wants a particular item, it’s time for a style-off. Each person should don the item and walk the runway, making an elaborate display to get more votes. At the end of the style-off, the party guests vote to see which one wore it best. (My favorite style-off tune? You’re So Vain by Carly Simon.) That person gets to keep it.

7. Take a photo of you, your friend, and the item they just won or bought. It’s your final memory of releasing this piece from your life and wishing it well with someone you love.

I used this exact strategy when I was 39 and on the cusp of a big life transition. It helped me release what I no longer needed and make room for positive changes in my life. In fact, if it wasn’t for this gentle way of letting go, I’m not sure I could have gotten to the finish line.

But 3 years after my own Reverse Birthday Party, I’m still full of warm memories from that evening and living a life that fits me like a glove, one that wouldn’t be possible if I were still tied down to a house with an overflowing closet of the wrong kind of clothes.

And I still cherish the women who helped me step into the life of my dreams.

You, too, can make an easy transition into the present by releasing what’s no longer working for you, all the while making fun new memories with the girlfriends who love and support you.Betsy Talbot

BETSY TALBOT and her husband Warren successfully decluttered their lives in 2010 to travel the world. You can find out their strategies and lessons for big life changes in their books, podcast, and articles at Married with Luggage. If your clutter is overwhelming, find out how to get rid of the junk and get on with your life in their online course: Declutter Clinic.

What girlfriends would you invite over to help you declutter your closet? Why not do that?! Share how it goes below!

More girlfriend advice on organizing, etc.: Girlfriends Guide to Organizing Your Closet / Spring Cleaning Advice, Three Massive Mistakes Women Make When Shopping | Fashion Advice from Style Guru Donna Gamache, Five Tips for Organizing the Papers in Your Kitchen | Advice from Lisa Woodruff, and Get Paid to Purge Your Closet | Spring Cleaning Advice from Guru Donna Gamache.

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