What do I do with this stuff now that I’ve cleaned out my closet/drawer/room, etc.? This is an excellent question and one that I help clients with regularly. First off, congratulations on letting go of whatever it is. That takes courage and should put you in a positive frame of mind. Generally speaking, it really depends on what IT is before I can help you determine what to do with IT so I am going to have a series of posts on various resources for getting rid of stuff and provide you some options.
For women, one question that I get repeatedly is what to do with their wedding dress. This is a sensitive topic for many because it has such strong emotions associated with it plus it was most likely very expensive. It could have been borrowed from a family member or friend. Let me tell you what I did with mine.
A few years ago, I was on my quest for a wedding dress and, as a “mature” bride (yes, anyone over 30 is called Mature), I was struggling with finding one that suited my taste, figure, budget, etc. I tried the traditional, local bridal boutiques, EBay, discounted stores, resale shops, department stores and wasn’t getting anywhere. Finally, I stumbled upon OnceWed, an online store for brides selling their gently used and pre-worn wedding dress. What a miracle! You can check the site for yourself and spend hours searching for gowns by designer, size, price, which I certainly did! Another nice thing they do is list out the exact measurements so that you can determine whether it will fit you since most likely it has been altered. The catch is there are no returns so you’ve got to be really sure that this is the dress you want before clicking “buy.” You can correspond with the seller to ask as many questions as you like and they typically post a ton of pictures.
So after a few messages back and forth with the seller, I took the plunge and bought my dress without seeing it in person or trying it on. The days before the dress came were nail biters for me because I spent more than I had intended but this dress was gorgeous! I just had a feeling that it was right and, you know what? I was right! The dress arrived at my office and I shut the door and tried it on right there. Thank goodness we hadn’t moved into cubes yet! The crazy thing is, I didn’t have to do any alterations. It was perfect as it was and I was good to go.
Since I had spent more on the dress than I intended, I already decided that I would sell it back once I was finished with it. And here is the main point of this post: it is just a dress and you only wear it one day of your life. This was the most beautiful dress I had ever worn but was I going to wear it again? No. Was I going to have a daughter that would want to wear it? Who knows? Did I have any friends that might want to wear it? No, and I’m shorter than all of my friends and they’ve already gotten married. Do not get wrapped up in possessions because your memories are what last forever, not the actual dress or piece of furniture or other object. Styles change and it is unlikely that you’ll be able to pass the dress along to someone else to wear. I’m not saying it is impossible but think about the cost of storing that dress properly to protect it from the elements and the space it takes up. Think also about the joy of another bride enjoying it as much as you did and feeling as beautiful as you did on her wedding day.
I’ll tell you the story of my selling my dress in a follow up post.