By Khadijah Khogeer

After realizing I have to pack four years’ worth of items once I graduate from Boston University next semester, I decided this week that a closet cleanout was long overdue.

While I always knew I was somewhat of a hoarder, I didn’t know how much I was capable of piling up until I had to book my flight back home for winter break. It dawned on me that I have a limited number of international flights (and luggage space) to move all my stuff from Boston back to my home country. 

Other than for logistical purposes, I was hoping a good closet cleanse would also help me feel like less of a mess.

Phase 1: Procrastinating

I started by removing everything off the shelves and hangers. This way, I get a clear idea of how much closet space I have and force myself to only put back clothes I actually wear. 

Now comes the actual decision-making process: what to throw out and what to keep, which is easier said than done. Between midterms and my social life, I became too lazy and busy to rummage through the mountains of clothing on the ground. 

Organizing and packing clothes takes time and energy. Some people even make a living out of it.  While I am no Marie Kondo, I knew it had to be done sooner or later. 

Phase 2: The purge

It took me about four hours to get the job done. I would say it’s quite the achievement, considering I probably had more than 100 items of clothing. 

I kept two rules in mind, which might be quite strict, but I believe they’re necessary if you want to be efficient: 

1. If I haven’t worn it in more than a year, it’s going out.

It’s unlikely I will wear it in the future if I haven’t worn it in the past year. I gauge one year because some items can be worn only in one season, such as shorts and coats.

On the weather note, I realized I had to stop lying to myself about where I live. I had disproportionately more summer dresses than winter sweaters, even though I spend more time in the Boston winter than on the beach.

2. If it doesn’t fit me anymore, it’s going out. 

Saying I’ll lose weight to fit into something is usually an excuse to latch on to an item I probably don’t have the confidence to wear. It’s also unrealistic to lose weight fast enough to wear something, so it’s better to be honest and keep the clothes you actually wear on a regular basis.

Phase 3: Saying goodbye.

After the purge, I have to decide where exactly the unwanted clothes will go. The two options are donating or selling.

While many people choose to sell online on sites such as Depop, I find sending them to a thrift store is the most convenient because I don’t have the time to take pictures and mail items individually. Whatever the thrift store won’t take can be donated to charities.