Stylewise DonationsSome people collect magnets from each city they’ve visited. Others collect mint condition comic books that they could probably sell on Ebay for a fortune, but refuse to. Others collect vinyl records, seemingly indifferent to the rise of the mp3.

Me? I collect clothes. The shoes and the jewelry came later on—in fact, I find them much easier to amass because they skip the whole hassle of a changing room. But clothes will always be my first love; I even chose a career that revolves around them!

I will be the first to admit that my wardrobe holds more garments than I actually use in a year. I don’t need half the stuff that’s in there—and truth be told, I only use about a third. It’s an unreasonable amount of clothes for a person who tends to wear the same go-to get-ups over and over again.

The funny part is how I justify my attachment to this pile of clothes. I’ll say, “Oh, I’m waiting for this trend to come back, so it’s actually an investment” or “I’m saving that dress for when I reach my goal weight” or “I’m keeping that top for whenever I get to visit so-and-so country on my bucket list.” It’s a lot of amusing, frivolous fluff. But if anything, collecting is supposed to be about mindless, personal fun—common sense be damned—right?

And then something like the recent monsoon flood happens, and it forces you to sit back and re-evaluate things. Most of the time, I would consider it my prerogative to have a large collection of clothes sitting around not being used, simply for my own pleasure and perusal. But when, in a crisis, you realize that you’ve got a lot to give—more than most, in fact—it changes your perspective almost instantly. Mine certainly did when I filled two huge shopping bags with expendable outfits—many of which I hadn’t even realized I still owned.

So here’s a call to all fashion-lovers and clothing-collectors. If you want to help, turn to the best resource you have at your disposal: your closet. And if you haven’t already started, here are five signs you should dispatch your clothes without a second thought—no ifs, ands, or buts about it!

(Photo by pentacs via morguefile.com)

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