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Weeding a garden is one thing; Weeding through closets is another! If the closet owner is a teenager or a teenager, the collection can be especially daunting. Items that no longer fit. Items that They were your favorites. Items that are no longer in fashion. Items that have stains, tears, or missing buttons. Items that look good on a hanger but hang strangely from it. Items that fit but make you look too fat or too thin, too tall or too short, too old or too young. Items that you love but that you find too revealing or too childish. Plus, the items you wear every day!

Before school resumes, take some time to remove the grass. Invite your daughter to join you. Explain that money is tight everywhere right now and that before financing more clothing purchases, it would help both of you see what she has. You can even free up space for your daughter to store other treasures. Also, making order out of chaos is satisfying on its own. You can sweeten the deal by offering to help wash or iron your discoveries. Suggest that once she’s finished, you take her shopping.

First discuss the destinations of the items you plan to order.

  • Items to Keep: Acknowledge and validate your daughter’s taste. He has nice and useful clothes. She has feelings too, like all of us do, and should be allowed to keep some useless items (for grown-ups!) If she loves them.
  • Items to share: Clothes in good condition that can be given to a sister, cousin, neighbor or friend.
  • Repair / Wash / Iron Items: Clothes you like and want to fix.
  • Items to donate: Clothing that is still usable can be dropped off at a thrift store or advertised on craigslist (or a similar site).
  • Items to Throw away or Put in the Junk Basket: Even your youngster may admit that some things are beyond hope.

Second, grass! This can be a fun time to try things on, laugh at what used to look good, and find out how much you’ve grown. It is also an opportunity to reflect with her on how much clothing costs and how many resources (water, heat, energy) were consumed to produce it.

Third, talk about what you still need and what you want. This tight economy makes us all budget conscious, and this process makes your daughter a part of family planning. After the weeding process is complete, you can both see what you have and what you need.

Finally, go shopping. The steps above inspire girls to make careful and deliberate purchases, behavior appropriate for our current economic climate, and a skill for life.

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