Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DCMM: Always a Bridal Gown, Never Clutter?

Recently, whilst in the throes of a decluttering project, I came across my wedding dress packed away in a box. It rested atop a box full of Transformers from my husband's youth, and underneath a box of old coats.

I've gotten pretty good at making decisive decisions about my clutter. I'm even learning how to get rid of sentimental items. But the wedding dress threw me for a loop.

Unlike with the Transformers (nod along when the husband swears he's going to eBay them, and then throw them away when he forgets about them in six or seven years) and the box of coats (donate, donate, donate!), it seemed that I would be crossing a boundary by getting rid of the dress.

After all, I wore this dress on one of the most important days of my life. It is one of many symbols of my marriage. It is beautiful. It cost hundreds of dollars.

But...

I wore it exactly once. And I will never wear it again.

I wrote about my dilemma at my decluttering blog, The Junk Pyramid, and asked for opinions. I was surprised by the response–on both sides. (And that people cared if I kept or donated my wedding dress.) I posted a poll and the overwhelming majority of respondents said I should donate the dress.

To be honest, I was relieved to see the results. Although I didn't know it when I wrote the post, I mostly wanted to let someone else use it. I just needed some other people to tell me it was okay.

Because (1) I don't need it, (2) I'll never use it again, and (3) it's taking up a good amount of space. If that's not a classic description of clutter, I don't know what is.

And after all, I have more photographs of this dress than of any other item of clothing I have ever owned. It's not as if I will forget the day if the dress moves on.

I briefly considered trying to eBay, consign, or flat-out sell it, but the right thing to do seems to be to donate it. I was lucky enough to be able to afford a beautiful dress on my wedding day. Many are not.

One reader suggested two places I could donate my dress: Brides Against Breast Cancer and The Brides' Project.

My nine-year wedding anniversary is May 29. I plan to have given away my dress by then. Hopefully it will give some other happy bride the magical start to a wonderful marriage that it gave me.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Jean declutters at The Junk Pyramid and blogs at Stimeyland.

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