Declutter: Tackling your Wardrobes

Hands up who has too many clothes?

Hands up who has at least one thing in their wardrobe that fits poorly?

That makes you feel less than great? You put it on, wear it around the house and then change it for something else before leaving? (My hands are firmly up for that one.)

As part of the 2012 in 2012 Challenge, I spent a few good hours over the weekend elbow deep in clothes. I tackled the kids wardrobes a few weeks ago, and this time it was mine and Sparky’s turn.

I felt kilograms lighter when we’d finished. Our wardrobes look attractively organised. I can see what clothes I own. And almost everything that hangs in there is something I would happily wear out of the house, because it all makes me feel good.

To get to this point you can follow these steps:

  • clear your bed of any clutter or mess – this will be your workspace
  • pull out everything from your wardrobe, section by section Eg. Start with all the hanging clothes first then work your way through your drawers, accessories and shoes. Pull them out and lay them on your bed, only moving on once you’ve completely dealt with the previous section
  • set up two plastic bags/boxes – one is for donation and one is for things to throw away
  • pick up each piece of clothing and ask yourself: 
      • Have I worn this in the last year?
      • Is it in good condition? If not, do I love it enough to have it repaired?
      • Do I feel good wearing this?
      • Does it fit me well?
      • Is there a good reason to keep it?
  • don’t put the item down until you have decided where it goes. If you decide to keep it, then return it to the correct spot in your wardrobe, otherwise put it in your donate or throw away bag.
  • if you’re really torn, you can add things to a third box, which is your keep it…for now box. Put the box away for six months (put a reminder on your phone or in your diary) and if there’s nothing you need/want in it over that time, you can safely donate everything in there, without even opening it.

Once you’ve finished going through your clothes, accessories and shoes, you can quickly look over your “keep it…for now” pile and weed out anything you’ve kept in a weak moment. I find that once I’m in the zone, decisions come much more easily.

Something to keep in mind about simplifying your wardrobe…

Doing this is a pain in the butt. You will feel infinitely better after you’ve finished, but seriously…

You’d prefer to be sitting in a hammock reading a book, wouldn’t you?

So keep that in mind when you next go shopping. You may see $3 T-shirts in all the colours of the rainbow, or cheap jeans or black sandals – whatever. But do you want to be sorting through them in three months time, thinking, “You know, I just would have preferred to keep the $3. This T-shirt sucks,” as you toss it in the donate pile?

Simplifying, decluttering and living with less isn’t about being plain or boring. It’s about enjoying what we do have by weeding out those things we don’t care for. All they do is dilute our happiness, clutter our homes and complicate our lives.

So when faced with a bargain, or a coupon for buy one get one free – whatever – just ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”

That one question, answered honestly, should mean less shopping – saving you time and money.
It should help you decide to buy less, but the best quality you can afford – saving you time.
It should mean that your quality clothes last longer – saving you time and money.
Which means less shopping – saving you time and money.

Which means more hammock time.

11 Responses to Declutter: Tackling your Wardrobes

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