If your closet represents the best of several decades of fashion or contains multiple sizes of the same article of clothing, it’s time to declutter your clothing. Knowing how and where to begin can be intimidating. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
When you declutter your closet you make it easy to find what you're looking for.
Letting go of clothing can be difficult. Often we form attachments to our clothes. We make excuses for why we need to keep something we’re better off without. Having a friend around when you declutter your clothing can help you keep things in perspective.
You’re not serious about your intent to declutter your clothing if you don’t have a donation bag or box handy. I recommend a trash bag as well. Let’s face it, some things should not be passed on. If you think you’d like to sell some things, bring along a separate container for those items as well.
Make a plan for how you will declutter your clothing. Are you going to start with the dresser before tackling the closet or vice versa?
Consider working in chunks. Do the dresser one day and the closet another. If that’s too overwhelming, do one drawer at a time.
Know your limitations and set yourself up for success. Don’t try to do more than you are physically, mentally, or emotionally capable of at one time. This will only lead to frustration.
Frustration will result in shoddy work. In your eagerness to be done you will not be as thorough as you should be. Pace yourself.
Depending on the type of fabric such items could be cut up and used as rags. Otherwise, they should go in the trash.
Are you holding onto clothing that is too small in the hopes you will one day be able to fit into it again? Trust me, I can relate. That said, now is the time to pass it on.
When you succeed in dropping those extra pounds, reward yourself with a new outfit. You deserve it!
In the meantime, don’t clutter your closet with clothes that don’t fit.
Most of us have had the experience of falling in love with an item in the store only to get it home and realize we aren't comfortable with the way we look in it. These items are no-brainers when you are working to declutter your clothing. No matter how stylish an item may be, if it doesn't make you feel good about you, it’s not a keeper.
If you don’t wear it, why are you keeping it? Toss it.
I know, I know the 70’s are back, but do you really want to wait forty years for an item to once again become stylish, assuming it ever does?
We all have items we've loved to death. If it’s thread-bare it’s past its prime. Bid it a fond farewell.
Sometimes we hang on to items because we feel guilty for not wearing something we spent a lot of money on. Other times, we keep things simply because they were a gift and we don’t want to offend the gift giver. I get it.
If you’re worried about the cost, try selling the item or swapping it online at a clothing swap site. Then you can feel like your money didn’t go to waste.
If you’re worried about offending the person who gave you the item, only you can decide whether it’s safe to pass it on. Relationships are worth more than closet space.
If you decide to keep a gift out of guilt, think about storing it in a more out-of-the way location like the top shelf of the closet or in a box under the bed.
Once you've achieved your goal to declutter your clothing, it’s time to put the keepers away. You’ll want to sort like items together. Most of us do this when it comes to our dresser, but not so much when it comes to the closet. Instead of jumbling pants, skirts, dresses, and shirts all together in a confused mess, create sections for each type of hanging item. Click here for more tips on How to Organize Your Closet.
I recommend making an effort to declutter your clothing twice a year with the major changes in the weather. It’s a good time to evaluate your wardrobe and discard items you haven’t worn at all during the appropriate season.
If you store out-of-season clothing in boxes, be sure to launder everything before packing it away. Perspiration, dirt, and oils from the skin all attract pests.
Often when you sort through your clothing with the intent of getting rid of some things you find items you forgot you had. We tend to get in a rut of wearing the same things over and over. Expand your wardrobe by reintroducing yourself to some old favorites as you declutter your clothing!
For information on where to donate used clothing, check out Donate Clothes.
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