Cutting through the clothing clutter

The thing about getting a weekend wind/snow storm on the weekend is that you’re pretty well forced to stay in and get stuff around the house done. I had grand plans to go up to the next town north and visit a new tea shop there, but that fell through thanks to the weather. It was probably for the best that I was stuck at home though, because it’s much easier on the ole wallet and I actually got some chores done around the house.

My biggest accomplishment this weekend was finally going through all my clothes. I pulled everything out of my closet and chest of drawers, organized it and piled it on my bed. The amount of clothes I own surprised even me, and any minimalists who read this blog should probably look away. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The mountain of jeans and hoodies in the middle was probably the most surprising. I really didn’t think I had that many sweaters. I also have more jeans than a person needs and so, so many pairs of pjs. Don’t get me wrong, I love pjs, but a girl has to have a limit, right? That or I should devise a clever plan to institute a pj-day at work every week…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Off to the Sally-Anne with ye!

By pulling everything out of my closet, it gave me the opportunity to go through it all and weed out what I haven’t wore lately and what doesn’t fit. I do struggle with getting rid of clothes, more so than anything else. I think it stems from when I was growing up; ‘good’ clothes became ‘play’ clothes, which eventually became ‘barn’ clothes, so we never really gave clothes away or threw much out. That might be why I still have a McDonalds sweatshirt I got my aunt in grade 7 in my barn clothes pile. Don’t worry, I’m not the same size I was in grade 7, she just thought I was much, much larger than I was at the time.

I don’t know how many times when I was going through my clothes that I set a shirt aside thinking I could wear it as a barn-shirt. Of course, I already have a huge drawer full of barn clothes, so I really don’t need anymore. I also found it challenging to ignore the sentiment I’d attached to some of my clothes, like the dress that I wore to my grandmother’s funeral – I know I’ll never wear it again, but because of sentiment I’ve held onto it all these years. Forcing myself to be an unfeeling, clothes-critical robot, I managed to resist the urge to keep things. Now, I have a fair-sized pile to go the Salvation Army.

I still have a lot of clothes and I think that seeing just how much I have will help me resist the urge to go shopping. Hopefully it will help me ignore that irritating little voice that tells me I have nothing to wear. Here are my tips for tackling closet clutter:

  • Be ruthless. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. Pants won’t get magically longer in your closet.
  • If you haven’t worn it in more than 3 months, get rid of it.
  • If it’s ripped or stained, cut it up and use it as a rag.
  • If you have the same shirt in multiple colours, ask yourself if you really need clones of the same shirt. Pick the one you like best and get rid of the rest.
  • Set yourself a goal, like finding 10 items to donate.

Have you cleaned out your closet lately? Do you struggle to get rid of clothes like I do? Any tips to add for closet cleaning?

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Categories: Personal, Shopping, Weekend | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Cutting through the clothing clutter

  1. I’m trying to clean out my closet, but there’s so much stuff!

  2. Meghan

    I start every 3 months or so but I always keep making up excuses and only throw out 2 or 3 items- I’ve been a closet packrat my whole life, its so hard to let go!

  3. I am moving in a few months, so I need to cut down on my clothes. I am planning to do a blog sale to get rid of some things and then stop any shopping until I get settled in my new place.

  4. I’m a ruthless closet cleaner. I’m actually occasionally invited to a friend’s house to give moral support during closet cleaning. I think it’s because clutter drives me bonkers. If you aren’t going to use it, get rid of it! If you have something else that does the same job, get rid of it! Living in a studio with no closet space only intensifies my minimalist tendencies.

  5. Sometimes, I do that (where I pull all of my clothes out to donate/reorganize/fold/put away) and I get discouraged like halfway through. LOL. When we moved I got rid of a lot of stuff, clothes included. Now I wear (almost) everything in my closet.

    • I had to take a break halfway through my declutter because I was getting overwhelmed, I’ll admit. Unfortunately my last move was only down the road, so it didn’t inspire me to get rid of a lot of a stuff 😉

  6. I’m ruthless with my clothing too – about 30-35 items. The great thing is that I wear everything in my closet – I have too 🙂

    Good luck!

  7. I cleaned out my closet last month and posted before & after pics on my blog… lol! I donated a HUGE garbage ag FULL of clothes and still have too much truth be told.

  8. The before and after pics are impressive! I’ll bet it feels great to get rid of that much stuff.

  9. Cait

    Nice work! I did this when I moved in January… wish I’d taken pics now! Donated at least 3 bags of clothes + a few old purses and a couple pairs of shoes I never wore and didn’t like anymore.

  10. I did this a few times last year and I haven’t missed anything since!

    I know what you mean about the “barn clothes” mentality. My mom would hate for my sisters and I to throw away clothes, unless there were holes in them! Old clothes would become “clean up” or “paint” or “sleeping” clothes. Needless to say, that pile got ridiculously large, and I haven’t even painted, once!

  11. I did a lot of decluttering clothes in february and when I moved in december but still I have problems getting rid of items I like but don’t fit anymore…

  12. That’s funny. But I used to think it was true. When I was an atheist, I believed that stuff in the movie &#2r;08Inhe2it the wind” when they portrayed Christians as believing sex was original sin. It was actually a shock for me to find out that was nonsense.

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