Last week I handled sorting my belts after a little self-talk-therapy. I now own four belts total. There’s a fifth one hiding in a box somewhere, and when I find it I have no doubt it be long out of style. Which brings me directly to my point today; style and de-cluttering your closet.
Before you sort clothes you ‘ll need to define your look, your style , or lack there of. Don’t worry if you feel lost doing this. In the end, if you haven’t figured it out, your clothes will tell you.
I have little style. I love fashion, and I buy fashion, but I don’t wear it. I am a dog person- rain or shine, a dirt person-yard and garden work is fun and I paint- the paint always finds it way on to whatever I am wearing.
I love comfort but at the same time I love the discomfort of high heels and formal gowns, black tie type formals. How many “black tie” events have I gone to in the last few years? Zilch. I love wearing formal gowns so much, I often daydream about having a themed party for ladies only and making the required dress code an already owned formal or gown. Play-dress-up and party. (No one ever likes this idea.)
Reality: I wear jeans. I swear to God, I think I wear them ever day of the year. So how many khakis, and slacks do I really need? Answer: Two pairs of dress slacks for business. No khaki’s needed, I only bought them for the two weeks I worked at Target.
To succeed in trimming your wardrobe you have to be brutally honest. It gets easier the more clothes you toss, a sorting momentum takes over. It feels good. Remember everyone has different requirements for their clothing needs so adjust accordingly. For example some people have uniforms and dress codes. Just make sure those items are always kept current and in good repair.
On to the work. Here are some top questions to ask yourself as you look at each item of clothing:
1. Have I worn this in the past year?
2. Does this piece remind me of anything negative or bad? If there is even the slightest bad memory associated you must toss/donate immediately, no excuses.
3. Does it fit now? Not ten pounds for now, today- remember brutal honesty.
4. Can you remember when you bought it? If it was so long ago, you say you have no idea, then get rid of it. (unless it’s become “vintage” and it passes all the other requirements)
5. Do you feel good about your self when you are wearing it?
6. Is it part of a total look or is it a stray that never looks right with anything? Toss/give away the stray.
7. Do you have to tug at it? Particularly under garments, stop the suffering now-toss.
8. Is the elastic rotten? ( I tried on an old swimsuit and the elastic crumbled. Sad but true.)
9. Do not think about how much something cost. Actually erase the amount spent from your memory bank. It’s useless information.
10. Any progress is good, you an always come back to and continue this task as a “one-thing one day” action.
Some minimalist are extreme in the clothing area. I am not. ( Remember -I am only in the process to minimalism) I like this easy route for now. Concentrating first on raising my clothing awareness will help me immediately in two areas; I will only buy what I know I will wear and my closet will only house items I like.
It’s your turn now. Look at your life and how you spend the majority of your time. Once you have a handle on that, you can begin downsizing your wardrobe. Use the questions as a guide. It will be inspiring, easy and you might even learn something.
Tip: Look up shelters for homeless and/or abused women and fresh start organizations. These woman will really benefit from your donation.
Inspiration: “I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.”~ Katharine Hepburn
“I’ve been shopping all my life and still have nothing to wear.” ~Author Unknown
One day – one thing: Sort underwear, socks, and all your shoes, if you still have time tackle your clothes in the closet.
Downsizing my wardrobe will be very tough for me. Because clothes, in the scheme of things, don’t take up much space. For example, today I was looking at my belts. I don’t wear the majority of them, but then that voice in my head said, “Don’t sort those yet, they don’t take up any space, you don’t have to make those choices today.” So I didn’t sort them……What?!?
The goal isn’t to keep things because I have the extra space. That is what got me into this mess in the fist place. Yet still after all this time, my resolve, and all that I have been doing, reading and focusing on, that little voice, that little hoarder voice was convincing me not to move forward. Devil hoarder voice won. I took my filled bag of give-away-clothes to the Good-Will and my belts stayed and lived on another day.
Not only did the ugly belts survive, but now I still get to see them. Sad, but one hundred percent true, some of these belts I have NEVER even worn. But I still kind of believe I would need one of them in the future. I might. It’s possible. (it’s NOT possible) I think the belts are laughing at me behind my back. Telling their little belt jokes. I hate them.
Right now I am going to take a time-out and SNAP myself back to reality. I mean seriously,what the h#ll? If I was in a gym I would have earned a penalty of 25 push-ups or even worse burpees.
(back to reality – time to face the core issue)
Unfortunately I can, and still could, make anything seem perfectible logical to buy, save, or even pick out of the trash for myself or for someone else. In a matter of seconds, I can present at least four perfect rationalizations that justify any acquisition, whether it’s lavish or simply junk. The very root of my problem is my acquisition rationalizations. I can not let that continue. I need my rationalizations to focus on my goal and my goal alone. I need that voice to tell me why it’s better for me to donate, sell or throw away things. That has to become my stronger voice.
The devil hoarder voice has lived inside me a long long time, and I don’t think it wants to leave. I’m its host. I gave that devil hoarder’s voice life. Now I have to squelch it silent….for good.
The lesson here is the one I stress over and over again; do a little something each day in the right direction and soon you’ll be closer to living better with less. Lesson served. (to me)
Tip: Never go clothes shopping dressed in sweats. This only makes you think you need everything you see. Dress nicely, look good and feel good about yourself, and then ask “do I really need this?” – before buying anything new.
Inspiration: “Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
One day one thing: Sort belts today!
Miss Minimalist Wardrobe (Comment section is interesting also.)
I rate this habit as easy. Everyone can do this without much effort at all.
I have too many clothes. I think you might have too many clothes also. Here’s what I do and am doing. I have a “give away” clothes box.
It’s nothing fancy, so when I finally finish the de-cluttering of my clothes, if I want, I can recycle the box. Smart thinking right?
The box is outside the laundry room, so that when I am folding I can make decisions to keep or donate. And this way the clothes are clean. Children can easily learn to put what they won’t wear any longer in the box. And it’s really good for them to learn to donate and how to let go. I line the box with a large heavy duty trash bag and when it gets heavy but I can still lift it, I put it my car and take a trip to our local Good-Will.
Funny thing is, when I am shopping at Good-Will sometimes I see my old things. I still like them, but I never ever want to buy them back.
Anyway, Good-Will gets more money per item than I could ever get in a garage sale, and money is put to good use. It’s all good, a win-win.
( I recognize this is a box. Oops! My rationalization: it’s a temporary box being use as a tool to get to my goal)
The minute you realize that you have too much stuff, a sudden feeling of dread and hopelessness is sure to follow. It can break you and make you cry. The work appears endless, and overwhelming. I have cried, and drowned myself in music and random car rides. I have fabricated needless errands as a method of avoidance. Many days I can be found aimlessly wandering in stores. I like TJ Maxx to mindlessly wander in because they have music and all different departments all in one place. Sometimes when I return to the house I like to buddy up with my friend Chardonnay.
Eventually, avoidance will become boring and you will want to move on, you will want to be free of the clutter. But you still will not know how to even start.
Here’s my rule. One Day – One Thing. In the most difficult areas, that’s is all you have to do, and more realistically it’s all you can do. The goal is to do one thing that will move into the direction of having less and being more. Do this every single day.
Today- I am taking photos for some items for eBay. That’s it. That’s all I am doing on this. I worked a full day at the office, and I am burned out.
(Side note: I definitely like to write my task down, just so I can cross it off. )
Find one action item for your tomorrow, put it on your list and do it.