Everyone has a different reason why we keep clothing we don’t wear .  Some keep an item that brings back memories.  At times I save clothes I might need it “someday”.  The long list of reasons constantly grows.

When did you last sort through your clothing?

We often wait to condense our wardrobe for when we run out of space or are moving.    Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy a spacious closet before then?  Trust me, whenever I declutter my closet, I feel like I can breathe again!

Where to begin

Step 1:  Set aside a few hours to an entire day.  The timeframe depends on how many clothes you own and how long it has been since you went through them.

Step 2:  Clear your bed and set up floor space or tables in another room.

Step 3:  Gather 4 boxes and mark “donate”, “distribute/sell”, “discard” and “recycle”.

  • Donate: pick your favorite charity; others can enjoy what you no longer need. My favorite is What Goes ‘Round Thrift Shoppe supporting the local hospice.
  • Distribute: items that don’t belong in your closet or you plan to sell, consign or give to a friend.
  • Discard: anything stained, torn or missing a mate (see recycle)
  • Recycle: some torn/stained clothing can be recycled. Planet Aid recycles the fabric; their yellow boxes are ubiquitous. Convert cotton clothes into dust cloths.  Use old socks to clean blinds –  your thumb goes through a hole in the heel.

Step 4:  Set up a full-length mirror.

Step 5:  Remove everything from your closet, the floor and shelves.

  • Separate clothing on the bed by type so there are piles of pants, blouses, dresses, etc.
  • In the other room, separate accessories into handbags, scarves, belts, shoes, and so forth.

Step 6:  Dust the shelves and baseboards; clean the vents and the door.  If you have carpet, vacuum and edge.  Clean the flooring if you have hardwood.

Where the fun begins

Why do we keep clothing we don't wear? 80s fashion is fun for theme-parties, but it might be time to pass them on.
Why do we keep clothing we don’t wear?

Step 7:  Try on every piece of clothing and ask yourself:

  • Have I worn this in the last year?
  • Does it fit? Does it look good on me?
  • Does it match anything else in my closet?
  • Is it in style?
  • Do I remember owning this?
  • Do I need this?

If you answer “no” to any question, place the item into one of the boxes.  Repeat the questions when trying on every accessory.

Organizing

Why do we keep clothing we don't wear? As you return the items to the closet, organize items by type and then by color. Now you have organized clothing.
As you return the items to the closet, organize items by type and then by color.

Step 8:   As you return the items to the closet, organize items by type and then by color. If it is in your budget, use matching hangers that prevent clothes from falling.  Retailers have low prices on covered hangers.

Also consider storing off-season items in clear plastic bins elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do we keep clothing we don’t wear? Stackable organizers create additional space. If you have coated wire organizers, add storage by placing laminate shelves on top of the rack and stack the organizers above. Some stores will cut to size for you.
Stackable organizers create additional space.

Step 9:  Stackable organizers create additional storage.  If you have coated wire organizers, add storage by placing laminate shelves on top of the rack and stack the organizers above.  Some stores will cut to size for you.

What’s Next?

Think about adopting the one-in-one-out method.  When I buy a new item, I donate one.  As a result, I don’t keep clothing I don’t wear.  This simplifies what I own.

While 80s fashion is fun for theme-parties, it might be time to pass them on.  Adopt a twice-year practice using the steps I provided.  Simplicity isn’t just about minimizing your clothes, it’s about maximizing your life!

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