I used to be that kid that kept absolutely everything (from magazines’ pages to every inch of ribbon or fabric). My imagination had no limits when I was younger, and I always found ways to use all the stuff I was putting away in boxes under my bed, in my cupboard, and in my siblings’ rooms. Until said siblings didn’t let me use their space as storage anymore and I had to learn the hard way how not de-clutter.
Later on, my taste for accumulation continued on as I bought far too many clothes in hope it would make getting dressed easier. It didn’t. If anything, it made it worse. Shortly after that, I started
being obsessed reading about minimalism, and minimal wardrobes. I’ve been fascinated by those discussions ever since, and started to apply some of these ideas to my own wardrobe for year, favouring quality over quantity (I call it The Investment Theory, might write about it some day, would you guys be interested?), only buying things that fit me, learning tricks to resist that oh-that-looks-kind-of-cool top (that I would wear twice) at H&M…
But all of this doesn’t prevent me from facing this “OMG-I-have-nothing-to-weaaaaaar” moments every now and then (especially in Spring, what’s up with that? Is it just me or do you get this too?).
Weirdly enough, what really helps when that sort of thing hits me is to get rid of things
instead of before buying new ones. As they say, less is more. And don’t get me started on the mental space a clutter-free wardrobe brings you!
However, de-cluttering is hard work (and sometimes a little soul-crashing too because it might mean you have to say goodbye to that little silk dress you love but doesn’t fit you quite right…). But here are a few things that help me let go of things I no longer wear.
1. Cake and cocktails: I don’t know anything in life that can not be improved by the addition of those, so might as well have some as you de-clutter! 🍰🍸
2. Have a few plastic bags/cardboard boxes at hand to put things to sell/donate/throw away. Doing it as you go will make it a lot less tiring as you won’t have to spend extra time in the end tidying things up.
3. I like to start by emptying my cupboards entirely and lay it all by categories (tops/bottoms/underwear/shoes/dresses/woolwear…). I only put back inside the things that have past the following tests:
4. Questions that help me decide:
- Does it fit? If it doesn’t, get rid of it. I know it’s hard, but from my own experience, I can tell you you will never wear it. Yes, even when you loose that extra 10 pounds. Because 1. you don’t know how your body will be shaped then 2. You’ll want nothing more than go buy new things then. And you should do exactly this, because you deserve it!
- Do I feel comfortable wearing it? There is absolutely no reason why you should wear something you don’t feel good wearing. It really is as simple as that. So if it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t keep it. You can always find something similar, except more flattering / softer / not so tired / you can walk / breathe in (…) and it will worth making that change because you will wear those pieces more (#NoMoreItchySweaters + #TeamBallerinas).
- If I was shopping right now (and I had to pay full price for it), would I buy this? This little gem really helped me get rid of things that were not exactly top-knotch in terms of quality. Just picture yourself browsing through Liberty’s fashion sections. Now, what if this dress/top/jeans you’re holding were on the rack in front of you. With the usual £££ price tag. Would you still buy it?
- Would I wear it if I was going out to meet friends right now (or if it was the right season to wear this specific item)? I tend to get a little bit obsessed with lounge wear (as in, stuff I wouldn’t really wear in public but rather to lounge at home… But one can only have that many burger-printed leggings and Bambi Tshirts!), so that helps me keep this issue in sight so they don’t take too much wardrobe space!!
- Do I feel like I have to keep it? Is it something that’s been given to you? Or something that cost you a fair bit of money and you feel like getting rid of it would be a waste? I’ve had issues with those items in the past but I just found THE BEST way to deal with this a few days ago! Just ask yourself ‘Would I keep this if it had been given to me by somebody I don’t really like?’ and tadaaaaah, it all becomes a lot easier!
5. Once you’ve gathered the things you’re ready to let go of, you might want to organise them in categories and put them in the right bag/box. I tend to only throw away things that can not be worn anymore (because they’re too damaged/stained…). You’ll want to do this right away (and probably bring the bag down to your bin room so you’re not tempted to rescue things from it.). The rest, I usually divide in things to give away to charities (I do that the next day or so, for the same reasons) and things I’ll try to sell on eBay.
6. If after putting them through the test, there are still a few things you’re not sure about, you can create a “maybe” category for those. I like to put those items through additional tests (either in terms of cost-per-wear, or by getting them altered to fit my style/lifestyle better). Don’t forget to review those next time you de-clutter your wardrobe (they can’t be on your “maybe” list then!)
Do you find it easy or hard to let go of things, even if you don’t need/use them? Any de-clutter tips for me?