Chances are when it comes to your wardrobe; you do not need more clothes. If you are like me, you probably could benefit from getting rid of some of the clothes you currently own.
I will discuss this in more detail later, but when it comes to getting rid of clothes, here is the process I follow in a nutshell:
- Take all of your clothes out of your closet and drawers and put them in a central location.
- Pick up each piece and ask yourself two questions: a.) do you like it? If yes, ask yourself, b.) do you wear it?
- If the answer to either question is no, then decide whether to a.) throw it away, b.) donate it c.) sell it.
- Put what you have decided to keep back in your closet.
- Follow the rule; if you add something new, you must get rid of something to maintain a clutter-free closet.
One of the biggest problems I face when I am trying to rid myself of clutter is getting rid of clothes. I’m not sure why this is. But two instances immediately come to mind.
Sometimes I will find myself holding on to a particular piece of clothing because of a positive memory that it invokes. I no longer wear the article, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.
Or other times, I will not want to part with an article of clothing because I have never worn it, so it seems like such a waste to get rid of it and not even wear it at all.
How to decide what clothes to keep and what to get rid of
We already talked about how much better you are going to feel once you declutter your space here. The same goes for your closet. If you are having a hard time getting rid of clothes, here are some tips to make it easier and to streamline the process:
First, take everything out of your closet and drawers, so you are starting with a blank slate. Put all of the clothes that you have in a central location, such as on top of your bed. Often, this will show you the sheer volume of clothing that you own. You will then realize you do not need this many clothes.
Next, pick up each article of clothing and ask yourself the following two questions:
Do I like this?
Answer this question honestly. If the answer is yes then you can go on to the second question, but if the answer is no, you do not need to go any further.
Put it in one of three separate piles. If it could still be useful to someone, and you would like to give it away, put it in a pile for clothes to be donated. If it is somehow defective, ripped, or so worn that it is no longer useful to anyone, put it in a pile to be thrown away. Sometimes the article is brand new or in excellent condition, and you wish to take the time to sell it. If that is the case, you can put it in a pile to be sold.
Do I wear this?
If you answered yes to the first question and you like the item, the next question to ask yourself is whether or not you currently wear the item. If you have not worn the item in the last year, you can safely get rid of it since you have been through every season.
One reason that you might like an item but no longer wear it is that it is either too big or too small and no longer fits you. Please don’t hold on to these items in the hopes that it will someday fit. Donate the item so that someone else can benefit from it.
You don’t want this stuff dragging you down every time you look at it. It is just taking up space. Even if you were to fit into it at some point, chances are styles will have changed, or your own personal style may have changed and you will no longer like the item.
Once you have cleared your closet and drawers of all the clothing items that you no longer like or no longer wear, you will want to keep it that way. The first time you do this will be the hardest, but if you do this regularly, it will become more comfortable each time you do it.
How often should you get rid of clothes?
You can repeat this process as often as you need to make sure your wardrobe only contains the clothing items that you like and wear. I like to repeat this process a minimum of every six months. If you let it go any longer than that, it becomes a monumental task, and you will most likely dread it and even put it off.
Once you have purged your closet and your drawers of all the clothing you no longer like or no longer wear, there are several things that you can do with this unwanted clothing.
How do you decide what clothes to throw away?
If it is very worn or damaged and no longer useful to anyone, you can throw it away. This is pretty self-explanatory, and you will most likely instinctively know when something is no longer useful. For example, if the piece of clothing has a huge stain on it, no one is going to want to wear that.
How do you decide what clothes to donate?
Donate to an organization
If a piece of clothing could still be useful to someone, you can donate it to any number of places such as Goodwill, Amvets, homeless shelters, or other similar organizations where someone can benefit from the clothing.
I know I receive a postcard in the mail every so often, letting me know what day AmVets will be in my neighborhood. All I have to do is put the clothing that I want to donate in a bag ( and sometimes it is a huge black garbage bag full) out on my porch with the postcard attached to it on that day. They come and pick it up, and I don’t even have to take it anywhere. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Donate to a family member or friend
If it is children’s clothing that you would like to get rid of, you may want to consider giving it to a friend or family member that has a child that would be able to wear it. I swear I did not have to buy my son’s clothes for years because I had a friend that had a son that was a couple years older than mine, and she would regularly give me the clothes no longer fit her son.
This can be a huge help to someone! I then would pass on the clothes to another friend of mine who had a son who was a couple years younger than mine. Several different families probably wore those clothes. Kids grow out of clothes so quickly, and this can be an easy way not to have to keep buying them new clothes.
How do you decide what clothes to sell?
If your clothing is in exceptional shape with very little wear and tear, you may want to consider selling it online at sites such as eBay or ThredUp. If you are not sure how to get started selling your used clothing on eBay, you can find out here how.
Alternatively, and if you have a lot of clothes that you would like to sell, you may want to hold a yard sale and sell your clothing that way. Yard sales are often successful for kids’ clothing as it is usually in good shape because the kids have grown out of it before wearing it out. Also, people are always looking for cute kids’ clothes without having to spend a fortune since they will only be worn for a limited amount of time before the child grows out of them.
How to be ruthless when decluttering clothes
The mere fact that someone else could use this clothing and benefit from it helps me to be ruthless when decluttering my clothes. I do not want to hold on to something that I do not wear when someone else could use that item and benefit from it. It is much better to have this item doing someone some good rather than sitting in my closet, taking up valuable space.
You are also going to feel so much better, with a clean and organized closet. Once you experience this lighter feeling and you no longer feel weighed down by all of the extra clothes you are needlessly hanging on to, you will be motivated to keep it that way.
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