Lets talk about clothes and how to declutter our closets. At one point I owned 35 pairs of jeans, this didn’t include the other dress pants or sweats that I had. I have gone through all of my clothes multiple times over the last couple years in an effort to get rid of most of those items. I used to enjoy buying new clothes and still do if there’s something specific that I'm looking for, but I've become more mindful of what I'm purchasing and why I'm buying it in the first place.
I would have all those options of what to wear and still end up wearing the same 5 or so pants all the time because they fit me the best. What’s the point of having 35 pairs of something if your just going to wear the same 5 anyway. So I started donating, selling and giving away clothes to people who would wear them or needed them.
It felt great to be able to donate so many pieces of clothing and I can’t say I've missed one thing since I've started being more intentional about my things. At a certain point it seemed like I had more options of what to wear because I would be more creative about the items that I was matching together. We have a tendency to think people are thinking more about us than they actually are. I was listening to an episode of the “Minimalists” podcast the other day and this woman had worn the exact same outfit for a month straight, and one person noticed, and that one persons comment was “that belt really goes with a lot of your outfits.” Im not saying you want to wear the same clothes every single day, but if you have a few favourite things that you like to wear no one is going to care/notice if you wear it twice in a week.
Lets dive into some action items for organizing and decluttering your clothing. Just like the larger categories of your household items lets break your clothes down in to categories of pants, shirts, sweaters+jackets, shorts, winter clothes, socks, underwear and shoes.
Take every item that falls into one of those categories and go through them. Lets use pants for an example, separate them into a pile of your favourite items, pants you don't wear and could sell, ones to donate, and work pants. I had a pile of items that I would categorize as work clothes( for doing stuff around the house or working on the car) but I quickly realized I didn't need 8 pairs of work pants and was only putting them into this category so that I didn’t have to get rid of them.
Be honest with yourself and if you're holding on to something that you know you don't need, but aren't ready to get rid of then put all of those items into a maybe box. Box up this maybe pile and put it in the back of your closet and if after a month or two you don't miss those items then seriously consider passing them on to someone who will use them.
Once you've finished with pants then move onto the next category and do the same things. After you've gone through all of the categories you should have a pile of your favourite pieces, a pile for selling, donating, and a maybe pile. If its been a while since you've done some decluttering it might be hard at first to let go of these items, even if you know you will never wear them again. It can be hard to get rid of items that were gifts or what used to be a favourite piece of clothing, but just because it was a favourite in the past doesn't mean you need to hold onto it. Let go of what you used to like and allow yourself to discover some new favourite outfits and styles.
Start today, if you can let go of a couple things to start with you'll be surprised that after a time you come to enjoy letting go and making some extra space in your life.
"Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes." -Terry Guillemets
The example I shared of categorizing and then separating items into keep, sell, donate can apply to most areas of your house that you would want to declutter. Everyones living space will vary as well as the amount of storage that you have available to you. Even if you have the space to store your extra items I recommend still going through them and getting rid of the things you no longer need or use. I find letting go of stuff makes me feel more clear and helps with any anxiety I might have around my physical and mental clutter.
I hope this helps you get started and if like me you enjoy decluttering and organizing Ill be sharing some of my favourite resources later this month.