Living With Less: Clothing


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Admit it.  You have a closet full of clothes, yet you often find yourself thinking you’ve got nothing to wear.  You thumb through things… too small, too big, unflattering.  How much time do you waste in the morning trying wading through a sea of clothes you wouldn’t even wear around the house?  Well, it’s time to do something about it.

When it's time to declutter the closet and purge old clothes, perhaps to transition to a capsule wardrobe, it can be difficult to take on such a life changing process. I've discovered a few tips to get through, and even enjoy it!

The Basics

When you think of paring down your wardrobe there are some things that automatically come to mind.  Anything you don’t wear shouldn’t be clogging up your closet.  But let’s break down the basics to make sure we don’t miss anything.

Doesn’t fit.  You’ve heard it a million times, but I’m going to say it again.  If you have clothes in your closet that don’t fit, get rid of them!  They’re taking up space and serving no purpose.  If they’re in good condition, donate them to a local charity.  If not, just toss them.  And don’t forget to go through your coat closet, too.

Lifestyle.  Are you hanging on to clothes from your younger days?  Admittedly, most of these items would fall under the “doesn’t fit” category, but there is really no earthly reason for me to have a storage bin full of clothes I used to wear to bars in my 20s.  Even if they did fit, they just don’t fit my current lifestyle.

Out of style.  Okay, so neon made a comeback.  That doesn’t mean you need to keep all your old clothes in the hopes of saving a few bucks when those styles come back around.  Do you really want to relive your Grunge phase?  Let it go, man.  If something you wore decades ago does make a comeback, chances are you’re going to want to get the newer, updated version rather than pull out your old, stale carpenter jeans.

Skivvies.  You’re an adult.  You have money.  Pony up and buy some new underwear and bras that fit and don’t have holes in them.  I actually had an entire drawer filled with old bras.  Most of them are in decent shape, but as a thirty-something mom who nursed for 10 months these bras will never offer the support I need, never mind fitting into them.

Extras

What else can you clear out to make room for things you really love?  It’s more than just clothing that’s making it hard to find something to wear in the morning.

Jewelry.  Do you still have the cheap jewelry from back in the days when $9.99 was a lot of money?  I did.  Of course, not everything that’s cheap has to go.  Some pieces just stand the test of time.  But the lace choker from Hot Topic?  That can probably go.

Accessories.  What else do you have lying around that just isn’t useful anymore?  Do you have a shelf full of purses even though you only use 2?  What about shoes?  Are you still hanging on to those shoes that fit pre-pregnancy in the hopes that your feet will shrink back their former size?  Hair clips, bandannas, and scarves?  Oh my!  Let them go!

Outer wear.  I mentioned coats above, but don’t forget about your other outer wear.  Hats, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, boots… if they’re not being used, give them to someone who will use them, or just toss them out.

Where to bring unwanted clothing

Many charitable organizations accept all kinds of clothing.  Churches, thrift stores, and women’s shelters.  Be sure to check if they accept children’s clothing if you have any to donate.  You can also arrange a clothing swap with friends and neighbors, host a tag sale, or find a family in need.

Once you get rid of all the clothes cluttering up your closet, you’ll be left only with what you actually wear.  Getting ready will be a million times easier, and you will feel lighter by letting go of all that stuff.  Plus, by clearing out unworn clothes you’ve probably freed up a storage bin or two… Make your life even simpler by putting away out of season clothes!

I’d love to see pictures of your before and afters (or just your afters, if the before is too embarrassing)!

Next week: Linens

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