A lot of you agreed last week on why it feels great to clean out your closet. This week, let’s talk about the how.
Letting go of clothing can be an emotionally complicated issue. But I gave away seven trash bags of clothing and shoes to charity last week, and I don’t regret one thread!
How did I know what to give away and what to keep? The following rules helped me cut the nostalgia and get down to business.
Ask Three Questions of Each Piece
If you answer no to any of these questions, the piece is history.
1. Have I worn this in the last year?
2. Do I feel good in this?
3. If I didn’t feel guilty for some reason, would I still be hanging on to this?
These questions helped me chuck about one-third of my clothing. And what of feeling bad about getting rid of something I spent money on or someone gave me? It lasted about two seconds. Then all I felt was relief.
If in Doubt, Try it On
After trying some stuff on for my 20th college reunion coming up this weekend (yikes!), I collected another pile to give away. Why? Things still looked good — they just didn’t look good on me.
Yes, my shape has changed, but so has my style and station in life. Midriff? I’m not so hot on showing it anymore, and some of my glittery, vintage sweaters were just too darn short. Plunging necklines? Maybe for a night on the town with hubby, but do I really want to flash the playground every time I pick up a sand toy?
When It Hurts Too Much
If giving stuff away is really just too painful, here are some alternatives:
Put it on hold
Bag up the questionable stuff and keep it in your attic or basement. After three months, if you don’t miss it, toss it.
Go the wrong way
Turn all your hangers the wrong way, as Jenny suggested in the comments of my last post. After you wear something, turn the hanger the right way. After a year, toss anything on a backwards hanger.
Beat wardrobe fatigue
If you really want to save money and not completely say good-bye to your clothes, organize a clothing swap. If you exchange pieces with a group of friends, you can get free new clothes and your old stuff will be in good hands.
Keep it in the family
My daughters’ dress-up bin is a lot more interesting now that it has disco dresses, frilly black slips, and beaded purses. And I know that they’re not too far away should I change my mind.
So I hope I’ve given you some ammunition to wage war against the clutter. If you tackle your closet, please come back and tell me how it went!
I’m interested in your own tactics. How do you decide what to give away?