30 May 2013

Decluttering... Clothes

After joining in on a Twitter session called #unclutter - the first that I've ever participated in, I thought I'd do a series of short posts looking at decluttering and keeping our lives uncluttered. If you've been interested in decluttering/minimalism for a while, then you may well have heard most of what I'm about to say, but stick with me - there may well be a jewel or two that you've not come across yet!

First, a bit more about the session. I really enjoyed the session, it was hosted on Twitter by Joshua Becker over at Becoming Minimalist. It was really fast paced and exciting, having conversations while checking back on other people's comments, retweeting the good stuff and favoriting others. I'd really encourage others to join in if they see these type of sessions advertised - lots of really good and useful information is passed back and forth in a really quick time span.

The topic for today's post is clothing. Being something that we use day in, day out, it can be something that we don't think about. It can be so easy to accumulate various garments without really thinking about it. Some shops even let you take home the hanger, so you don't immediately realise that what you've bought it taking more room!

  • The first thing with any decluttering really must be: One in, one out. This can be assisted by not taking the hanger from the shop, which will then prompt you to find a hanger to put the new item on. Which immediately means you have to discard an item.
  • Ideally take everything out of your wardrobe. Separate items into Keep, Not Sure, and Going. The Going pile can be separated into charity, bin, textile recycling, as needed.
  • If you need to, after decluttering, separate your winter and summer clothes. Store the clothes for the next season in a box or vacuum bag until that season comes around, swapping them for the season just gone. This will keep your wardrobe clear, so you can see what's available to wear now. It also means that you will go through the new season's clothes, discarding what you don't want - but more importantly refreshing your memory as to what clothes you have.
  • When you put your clothes back in the wardrobe after decluttering, or doing the season swap, but the hangers facing the wrong way. Then as you wear items, put them back the right way. This way you'll see what you do and don't wear - which will prompt you to declutter or remind you to wear the clothes you forgot about.
  • Something that we did after a mass decluttering was to purchase some nice wooden hangers - allowing us to take pride in the contents of out wardrobes and to keep the clothing hung on them in better condition for longer.
  • Keep like with like so you know where all types of each item are. A great example is having separate spaces or drawers for underwear, socks, etc. Then you know exactly how much of each you have.
  • The minimalist in me thinks why do you need more socks or undergarments than there is days in the week!!? But the realist in me realises that it makes sense to have more, if only so you're not running half loads in the washing machine! But perhaps more than a fortnight or a month's worth is taking it too far?
  • The last thing with decluttering is keeping uncluttered. One in, one out! If what you have is that fabulous then you don't need anything new, although if you do, then something less fabulous than the new item has to go!
Remember, all of the decluttering is up to you. You will refine your ideas over time. Don't feel that you have to declutter everything right now, if you're taking on this task because you want to and not because you're having to, then you have time. It's all about building that relationship with the things you have, so that when you discard them you know why and accept the reasons why.

So, over to you. What tips and advice do you have for people decluttering clothes? I've love to hear your views in the comments.

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