There has long been a connection between our physical space and emotional well-being. When we live amidst clutter, that chaos affects our emotional health. The spaces we create for ourselves in our homes should be a reprieve from the outside world and should offer us solace and peace. Opening up space in your closet and storage areas opens up space in the mind, as well as a feeling of pride and accomplishment. Below are some steps to get you started on how to declutter clothes.
Step 1. Locate all the Places Clothes are Stored
Chances are, if you are in need of a good decluttering, it is more than just your closet that is in need. Work your way through every room and closet to make sure you have located all the storage spaces for clothes in the home. Move them all to one central location so you are not constantly going from one section to another.
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Step 2. Decide on Pile Organization
Once you have all your clothes centralized, consider how you would like to organize them. A good plan is to make a pile for ‘keeps’, a pile for ‘donating’ or giving to someone you know, and a pile for ‘throwing away’. Once you have decided on your piles, make sure you have picked a good space to start going through your clothes. Also, make an additional pile for seasonal items; these are items you want to keep but don’t suit the current season so don’t need to take up prime real estate in your closet and can be stored elsewhere.
Step 3. Create Clothes for ‘Keeps’ Pile: 4 Questions to Ask
When it comes to deciding which clothes you want to keep, ask yourself some pertinent questions: Have you worn this in the last year? Is this something that makes me feel good when I’m wearing it? Am I likely to fit into this again? Am I holding onto this because of a memory? Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out just why you want to keep certain things.
1. “Have I Worn this in the Last Year?”
When you are looking at a piece of clothing, ask yourself when the last time you wore it was. If it wasn’t within the last year, let it go. This can be tough as you may be thinking of that outing in the future that it might just be perfect for. The truth is if you haven’t found a use for it in the past year, you likely won’t in the following.
2. “Does this Item of Clothing Make me Feel good?”
Ask yourself if an item you are considering actually makes you feel good about yourself. If it is one of those items you bought because it’s a status symbol, or because it was a good deal, or simply because it’s fashionable, it might not bring you much pleasure in wearing it and is not worth the space it takes up. These items are good ones to add to the ‘donating’ or ‘pass-to-a-friend’ pile.
3. “Will this Really Fit Me Again?”
Often you hold onto clothes because they represent a former you, a smaller you, a larger you, a pre-pregnancy you. When you hold onto clothes on the chance that they will fit you again, ask yourself if this is really realistic. Your body will change drastically throughout your life, especially if you have children, or make attempts to lose weight. It is okay to not have the perfect body; instead, strive for a healthy body, and get rid of those clothes whose fit no longer reflect who you are or your present stage of life.
4. “Am I Holding onto this as a Memory?”
These are the hardest clothes to get rid of. You all know which ones I’m referring to. Maybe it’s that shirt you wore on your first date with your boyfriend or husband. Maybe it’s the dress you wore the night you found out some really good news, or really bad news or maybe the clothes belonged to your children, who have now left the nest. Memories are memories, and they will exist with or without a physical reminder of them. In these cases, you should commit to keeping one item that represents a certain beloved stage, event, or person in your life, but only one. Your life will be full of memories: past, present, and future. If you hold onto too many old-memory items, there won’t be enough room for new ones. Consider what’s more important to you, holding onto the clutter from the past, or moving forward.
Step 4. Donating and Giving Away
Once you have asked yourself these questions and hopefully answered them truthfully, sort your clothes into the various pile categories. Be generous with the donation pile. Think of how many clothes you have accumulated that now need to be decluttered, and consider the difference they could make in the lives of people who truly need them. When donating, choose somewhere your local Goodwill and a cause you can feel good about; this will make it easier to part with the items.
Step 5. Seasonal Items
Once you have sorted your pile of seasonal items, find a good place in the home where they can be stored between their relevant seasons. A good spot is somewhere they are easily accessible but not taking space away from areas of daily use. Good spots for seasonal clothing items are armoires in the basement or a closet in a guest room.
Once you have decluttered your home and closet of unnecessary clothing, take a deep breath, grab a cup of tea, or coffee, and relax. There are few things that make you feel better about your home than freeing up much-needed space. Once you have redistributed your clothes and can see all that space you have opened up, it might be tempting to go on a shopping spree. Try and resist the urge to build up clutter again by always keeping those decluttering questions in mind when you are in the shops considering whether or not to buy.
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