We keep a lot of memories in our closets: the dress we wore when we were at that “perfect” size, those high heels that hurt our feet but we can’t get rid of them because they cost so much, and especially those jeans that we are determined to get back into.
In fact, most people only wear 20% of the clothes in their closets.
If you keep focusing on what you were in the past you have no time to think about the present or the future. And your closet may be reminding you every morning of what you were instead of what you are. What kind of way is that to start the day?
The Initial Purge
The first step in a closet declutter is an initial purge. You won’t get all of it on this go-round, but you should be able to make a big dent in the 80% of clothes that you don’t actually wear.
A few guidelines for a successful closet purge:
- Haven’t you worn it in the last 12 months? Donate it to someone who can use it.
- Is it completely out of style or the wrong look for you? Get rid of it.
- Are there any tears, stains or broken zippers? If you haven’t fixed it by now, you aren’t going to. Toss it.
- Do you really wear all of those shoes? Donate the ones you don’t actually use.
- Belts, scarves, hats – people either wear them or they don’t. If you don’t, get rid of them.
By now you have a pile of clothes and shoes on your bed ready for donation or the dumpster. But we still have a few steps to go.
Over the next few posts we’ll talk about organizing your closet for ongoing decluttering, color-sorting to make your closet easier to use, and options for donating/selling your clothing.
Are you up for a little contest? Because I’d love to give away a prize.
Take before/after pictures of your closet project and send them to me (with permission to publish on the blog). We’ll take a vote from all the readers and the winner will receive a $50 American Express gift card.
- Three pictures are required: before, after, and picture of your “purge pile.” You can email me at btalbot (at) marriedwithluggage (dot) com.
- You must give me written permission in your email entry to publish the pictures on the blog along with the name you want me to use.
- Entries must be received by Monday, April 27, 2009 at 5 pm Pacific.
- Voting will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the winner announced on Thursday, April 30.
Are you in? Announce it in the comments so I can support you!
To get links to all of this month’s decluttering articles, click here.