You know your wardrobe is just too full. It's pretty annoying that sometimes you still can't find something to wear! And let's not mention the money wasted. It seems like your efforts to sort just don't make a dent. Well, don't give up yet.
Over the weekend I did a mini declutter of my own wardrobe. It got me thinking about all the positives for taking on this critical space. I view clothes as fairly functional so find this a relatively easy area to work on and keep streamlined. However, I’m very aware that many, many others really struggle. It can be tough to part with precious pieces built up over the years, hard to let go of gorgeous tops you “might” just fit in again or impossible to move on those jeans that still have the label on !
If your wardrobe is overstuffed then this blog is for you. Although I offer a few practical steps to aid this thinning out process the main thrust is on how we can harness the power of our mind to get on top of this tricky target.
First things first. Everybody is different. As always in decluttering & organising there is no right or wrong way. It’s all about finding a way forward that’s going to work for YOU.
Most decluttering guides and “How to’s ….” start with a "get it all out" approach. Having now worked with quite a few folk, on all sorts of clothes collections, I’d like to propose something a little different before we launch into action. A little bit of preparation can go a very long way.
Allow yourself 10-15 minutes of peaceful time without any distractions and ask yourself some questions on what has brought you to this point. The following can be used as a guide but your story may go off at a tangent and need some tweaks! It’s all about exploring. You may even wish to make some notes for you to refer back to later.
> Why do I keep items that are too big / small for me?
> Why am I storing garments that I never wear?
> Why have I got 3 or more of exactly the same thing?
> Why have I got clothes with tags still attached and unworn?
> What shopping patterns allow more things to enter?
> What would it be like if there was LESS on the rail and the shelves?
A whole array of emotions will swing through this conversation with yourself. Here’s a few examples of the type of issue that may arise:-
> GUILT is common. Perhaps you hated a present from a loved one, had no intention of wearing it but felt you SHOULD keep it. Remember that, usually, a gift is given without expectation. You can choose what to do with it. The giver would not want you feeling bad from their offering.
> A fear of WASTEFULNESS may keep more items inside your closet than on you. With increasing concerns for the environment and a desire to play our part we may view decluttering as adding to the burden. BUT it is possible to do it sensibly. Donating items is quick and easy (When Covid-19 restrictions are not in place) and even torn, stained or damaged items can be upcycled by some charitable organisations.
> There may be some SHAME cropping up. Maybe you made a few poor purchase decisions and the tags never even came off. However long you hide these at the back of the cupboard the money is already spent. It is likely that every time you see them you will feel “bad” all over again for being silly. Time to move it on. And the good news is once you’ve dealt with it then you are much more likely to consider your shopping habits going forward and make a change for the better.
> A loving ATTACHMENT may exist to specific pieces, even though you haven’t worn them in years. Now this really can be hard. It may be that you wish to transform it into something else - cushion cover or a teddy. Perhaps take one last photo before it goes. Remember there are only so many sentimental bits and pieces you can hold onto. Question yourself further as to HOW important is it. Be selective.
> A simple feeling of “You just NEVER KNOW when it might be needed” may linger on just about everything you own. Ask yourself when did you actually last wear it? Can you view a scenario when you REALLY would put it back on? Accept that we change our style, taste and shape over time.
Recognising WHY you’ve held onto those things for so long could be just the catalyst for you to finally say “goodbye”. After all, what is the point of holding onto stuff that is likely to never or very rarely see the light of day ?
Asking the right WHY questions will give you some clarity and ease you into the job. It’ll really help with your decision making as you sort through the pile. You may not find the answers to all your queries initially but they usually come to you whilst working through your clutter. Can you put yourself into the mindset of “If I were starting from scratch today what would I CHOOSE?"
Now onto a few more PRACTICAL matters that WILL help. An average wardrobe takes a couple of hours to sort out properly but can take much longer if it’s particularly full.
Here’s a few key points to get you started and keep you going.
1) Schedule in a time when you can commit to the job. Mark it on your calendar – it’s much more likely to happen.
2) Use a system to make your work efficient. There’s plenty of options out there from “Marie Kondo” to the “4 box method”. If you would like a copy of my tried and trusted easy to use, zone guide then just email me and I’ll get it to you.
3) The main questions you’ll be asking yourself as you hold up each piece is “Do I love it? Or Do I wear it?”. At this stage it’s all about being honest and realistic. If you’ve already thought about your “why’s” then this should be a whole lot easier.
The more we declutter the better we get at it. Don't forget that some of this process is actually gonna be quite fun, especially when you stumble upon something you had totally forgotten about! By letting go of some of the past and trusting in the future we can really start to enjoy the “NOW”.
And remember “The best things in life aren’t things.” John Ruskin
If you’d welcome non-judgmental, effective and motivating support with your decluttering & organising I’m HERE.