Clothes are the best way to start the decluttering process. They are easy to gather in one place, and they give you a great feeling of accomplishment once you’re done. We started the process open-minded and willing to let go. But before getting into details about how we got on, here are a few things to have in mind if you plan to do the same.
Decluttering clothes. 11 tips to let go
1. Clothes don’t have feelings. They are just a piece of fabric used to cover yourself or make your private parts more comfortable.
2. People won’t notice that you only have five t-shirts. Even if they do, you shouldn’t care about what other people think; you’re doing this for yourself. Fewer clothes, less space needed, less money spent.
3. If you lost or gained weight, let go of the old clothes that don’t fit anymore. That is not who you are; you are different now.Donate or repurpose all the clothes that belong to a different you. Click To Tweet
4. You didn’t get that job because you wore a particular shirt at the interview, you got it because you’re good at it.
5. If you don’t wear that shirt anymore, let it go.
6. If you don’t wear shirts to work and only go to one wedding a year, having ten shirts just doesn’t make any sense.
7. The memories will remain in your mind and your heart even if the clothes you bought in that holiday have to go.
8. The clothes that just occupy space in your closet might be of great use to someone else. Some people would wear the stuff that you don’t. Give your clothes a new home and make someone happy.
9. Some clothes are gifts, and that makes it harder to give away. You won’t break anyone’s heart, if they care about you, they will understand. Explain what you’re doing, and maybe you’ll inspire someone else to do the same.
10. Try to fit every single piece of clothing you have in one closet. Don’t have stuff hanged on doors, chairs, exercise bike (hm, guilty).
11. Once you finish your declutter, promise yourself that for each new item you’ll buy/receive, you’ll give one away.
BONUS: Last but not least, have fun doing this and celebrate when you’re done!
I’m very good at giving advice, but how did we do?
- Items left: 83
- Gave away: 37 (out of which 25 t-shirts!! and lots of accessories)
- Most things that stayed: running t-shirts (12)
- Items left: 91
- Gave away: 56 (out of which 21 t-shirts)
- Most things that stayed: sports leggings (13)
We kept many of our fitness clothes. And that’s fine because that is who we are now. Most of our running t-shirts weren’t bought but earned in running competitions. I let go of many of my t-shirts, the shirt I wore at my Microsoft interview, the dress I wore when we brought Yoko home, many gifts from Mom that don’t fit anymore (they’re too big) and things that were just too many of. For example, I had 12 t-shirts that I only wear at home. I kept 7.
How did we do it?
We piled everything on the sofa (one closet at a time) and then split them into three piles: Stays, Goes and Maybe. At the end of the sorting, because the Maybe pile was tiny, we decided there and then what goes and what not. Then we split all we kept into categories and counted the items in each category. Alin had way too many t-shirts, so he gave away more than half of them. We each filled one huge bag to donate to charity. Update: One of the clothes charities that leave bags through the letterbox have picked up our two bags. Mission accomplished.
From piles of clothes spread around the house to a tidy closet
To celebrate our first decluttering achievement, we had a nice vegan barbecue and an alcohol-free beer. Cheers!
Rules from now on
To avoid having to do this again and because we consider we still have a lot, we committed to giving away two items for any new one we buy.
Running competitions. We will refuse the goodie bags we receive at the end of the runs (not only for the t-shirt but also because most things in the bags are not vegan – food, deodorants, shower gels, etc.). If we get the t-shirt before the race and we have to wear it during the run, we will give one away.
Want to read more?
Check out our other minimalism posts, there’s plenty of valuable information. Or just start with the first post, “7 Reasons to become minimalist and how to get started“.
If you want to combine minimalism with saving money, I recommend my e-book, “The Smart Girl’s Journey to Financial Bliss”.
Inspired? Or you just think we’re crazy? Share your thoughts or give us advice. And if you liked the article, please Pin our infographic <3