Did you know the average person wears 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time? That’s right, most of the clothes taking up prime real estate in your closet and dresser aren’t even worn on a regular basis! This week we are focusing on clearing out some of that clutter and simplifying your wardrobe so you can have more space, improve your laundry process, and make quicker decisions about what to wear when getting dressed. Don’t worry about shoes and accessories – we’ll get to those next week.
Before you get started, set some ground rules for yourself. For example, anything with stains or holes goes, if you don’t love it toss it, and if you only wear it once a year, find a better place to keep it than right next to your favorite shirt. With your rules in mind, focus on one drawer, shelf, or hanging clothes rod at a time. Set your timer for 15 minutes and dive in!
For hanging clothes, quickly slide hangers one at a time and touch every item. Pull off the ones you know you don’t want to keep. For drawers and shelves, empty all items onto a flat surface, such as a bed, and group like items together. Remove the ones you want to discard. Your decisions should be quick. Now is not the time to stop and try on every item of clothing. If you are unsure about fit, make a pile to try on all at once at a later time. During your 15 minute blocks each day, you want to touch as many pieces of clothing as possible and remove the items that no longer belong in your wardrobe. Put all discarded items in bags and drop off at your nearest donation center.
Of course, we all have our “goal clothes”, those jeans you just know you’ll get back into or the pre-baby clothes you’re dying to wear again soon. If you really want to keep those, that is OK, but they should not be mixed in with your everyday wear. Instead of keeping everything, come up with a reasonable number to keep and toss the rest. Grab a small box, tote, or basket and fill it with the items that you hope to wear again, then set it on a high shelf or tuck it away in a corner.
Finally, if you’re hesitant to get rid of something because you’re pretty sure you’ll wear it again soon, try this easy hanger trick. Hang all remaining clothes on hangers and face the hanger backwards on the rod. After you wear and wash each item, return the hanger to the rod the correct way. Set a reminder on your calendar for a specific date, six months to a year from now, and any clothes still facing backwards on that date are the items you have not worn. Ask yourself if you’re comfortable getting rid of those now that you know they don’t fit your current wardrobe.
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