Clean Out!

Who likes to clean? I get great satisfaction from throwing stuff out as long as it is not my stuff :). Yet while I enjoy throwing stuff out I still find myself  buying or being given stuff I don’t like and yet I feel obligated to let it hang around in my closest for a long while,  sometimes years. What makes us do this? Is it the feelings of love we feel towards the person that gave it to us? Maybe, Quite possibly, it is the regret of paying good money for something that you don’t actually love as much as you thought you would. The other option is I am a hoarder, making the other reasons just excuses to keep stuff I don’t like or need. For me personally I think it is a combination of all these things, which can sometimes accumulate into a closet full of clothing that I never wear and don’t ever see myself wearing.

A friend recently went through her closest and was getting rid of a lot of her stuff and offered some to me. I brought a huge bag of stuff home, which is super exciting! It was also the motivation I needed to go through and get rid of some of my stuff that I hadn’t worn in ages or that really wasn’t my style anymore and in some cases ever. I ended up gathering up a trash bag plus the stuff shown in the picture to donate, give away and put on consignment! Here is my criteria for getting rid of stuff.

  1. Have I worn this item in the last 6 months?                                                                    If not probably time to get rid of it! The exception is seasonal clothing or special occasion dresses.  Though having over half a dozen special occasion dresses, but  only needing one every other year and at christmas might be overkill!
  2. If worn once or twice recently how did I feel in it?                                                   Did adding this item to my outfit make me feel confident and beautiful? Did I feel like it added to the overall appearances? If the answer is NO then it is time to go!
  3. How long have I owned this article?                                                                                    This might only apply if you are younger, but I could look through my closet and ask myself how long have I owned this piece and if it was over 5 years then maybe I needed to evaluate if my 15 year old wardrobe still works for my 20 year old self.  Sometimes it does, but this can really help me figure out what to examine more closely.
  4. It’s in bad condition                                                                                                                      This one might be the hardest for me because I am a lover of certain outfits. I have a shirt that I absolutely adore. Its flattering and goes with everything. You can’t really tell the terrible condition it is in unless you really inspect it so I have gotten away with wearing it even though I know it needs to go. I am on the lookout for a replacement, but the hunt is not going well. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and throw which I still haven’t done for this particular piece yet.
  5. Do I Have duplicates?                                                                                                         Lets be honest nobody “needs” 3 turquoise crew-necks no matter how nice they are. Sometimes we get very near duplicates of the same thing. Or in my case too much of one color. I had a LOT of blue for a long time, still do. Work on weeding out similar pieces.  If you have similar articles chose your favorite and ditch the rest. Truth is you probably won’t even miss it.
  6. Is it in style?                                                                                                                                    This can sometimes be hard to determine. Style is constantly changing and I don’t think we should be ditching our current wardrobe in favor of a whole new closet every time a new color becomes a fad! With that being said  some stuff does go out of style and we should evaluate our wardrobe to some degree on what is in right now. If you want me to do a blog about this in the future maybe I can. It might turn into random rants on why some things should NEVER be in style LOL.
  7. Does It Have Sentimental Value, but nothing else?                                                               My mom and grandma made me a lot of my clothes growing up. Just because I grew out of it or it is not really my style doesn’t mean I get rid of it. I have a box of special clothing that were handmade for me in the basement and I love to look through it remembering all the great memories I had wearing that dress. Put sentimental stuff in a box in the basement not taking up space in your closest.

 

So these are my tips for clearing out. I do little clean outs about twice a year, which normally results in a small bag to goodwill, but  never have I done a clean out to the proportion that happened now a couple months ago, and it feels good not to have clothes in my closest that I hate.

I want to caveat this whole thing with one thing. I have kept items before that I really liked, but wasn’t sure how to make them modest at the time. Keeping a couple items and holding onto them for a couple months not really sure how to make it work is OK! Sometimes with a sudden stroke of genus I will happen upon a way to wear that shirt that was never quite covered enough, or quite my style.  So if you really like a particular piece hang on to it for a limited time and try and find a way to wear it. Maybe you will hit a stroke of genus. If genus doesn’t strike then the time has come to throw it.

In closing when deciding what to keep and what to throw, be honest with yourself. Will you actually wear that skirt and be happy doing it? Is it actually your style? Somethings are in style, but not your style. There is a difference. Don’t keep something because it looks really good on someone else, but you feel really uncomfortable in it. If you love it and feel beautiful in it then keep it. If you don’t like it, get rid of it even if it was Great Aunt Ruthie’s or you spent a whole bunch of money on it. Having a designer dress in your closet really means nothing if you never wear it!  Now its just taking up space in your closet.

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