How to Declutter Your Clothes
Have you ever opened up your closet, stared at hangers and drawers bursting out with clothes and sighed with authentic sadness “I have nothing to wear”? Has your partner ever looked at you with incredulity, unable to understand how you (honestly) can’t find anything suitable to put on among the hundreds of items you’ve bought and accumulated over time? Don’t know how to declutter your clothes? Well, you’re not alone.
Lots of Money to be Made (or Lost)…
According to a survey carried out in the US and UK, an average woman will spend about $125,000 (USD) in clothing and accessories over a lifetime of around 80 years. That’s a lot of money! But is it well spent? A study by the University of Hertforshire concludes that the answer is no! The majority of women do not shop after a thorough analysis of what to buy. Our spending behavior tends to be a reaction to intense emotions. When we are feeling very stressed or depressed, we are more likely to go shopping to cheer ourselves up and use it to regulate emotions.
In short, we use shopping as a way of relieving unhappiness. And, sad but true, our hormones play an important role in this kind of emotional decision making.
Ouch! We have triple trouble on our hands. Here’s why:
- Clothes may be sucking up a generous chunk of our budget which could be invested in more significant experiences to share with loved ones.
- Buying more and more items out of an emotional need will not bring us any joy beyond that rush we feel when we open up our shopping bags as soon as we get home to contemplate our new acquisitions. But then the plot thickens.
- Shortly after, regret will strike as we realize we might have incurred debts to pay for an ephemeral moment of pleasure.
To add salt to the wound, each time we struggle to choose a well fitting outfit in that ocean of clothes we’ve created, that cluttered closet will stare at us in the face as if to say: “I told you so!” What a downer!
Make Room for Joy!
Look around. Has your wardrobe expanded from the closet to the dresser, to your baby’s room, to the armoire in the hallway and perhaps into the basement or the garage? Is this situation making you feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious or simply not good about yourself. Then, roll up your sleeves and make room for joy. in the quest for the kind of life you want to enjoy with your family, an easy and immediate step you can take right now is decluttering those clothes that rob you of vital space, but that also block the possibility of bringing in…via @ParentingJunkieTweet This
Brooks Palmer says that “this is the definition of clutter: things that exist in your outer life to distract you from the inner things that you’re avoiding.” So in the quest for the kind of life you want to enjoy with your family, an easy and immediate step you can take right now is decluttering those clothes that rob you of vital space, but that also block the possibility of bringing in new, fresh and more beautiful experiences into your life.
Curate Your Closet
Following the KonMari method, which Marie Kondo introduced to the world in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, here are my suggestions to create a capsule wardrobe, a small well curated collection of clothes that fit and look great on you right now. This minimalistic and intentional approach towards clothing and accessories, will allow you to quickly and effortlessly find something to wear that you feel great in.
5 Steps to Create a Mom-Friendly Capsule Wardrobe
- Accumulate (take it all out)
Wait. What. I thought this was about minimalism? Trust me. Go around your home and accumulate all your clothes and put them in a pile on your bed. The ones in your closet. The ones in your storage. The ones in your laundry basket.
Having them all in one place helps you to visualize how much you own. Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how many pairs of jeans we have, when half of them are stored away with your Backstreet Boys CD from the 90’s. (Backstreet’s back, alright! But those shoulder pads aren’t coming back.)This step will be scary. I do this with clients in my one-on-one coaching sessions. At first that heap of clothes will look like an insurmountable problem, but as you go step by step, you’ll begin to see progress. And once that pile is gone, that’s it. There will be no more clothes to deal with in another corner of your home.
- Store what you don’t use right now
Depending on your current needs there’s stuff that won’t make it back to your wardrobe, but you might need to keep for another life stage like those pregnancy, nursing, or for a different season of the year. You can also put away any clothes that are not in season right now. For example, I have “Maternity Winter”and “Maternity Summer” boxes, as well as “Nursing Winter” and “Nursing Summer” boxes. Other common storage boxes may be work clothes not currently in use, seasonal sports gear (like ski pants), or holiday attire. (Ugly Christmas Sweaters, anyone?) (Check out my PDF cheat sheet on storage bins!) Make sure to choose a large (LARGE!) bin or bag for Donation Items.MY EXPERT TIP: Get it out of the house and to your donation location ASAP. Otherwise you’ll be picking through and migrating them back into your closet and your life. ( ♫♫ Don’t let him in, you’ll have to kick him out again… ♫♫) It depends on the available space in your house and your own preferences, but you’ll need a place to put these
storage boxes where you can practically rotate through them. In previous dwellings, I just dedicated a wall to my storage box rotation system, for clothing and toys. (Toy rotation is discussed thoroughly in my Present Play membership site. )
Someone’s pain can be another’s pleasure. Marie Kondo swears the key to this method is to hold each and every item and ask yourself: “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is no, then it’s time to let go. Thank the object in question, bless it and send it off. Does this little ritual sound a bit too exaggerated? Well, think again. We do form emotional attachments to our belongings, we do assign sentimental value to them based on its origin, the people who gave them to us, their context and the memories they evoque,. That’s why it’s so difficult to let go of them. Yet, what you’re casting away today might be the answer to someone else’s prayers. Why not donate them? If you feel like a certain blouse has still a lot to offer but not to you, give it away. In the hands of a different owner it could start a whole new story with a different energy flow.So, make sure you have a bag or bin to set aside these clothes.Donate a garment if… It doesn’t fit you and never will, you’ve held onto it for years in the hope you will use it but never have, it’s stained or ripped and can’t be easily fixed,you don’t like anymore, or it doesn’t fit your current lifestyle.
- Visualize the look and feel you want for yourself THIS season
Elaborating a look book or a Pinterest board can help you create a clearer mental image of how you what the mirror to show you when you look at yourself in it. Even if you skip these two options, just imagining it will do. The goal is not to turn yourself into a fashionista, but to spend as little energy and time choosing your clothes from now on.Trust in your sense of taste and take it season by season. Choose those items that fit you now and put them on to see how you look in them. The purpose of this exercise is come up with a cohesive look that projects YOU with clothes that fit your body today, just as you are.My advice is to avoid trying to imitate someone else. Be you, if you feel great in basic black, white and grey, go for it. If colorful prints make you feel awesome, wear them proudly. Knowing what you like will stop you from impulse shopping and feeling you don’t look right.
- Organize your wardrobe by color
Remember, back when you were a child, how you liked to organize your 24 color pencils from darker to lighter? Do the same with your clothes. Forming a gradient will help you identify any items that pop up or clash with the rest of your items; reconsider whether you want to keep those.The key to a functional minimalist capsule wardrobe is to choose versatile items you can mix and match in as many combinations as possible. Favor that white shirt that you can wear with jeans or leggins for a casual “I’m going to the supermarket” outfit but also looks awesome with a skirt for a more formal look.How many pieces should you keep? Well, that’s your choice. There’s no magic number. Just make sure it’s a manageable amount of clothes, enough to fit your lifestyle and activities but not so many that they overwhelm you.
Say goodbye to those negative emotions that clutter made you feel. Enjoy your wardrobe, celebrate feeling energetic and shiny everyday; welcome joy and new energy to your closet and your life! DOWNLOAD the cheat sheet above and let’s do this!
LEAVE A COMMENT!
Leave a “LOVE” in the comments if you’re ready for a wardrobe makeover to be your most energetic, best self. Do you have any mom-friendly tips for dressing in a way that serves you? Share them below!