Over the weekend I had brunch with two friends who are heavily into fashion. One is a designer and the other one is a stylist. Naturally, we started to talk about fashion, and then the conversation turned into the topic: how much is too much and what do you do with the clothes that you don’t need? I started to think. How many of us have a closet full of clothes and we can’t remember the last time that we wore most of the items? For some of us, like me, our clothing may get wrinkled while in the closet, because it is so full of stuff! As I started to think some more, I realized that we hold onto unnecessary clothing for 5 key reasons.
- Sentimental reasons. The item may bring back certain happy memories, so we don’t want to purge it. There is nothing wrong keeping mementos of key times in our lives, but is everything worthy enough to be a memento?
- One day they will fit again. We all have been there. Something looked fabulous on us 5-10 years ago, but we have since gained weight, and it no longer fits. We tell ourselves that we will wear it again once we lose weight
- Styles always come back. If a style always comes back, then doesn’t it make sense to keep it to save money in the future? Yes, styles do come back, about every 20 years, but how long are you willing to wait? Is it worth cluttering the closet real estate until then?
- No time to clean. Cleaning out a closet definitely takes time, which is why many of us don’t bother. It’s the same reason why we have a junk drawer or a second closet full of random stuff.
- Sometimes we just like the idea of a full closet. There is so much pressure from society to acquire stuff as a way of validation. We are constantly bombarded with images of dream closets and the endless wardrobe of celebrities and reality tv stars that we may get a little closet envy, and feel pressure to keep up and have a large closet of our own.
These are all real reasons for closet overflow, but sometimes we have to get rid of the old if we want to make room for the new. So the big question is, “How do we do it?”
If the reason is:
Sentimental: Choose the things that mean the most to you, and capture the essence of that period of time. Be strategic about what you keep. Think highest value and best memories.
One day it will fit again. If it doesn’t fit now and you aren’t taking serious steps to get back to that size, then just get rid of it. However, if your favorite pair of skinny jeans or favorite dress gives you motivation, then keep it. Remember, every item isn’t motivation. Also, there will probably be something you like more once you get back to that size.
Styles always come back. As you think about what to keep, stay focused on what to wear now. If the closet is full of stuff that you might wear one day, then you’re probably losing track of the stuff to wear now.
No time to go through the closet. One strategy to combat this is to go through the closet in 15-minute increments daily. The closet wont be clean overnight. However, you wont be overwhelmed, and you will still be making steady progress.
Sometimes we just like the idea of a full closet. Think quality not quantity. It’s much better to have a closet full of basics that you can mix and match, then a bunch of items that can get worn once or twice. Think value for the wear, and how you can be creative with less items. Check out my post about an 8 item for 30-day challenge to see how you do more with less.
So now that you have these guidelines, what do you do with all of that stuff?
You can either give it away (don’t forget the tax write off!) or you can sell the items. If you want to sell those items, then check out the article from Kara from The Frugal Feminista to learn about your options.
Let me know what you learned! What are you going to do to de-clutter your closet?
Aisha Taylor is a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle”, and the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal). FNPhenomenal helps women to break the vicious cycle of making money, but not keeping it. FNPhenomenal provides education about money management, empowers women to take control of their lives, develop a healthier relationship with money, and pursue being phenomenal.
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