Did you ever stand infront of your closet that had too many clothes but you found nothing to wear?
Also, I am planning on offering an online course on how to declutter your clothes. So if you want help with decluttering your closet and be part of and get motivated by a supportive group experience, which lets be honest, is way more fun than doing it alone, then make sure you request the pdf. By doing so I can notify you when the course becomes available.
So, back to: too many clothes but nothing to wear
Remember how I said a few times on this podcast already that everything in your outer environment is a reflection of something that's inside of you!
This is because there is an energetic connection between you and your home and belongings. And if your clothes are in chaos, parts of you are in chaos too and what often goes with it is that you don’t feel good about yourself.
- Do you feel overwhelmed every time you do laundry or look at your piles of clothes?
- Is your closet overflowing with clothes?
- Or do you have piles of clothes on every surface of your bedroom or other areas of your home?
- Are there items in all sizes in your closet especially some too small sizes that you are "one day going to fit in again" although you have not been able to wear them in years?
- Are there items in there with the tag still attached?
Does any of that sound familiar?
So what often happens is, that we wear the same things over and over
Get this: The average person only wears about 20% of the clothing in his or her closets. Most clothing goes unworn because it's the result of an impulse buy or doesn't fit correctly, Ray A. Smith at the Wall Street Journal reports
Let that sink in and reads it again: No matter how many clothes you have, you most likely only wear 20% of them.
So, technically, all you just have to let go of the 80% that you are not wearing, that is just taking up space, and voilà job well done.
If it only were that easy, right?
It it were that easy we wouldn’t struggle with overflowing closets and piles of clothes on chairs in the bedroom.
Clothing is a huge source of clutter in a bedroom, and often the emotional attachments to some of the clothes can derail you from trying to declutter.
But there would be a lot of advantages to declutter your closet, the less clothing you have, the smaller is your laundry pile. Have you heard the term Mount Washmore?
On top of that, you’ll have more room in your closet so it's easier to put things away ... if you have only clothes in your closet that fit you, you have never a frustrating or defeating moment in the morning, when you can't close the button on your pants or shirt....
Over all I would say it's a Win-Win-Win
So here are a few tips and a series of questions that you can ask yourself that will help you with the process.
So the first thing I'd like to say is, don't just take all your clothes out of the closet and pile them up some place. I know there are decluttering experts out there that suggest that, but in my experience this just creates a lot of overwhelm, and will not motivate you to declutter your closet. In fact just a few weeks ago I had a message from someone, she said:
I took the recommendation that most people give on YouTube and they say to take all your clothes out of your closet and dump them all onto the bed. Then just go through them one at a time. So I took almost all my clothes out and made this big pile of clothes on my bed to go through and to downsize. But now, looking at the pile is stressing me out so much. I don't want to go anywhere near it. And I'm wondering if you could offer any kind of guidance.
I know why some experts suggest this method, they want you to see in one place how many clothes you have. But just like in this example that I just shared with you, the effect is that then you don't feel like doing anything because you are overwhelmed and stressed out.
As always, what I suggest is you either set a timer for a set time, like 15-20 minutes and go through your clothes, or you go through it shelf by shelf or 10 hangers at the time.
To decide what to keep and what to let go you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I love it?
- Colour: do I love the colour, does the colour look good on me?
- Texture: is it soft and nice to wear or does it itch or scratch?
- Material: is it a good quality material and easy to take care of?
- Style: does it suit my figure and make me feel good about myself?
- Is it my style? Does it project the image I want to project? Even if you love it, do you want to wear it in front of other people? Ifnecessary, enlist a friend who feels comfortable enough to tell you ifsomething is wrong for you.
- Does it fit me?- If the answer is no, for how long have I not been able to wear it? Ifyou haven't worn it in a year, donate it. When will you realistically fitting into it again? Am I actually in the process of losing weight and is this a realistic piece that motivates me to reach my goal weight? If yes, then make a pact with you for how much longer you are keeping it until you either have to fit into it or you let it go.
- Is it in good condition? If anything's needs repair, you need to fix it, or take it to a tailor or seamstress. Remember, anything that is broken or needs fixing is clutter, you either fix it or you get rid of it.
- Does it make me feel good when I wear it?
If the answer is not a clear YES to all five of these questions, then what is this item doing in your closet and life? Why are you hanging on to it? What does it represent?
Sometimes pieces of clothing represent a time in our life that we were happy or we were our desired weight or they remind us of a special time. Hanging on to items like this keeps us stuck in the past and we miss the present and the future. So be aware what is going on.
Ok, besides these 5 questions, here are a few extra tips
As always "a few minutes a day keeps the chaos away" Instead of standing all stressed out in front of a bed with clothes piled high, spend a few minutes a day to go through your closet shelf by shelf or hanger by hanger.
Have a donation bin or bag right next to your closet and when you sort through you can put the clothes that you want to let go right away into that bag or box.
Make it a routine and sort out and declutter year round. I have always a bag in my closet and the minute I fall out of love with something it goes into that bag. When the bag is full I bring it to goodwill.
Another option is to declutter when the season changes. We are now in summer, you probably still remember which of your winter or spring clothes you were really wearing and what was never out. Start getting these things together for goodwill and help someone out that will be grateful to have it and will wear it.
Remember how I said at the beginning that we are only wearing about 20% of our clothes? Well an easy way to figure out what 20% you are wearing is to turn around all hangers, so basically have them the wrong way around with the so the hooks are pointing towards you. Then when you wear something and you put it back after washing, you put it back into the closet with the hook the normal way. Within 3-6 months you see what you are wearing and what not, and after 12 months you probably can put anything that is on a hanger that is the wrong way around, into the donation bag.
And now some tips to help you after decluttering to not filling up your closet again. You can make some rules for yourself like:
- if you want to buy something, you need to let go of something
- or if you want to really challenge yourself, for every new piece you buy you need to let go of two items of clothing
- when you get undressed, put everything away right away, what needs washing throw into the hamper, what needs airing out you hang to air out and then put away in the closet or dresser.
- a good tip for the morning, and one that goes so very well with the theme of self-love is, to lay out your clothes the night before. This way it's all prepared for you already and you don't have to stress and think what to put on that day.
And my very last tip is:
- create a capsule wardrobe which is basically a fancy name for a limited amount of clothes from which you can put several outfits together, all or a lot of them are interchangeable and so you never get tired of all the combinations you can create and they all look great together.
This is something I think of doing so next week I have Maria Berry-Swann here on the podcast, she is a Style Coach & Capsule Wardrobe Expert and I will ask her all the questions that come to mind on how to create your own capsule wardrobe.
Maria is very chic and she loves style and just to give you a teaser, I loved it when she said:
I like to feel good, and I'm not gonna put up with a lame outfit and to not feel good, I'm just not gonna do it. If I'm having a bad day Honey, I'm gonna be cute. Okay, so every mirror in every window out pass. Oh, she's cute. You know, so I've always been into styling fashion, always.
Make sure you don't miss next weeks episode with Maria and hear all her tips on styling and how to create a capsule wardrobe.
Now Let's summarize real quick and don't forget you can download a pdf with all the tips on it
- if your clothes are in chaos, parts of you are in chaos too
- statistically we are only wearing 20% of clothes that we have (pareto principle)
- don't pull out all your clothes and pile them up on your bed, that's just going to stress you out- A few minutes a day ....
- start with the easy ones, the clothes you know for sure you want to let go, put them in the donation bag or worst case in the garbage
- go through the questions: Do I love it (colour, texture, material, style) Is it my style? Does it fit me? is it in good condition
Don't forget, you can download the check list and tips, Also, if you are interested to get notified when I offer my online decluttering course for clothes, make sure you download the pdf so I have your email address and can notify you.
- If you want to know more about my background check out my about page
- Check out the eBook From Chaos to Peace - a simple program to clear your clutter and change your life that I co-authored with my friend Vicki McLeod
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