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Decluttering Closets: 5 Things to Consider

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One of the things I keep on my to-do list every season is decluttering. Our family seems to collect so many things we don’t need. Being the kind of person who doesn’t like messes and wants everything to have its own place, decluttering (in other words, getting rid of stuff) is one of my favorite ways to organize and free up space! Every Fall and every Spring I move section by section around the house to organize and purge things. (I’m a mom, c’mon, I can’t do it all at once.) Right now I’m working on our master bedroom-specifically, the closet.

 5 things to consider when deciding what clothes to toss and what to keep:

#1. When did you wear it last?

Obviously the one rule everyone remembers–have you worn it in the last six months? If not, there’s a good chance you won’t wear it in the next six. Toss it!

#2. Is it your style?

Is it still your style? As we age (gracefully, I hope) or move on to the next stage in our life, many aspects of ourselves change. Our attitudes, our hobbies, our priorities, etc. – everything develops. So should your wardrobe! This didn’t register in my mind until after having children, especially after my second. Your wardrobe says a lot about you. If you’re a 30-year-old mother of 3, it’s probably time to toss that tube top. That’s not me judging, that’s just me being helpful.

#3. Does it still fit?

Does it fit? Now this is a big one. We’re all guilty of keeping clothing in the back of our closet that doesn’t actually fit. It’s one thing to keep something that you’d fit in if you’re having a good day and lost that 5 pounds of water weight. It’s another thing to hold on to something you wore in high school when you were 20 pounds lighter. Personally, this has never been a motivator for me to lose weight. It’s more of a reminder of what used to be, and tends to make me feel like a failure. It shouldn’t! Getting older generally means getting bigger, which is not a bad thing. It’s a natural and healthy change. But if you do end up losing a significant amount of weight in the future, wouldn’t you rather reward yourself with new clothes more your style that are appropriate for your age rather than reverting back to the past?

#4. How worn out is it?

How worn is it? If it’s threadbare or starting to show its age, does that add to the piece or take away? Sometimes rips and tears can add to the character of clothing (I’m sure many of us were into the ripped-up jean look at some point). But if a sweater is coming unraveled, or there are holes in your underwear that shouldn’t be there, and they can’t be salvaged with a needle and thread, it’s probably time to toss them. On the other side of things, if you find clothing that’s missing buttons or has a ripped seem, throw it in its own pile of pieces to repair. Whip out your sewing kit you keep for emergencies and fix it all at once.

#5. How many of this color and style do you own?

Do you own multiples? And do you really need them? It’s understandable to own a few white button up shirts or several black leggings when you wear them often, but there are some pieces of clothing you don’t need more than one of. James, for example, doesn’t need 3 pink gingham shirts when he only wears one maybe once a month.

5 Things to Consider Before Decluttering Your Closets | Organizing the House | Organizing Your Closet | Evaluate Your Wardrobe
5 Things to Consider Before Decluttering Your Closets | Organizing the House | Organizing Your Closet | Evaluate Your Wardrobe

Cash in the Clutter

After you finish shifting through your clothing and making a toss pile, next is figuring out what to do with it all. If what you’ve set aside is gently used, don’t toss it! Trashing it is a waste, so what are your options?

You can always take clothing to second-hand stores like Plato’s Closet or Uptown Cheapskate to see if they’ll buy some of it from you. Whatever they pass on, donate to Goodwill or Resale shops. Most of the time they’re happy to donate whatever’s left, for you. (One less stop when running errands.)

Plus, while you wait for them to look through your pile of goods, you can peruse through their racks. If they end up buying from you, you get more in store credit than you would in cash. That is, if you want to add to your clothes collection after you’ve just significantly cut back!

To be honest, Uptown is actually one of my favorite places to update my wardrobe, no matter if I’m selling to them or not. They sell quality brands at a fraction of the price– which is perfect for the new season!

Check it out, your wallet will thank you!

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