Do your shirts runneth over? Mine used to “runneth amock” in the closet, onto the closet floor, the bedroom floor, into special plastic tubs bought just to store them, and at one time in giant trunks as well… not the little foot locker trunks, I’m talking about the big old-fashioned kind that can store a “ton” of clothes.
And hey, it wasn’t just shirts of course, all kinds of clothes used to runneth over in my life, till I gave them their walking papers. What about you? Got a couple extra pieces of clothing tucked around your house? Maybe exploding out of your bedroom closet?
Never fear, I’ve got the slam-dunk, sure-fire, all-star absolute number one strategy for you to declutter your clothes. Don’t believe me? Heard it all before? Rolling your eyes while you brace for the same old “gather up three boxes” line? Naw. This is different. This really, really works.
It’s my patented Tanja method for clearing your closet of crap and creating a streamlined beauty in it’s place.
It takes a little time though. It’s not an instant “10 minute fix”. You’re going to need a dedicated afternoon on one of your days off, at least two hours, maybe even four. But it’s worth it! Have I piqued your interest? Read on…
I tried all kinds of organizing and decluttering strategies for dealing with my clothing clutter until I finally discovered the one trick that works for me. I didn’t read it in a book, it just kind of evolved over many heart-breaking sessions of trying to part with my “precious lovelies”. Here’s what you do:
1 The day before your “big closet clean-up” do all of your laundry. This is mandatory for it to work. So plan ahead, and make sure all of your clothes are clean and ready for action.
2 On the big day gather all of your clothes from their various resting places. I’m talking the stuff in your main closet and the out of season clothes, the “spare bedroom closet” clothes, the hidden under your bed in a little storage tub clothes, all of it. Gather it up into a place where you have a full-length mirror. It’s convenient if it is in your bedroom (less hauling) but I’ve done this strategy even when I had to take all of my clothes downstairs to the bathroom mirror.
3 Now grab yourself a giant black trash bag, the 30 gallon kind for outside trash cans. Your goal for today is to fill it up as much as possible.
4 You’re ready for action now. What you’re going to do is try on every single piece of clothing you own. If you already know you want to get rid of something you can skip the trying it on step and put it straight in your trash bag, otherwise, no matter what, you’re trying it on. Even if it doesn’t fit! Hike those skinny jeans up to your calves if that’s as far as they’ll go, but try em’ on and look in the mirror!
5 Look in the mirror and assess. The positives: Do you like the way it looks? Does it fit right? Does the color and style flatter you? Does it make you feel great? The negatives: Is it showing age spots (tears, fading, rips)? Does it hang funny on you? Is it a gross shade of green? Does it make you feel blah? Keep the positives and dump the negatives!
6 As you assess each item it’s either going back in your closet as one of your “true loves” or it’s getting tossed in that big old black garbage bag and taken to a charity. But, … what about all those maybes? The ones you’re not quite ready to part with, the ones that you can’t quite decide on, the ones that bring up memories? Those are the gray zone. My quicky advice is dump all the maybes but that’s easier said than done! So #6 is your secret weapon. Put all your maybes on one side of your closet. For the next few weeks commit to wearing each one for a full day. There’s nothing like putting it through the “wear it test” to really determine if it’s right for you!
Now you may come up with some great (and valid) reasons not to do the wear it for a day method. Obviously you won’t be wearing your winter coat for a day if it’s the middle of summer. Same thing with other oddball items like a wedding dress, a tux, a bathing suit in the winter, etc. Those are the loop-holes. Just focus on the “maybe items” where the wear it for a day method makes sense. You’ll downsize tremendously and fall in love with your closet all over again!!! Then those oddball items will drift towards the donation bag on their own…
Let me tell, this 6 step strategy for decluttering clothes really works for me. When I started I had so many clothes it was insane… and I didn’t wear most of them. It took me several rounds of decluttering with this strategy before I got down to a manageable amount of clothes. Was it worth it? You better believe it baby! Now my closet is stream-lined and it’s easy to find exactly what I’m looking for. Your goal is to create sanity in your closet. You do that by dumping the clothes you never wear. They’re just making it harder for you to find the ones you want!