Decluttering clothes? Or . . . trying to declutter clothing? Overwhelmed because you have a hard time identifying which pieces are clutter?
I feel your pain. Clothing seems to multiply when I’m not looking, and decluttering clothes is a constant battle in our home. While a big purge is awesome, there are clues I find on an ongoing basis that help me stick things straight into the Donate Box.
Clue #1: It’s in the dirty clothes (again), but it’s clean (again).
This is a common frustration for moms. I roll my eyes and think unkind thoughts when it happens in our home. I lecture, remind, and re-lecture.
And usually, after a particularly profound lecture, I run across one of my own still-clean items of clothing while sorting for Laundry Day. Ugh.
When that happens, I’m reminded that many clean things which end up in the dirty clothes pile actually need to be decluttered. Usually, they are there because I thought about wearing them but changed my mind. I might have even tried them on.
The beauty of decluttering these clothes is that they can never end up clean-but-in-the-hamper again once they’re gone.
Yay for that.
Clue #2: They’re at the bottom of a drawer that won’t close.
I put away clean clothes and the drawer won’t shut. Instead of throwing my hands in the air at the pointlessness of even trying to do the right thing (right thing = putting clothes away), I take a look at the clothes in the bottom of the drawer.
The ones I’m putting away are ones we’ve recently worn. We like those. If the ones in the bottom of the drawer have been there a while, we haven’t worn them.
Which means we don’t like them as much as the ones we have worn.
Clothes we wear deserve drawer space more than clothes we don’t wear.
Clue #3: There’s a dust line on the shoulders.
This is hanging-clothes specific. And a little embarrassing.
If a closet is overstuffed and I know we need to purge, I look for clothing with dust on the hanger’s line.
We haven’t worn those items in the amount of time that it takes for dust to become visible on them. This isn’t a perfect or thorough decluttering strategy. It’s simply a clue to help me yank out some easy stuff and get going on decluttering clothing.
Getting going cures Decluttering Paralysis, and even if I stop after I remove the dusty-shouldered items, we have less than we did before.
And less is good.
If you’re decluttering clothing (or your kitchen or your bedrooms or your craft room), you need my new book: Decluttering at the Speed of Life.