Clearing Out the Closet

I noticed when I was cleaning up that I had too many clothes that I never use. In fact, this project is one of the main things that made me want to undertake the Minimalist Experiment.

I’ve known for some time that I have too many clothes. When my wife and I moved in together, I donated a lot of clothes. When we moved apartments, I got rid of more. And still, I have too many clothes. I have clothes that have not been out of the closet or dresser since I put them in there. They’re wasting my space, taking up time to look through them as I decide what to wear, and are generally just clutter. So it’s time to do something about them!

I followed the simple system that I read about on Becoming Minimalist to narrow down my clothes.

  • I pulled everything out and spread it on the bed.
  • From there I sorted it into three piles:
    • keep
    • relocate
    • discard
  • Then I took care of the piles.

Everything on the Bed

Wow… my clothes covered the entire bed, nearly a foot deep. That’s just too many! And this is after two rounds of getting rid of stuff.

Keep

Deciding what to keep is easy. Deciding what not to keep is hard. I know that I kept too many items, but this gives me a good reference point for further minimizing later on. I kept less than half of the items that I removed from my closet and dresser.

Relocate

One of the problems that I have with getting rid of certain clothing articles is that I think I may need them. I used to work outside during the winter, so I have a collection of nice warm clothing. However, I am no longer doing that type of work, so I need only a few select pieces. Years of habit make it hard for me to pass on good work clothes, however.

To help prove to myself that I don’t need many of my work clothes (and some of the dress clothes, as well), I packed the clothes that I have not warn in awhile into a duffel bag. This bag will go into the storage area. If I haven’t missed the clothes when I next open that bag, they will be donated.

Discard

I have used the relocate method in the past. While bringing down my clothes, I ran across a stack of shirts that I had previously set aside. Since I had forgotten they even existed, they certainly had not been missed. This stack was quickly tossed into the growing “to be donated” pile. The collection has over-grown its bag and will soon be dropped off at GoodWill.

The Results

My closet is much lighter. My clothes are no longer smashed together. I have half a shelf of empty space (room for my art supplies!) and my morning decision making will be much easier.

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