Three Steps to Letting Go of Unneeded Clothing…

The Reason

As I’ve mentioned previously, the past year has been a constant process of cleaning out our home to make us “fit”.  We have too much stuff and too little space and I’m sad to say that my clothing-hoarding-tendencies are a big part of the problem.  I recently decided that it was time for a close look at the clothing I owned.  It was time to purge all that was extra.

After much reading and thinking on the subject I came up with a three step plan for sorting out what I owned that was unneeded – and, oh boy!, there was a lot of unneeded.

Step One

I started this process by removing all the clothing I had in closets, dressers, boxes, bags, the upside-down, etc.  Everything I owned needed to be revealed.  The clothing was removed from its hiding places and draped over my couches according to type.  Pants were in one spot, lounge-wear another, shirts, dresses, tunics, you get the picture.


Step Two

Once everything was laid out and ready for sorting I set up other sections of the living room (I did this on a day I was home alone because it was super chaotic!).  The sections included: donate, sell, keep (off season), keep (summer capsule), garbage.

Step 3

Finally I stripped down to my undies (again: see the part about doing this while home alone) and began sorting through.  I was in my undies because I knew that most things would need to be tried on and I wanted that to be as quick a process as possible.

It was important to start this process with the clothing that held the least sentimental value to me: pants.  I was able to quickly and easily try them on and decide if they fit.  If they didn’t fit or showed too much wear?  They were gone.

The exception to this was two pairs of brand new, tags still on, jeans that are one size below my current.  I know that you should always get rid of the “maybe-I’ll-fit-this-again” clothing.  But I also know that my weight fluctuates a lot and that I’ll probably be needing these at some point in the next 12 months or so.  That’s just how my body is and so I plan accordingly.

The most difficult were the dresses.  Dresses hold a ton of sentimental value for me.  I was on a roll by the time I got to them and I was fairly ruthless.  I still ended up keeping a few pieces that will never again fit me but that are so cool, and hold so much meaning, I couldn’t get rid of them.  They’ve been placed in the hall closet and I’m thinking about how to store them.

This part of the process was both the most difficult and the easiest for me.  It only took about 40 minutes to sort through over 200 items of clothing.  I was ruthless!  So much of this had been in the closet for years, unworn.  I knew that I wasn’t going to wear it and that someone else would probably get good use of it.  So, to the thrift store I went.

The Results

In the end I donated 129 items of clothing, 13 pairs of shoes, and put aside 7 items to sell.  I kept 22 items in my summer capsule and held onto 11 pieces of lounge wear.  All active wear that was in good shape was also kept.  I kept a number of items for fall/winter that were placed into an under-the-bed bin.

I’m not going to lie.  It took two weeks and a second look into the thrift store bags for me to let those items go (8 were retrieved to stay with me).  And that’s okay.  129 items is a truly insane amount of space to free up!  And it’s so nice getting dressed each morning knowing that everything hanging in my closet fits, looks good, and is ready to wear!

Welcome! I write about ethical fashion and my journey towards a capsule wardrobe. I am a teacher, blogger, and fashion lover!
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