My Quick Tip to Clear Clothes Clutter

posted by Andrea | 11/20/2015
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clothes clutter

Due to the fact that kitchen and closet clutter often seem like extremely overwhelming projects, they tend to get put off and put off and put off until things are so messy and disorganized that they actually become full weekend projects (which is overwhelming to almost anyone).

However, as someone who has helped hundreds of people organize their kitchen and closet clutter, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to make the process relatively painless — potentially even fun!

Last week, I shared my quick tip to clear kitchen counter clutter… so today, I thought I would share my quick tip to clear clothes clutter.

 

1. PULL OUT (anything you don’t love)

As quickly as you possibly can, go through EVERY item of clothing you own and pull out everything you don’t love, everything you don’t feel great in, everything you don’t currently have a use for, everything that doesn’t fit or flatter you right now, everything that is stained or ruined in any way,  and of course, anything you don’t want.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you donate or purge anything yet — I just want you to get these items out of your main closet area for a while. 

Since you won’t technically be tossing anything to the curb just yet, I would encourage you to be ruthless with your decision making process. In my experience, it’s better to remove more up-front so you’re only left with pieces you really love and feel great wearing.

Also, make sure you go through EVERYTHING. I literally went through every item of clothing I own — from socks and underwear, to dress clothes and old bridesmaid dresses, to coats, hats, gloves, and of course, boots and shoes!

I put everything into a clothes basket and brought it to an unused closet upstairs.

This way, it would be completely out of my sight, and I could enjoy all the extra free space in my closet and dresser drawers. However, if I decide that I really do need one or more of the items I pulled from my closet, I can simply walk upstairs to get it again. Nothing is “final” yet!

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2. PICK OVER (anything you want to bring back into your closet)

Over the next few weeks and months see how long you can make-due with the things left in your closet. And if you need to go through your boxes and bins of “clothing in waiting”, only pull out the items(s) you want and leave the rest alone!

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3. PAY ATTENTION (to anything you really love wearing)

As you get ready each day, really pay attention to what you’re wearing and why you love it so much.

Is it the color? The soft fabric? The fit of the piece? Or the fact that the item goes with so many other things in your wardrobe?

For me, I love anything black, grey, white, navy, and anything in the color palate of pink, fuchsia, purple, etc. because I think those colors look best on me. I also have mostly v-neck shirts because I like that style… and I apparently love stripes! Finally, I almost only ever buy cotton and spandex materials because I can not stand the feeling of wool, silk, or anything scratchy on my skin (yes, I know, Nora gets it from me!)

By knowing what I like and what I feel comfortable in, I can shop for clothing faster and easier and avoid impulse purchases that are just going to sit in my closet for the next year until I purge them.

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4. PURGE (anything you didn’t miss)

I didn’t make you purge right away… but I really can’t have a post about clothes clutter without mentioning purging at some point 🙂

After a few months pass (maybe up to a full year), I would highly encourage you to muster up the courage to blindly donate everything left in your basket or box.

It will be very difficult (I know) but in my experience, if you haven’t worn or missed an article of clothing for several months to a full year, you will not miss it in the future! On the flip side, you WILL enjoy all the extra space in your closet and dresser!

(p.s. here’s the post where I talk about how and why I fold my t-shirts like this)

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As I mentioned earlier this week, I just did this with my own clothing last week — due to the fact that I’ve felt increasingly dissatisfied with my wardrobe since James was born.

While I did lose all my baby weight, my clothes just don’t fit the same anymore. It’s like my grandma always said, “I still weigh what I did when I got married, it’s just spread out a little differently now!”

Many of the shirts I LOVED before, don’t seem to fit right anymore. I don’t feel great wearing them, which means they are just sitting there taking up valuable space and reminding me of all the things I don’t love about my clothing. I try them on over and over again, only to take them off a few minutes later because I don’t like how they feel or look.

Not only does this waste my time and energy (2 things I definitely don’t want to be wasting these days) it also wastes valuable space in my closet.

And although I didn’t buy even 1 new article of clothing, it has been so much easier for me to get dressed every day because I’m only choosing from items I love and feel great wearing.

If, in the future, I decide to pull something out of the basket of clothing I removed, that’s fine. It’s still there “just in case I might need it some day soon,” but it’s not staring me in the face every time I open my closet.

And if I don’t need or want anything from my basket, I can donate it with a clear conscience because I know I’m not being hasty about my decisions. In my experience, this method is a great way to get around ALL those excuses we make to hang onto our clothes clutter!

If you feel like your closet could use a makeover, I hope today’s quick tip will help!

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7 comments

  1. Sandra

    11/20/2015

    I had baby #2 in August and I agree that things don’t fit the same. I just worry if I get rid of the things I don’t love or that don’t fit well, then I’ll have nothing left to wear. Ha!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I can relate to that for sure! I just removed everything I really didn’t like or that really didn’t fit me well at all. There are still a few things in my closet that I don’t absolutely love, but I still wear them under other shirts or for certain occasions. I guess it’s just personal choice.

    I also just got a gift card to Kohl’s and Target — both of which I’m putting towards a few new items of clothing for myself! I’m excited about that, and I think after I get a few new items, I’ll be able to get rid of several of the things in my closet that are still “maybes” 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Laura

    11/20/2015

    These tips are super helpful. Love the idea of the basket. Was about to tackle my closet today when I read this. Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re welcome! Hopefully the closet organizing went well!!

    [Reply]

  3. Mandy

    11/20/2015

    I had a baby in September and have also noticed that although the baby weight is gone, my pre baby clothes just don’t fit like they used to. I also have a ton of dressy clothes I just don’t wear anymore (since leaving my job to become a stay at home mom). These types of posts are super helpful….it can be overwhelming to know where to start!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I promise it will feel good to get everything you don’t love out of your closet (even if you do eventually bring it back in). Also, congrats on the new baby!

    [Reply]

    Pixie508 Reply:

    when my son was about 18mo old, and I realized that I was never going back into corporate America, I donated a TON of my old work and dress clothes to Dress for Success, which helps underprivileged and women in rough situations get dress clothes to wear on interviews. I kept 3ish dressy shirts (and a twin set), and 3 pairs of dress pants (black, grey, brown) as well as a black blazer so I could make a “suit” if I needed to (I still work, but from home, so my daily outfit is usually yoga pants or jeans). I kept enough that if I needed to meet a client, or go out of town for a conference, I had what I needed, and those things can double for any dressier occasions in regular life (plus I have a couple of dresses and skirts for weddings or fancier things). Getting rid of my work clothes cleared out an entire whole section of my closet – it was crazy!

    [Reply]