If your closet is packed so tightly that you can barely pull out a hanger, the best thing to do is to pare down your wardrobe – dramatically. It’s hard! Here are four questions to ask yourself, as you consider whether to keep something or toss or give it away:
1. Ask yourself how many of XXX you really need. How many of your t-shirts do you actually wear? How many do you really need to keep on hand? If you have four pairs of khakis, do you ever wear your fourth-favorite pair? Or do you just alternate between your two favorites?
2. Ask yourself whether things really fit. This is especially difficult if you’re not happy with your weight. But if you do manage to lose thirty pounds, would you want to wear that pair of jeans you last wore five years ago, or would you run out and buy a new pair? In any event, you need to deal with where your body is now.
3. Ask yourself if you really do wear something. This is a particular problem for me with shoes. I won’t admit how many pairs of shoes I have that I’ve worn less than five times. For some reason, they just don’t work, and I never wear them – and yet I keep them for five, ten, and one pair – I just checked – I’ve had for twelve years. Yes, twelve years. I wear running shoes ALL the time! Even at times when I really should be wearing something nicer. I just don’t wear that many pairs of other shoes.
4. Clear your closet by storing sentimental items someplace else. Sure, keep that favorite sweater from college, if you can’t let it go, but if you never wear it anymore, tuck it away in an out-of-the-way place. It doesn’t need to take up valuable real estate in your closet.
Brace yourself: you’ll find this process boring and anxiety-producing, but you will be amazed by how energized you’ll feel after you get rid of the bags and bags and bags that are headed to the trash, the Salvation Army, or a neighbor. As I’ve done my happiness project, I’ve been astonished by the lift I get each time I create more order in my life.
For me, clearing clutter is a key in striving to be happier. Outer order makes it much easier for me to find inner serenity. Not to mention that it’s easier to find my favorite shirt.
Do you have any good tips for clearing clothes clutter? Please share!
The days are long, but the years are short.