We have too much stuff. I suspect you do too. We had so much stuff, that we couldn’t even take care of it properly. If my favorite shirt got stained, It’s more likely that I’d toss it and buy another than to work at getting the stain out.
I had a huge closet full of clothes, half of which haven’t fit since my pre-baby years. Despite the astronomical number of shirts I owned, I would always wear my favorite 8 or 9 shirts. Does this sound familiar?
Why do we do this to ourselves? Half of the things we keep in our closet are a “just in case everything else is dirty” option. Close your eyes and picture this: You. You’re happy. Peaceful even. Needing only one load of laundry done every other day. Always looking put together because everything you own makes you look like a goddess. Always knowing where your favorite blouse it. Spending less on your wardrobe than you do now, but buying expensive clothes that you only dreamed of owning.
Your closet should be fun, not a burden. We have too many things to appreciate. Let’s change that in just 30 minutes!
Our goal today is to toss/store anything and everything that you wouldn’t wear and love yourself in right now. If this leaves you with 6 shirts, so be it. We’ll work through that in a bit.
If you share a closet with someone, get their permission ahead of time to make decisions on what to toss for them or have them participate. I told Mr. Busy Budgeter that I’m going to stick anything I don’t think he wears in a bag in our spare closet. If at any point he needs something in the bag, I’ll happily grab it for him. If he doesn’t need anything after about 3 months then we’ll donate it.
1. Quickly decide how organized you are. Are you capable of donating/storing something without letting it re-clutter your life? If you are – You can have two or three piles (trash-sell-store). There is no shame in realizing that you’re not there yet. The first time I decluttered, I threw out a lot of things. I mean, probably hundreds of dollars of stuff. Not because I didn’t want the money, or because I like wasting things someone else could use, but because I was chronically disorganized. If I hadn’t taken that drastic first step. I never would have gotten to where I am now. Now I can donate. 🙂 If you aren’t that organized, just have a giant trash pile.
TIP: Instead of storing, consider loaning to a sister or friend. When I’m pregnant, my sister gets my favorite wardrobe pieces for about a year. In fact, my black Dolman dress is the favorite dress of both of us.
2. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
3. Grab things out of your closet and make a quick decision of whether or not you love it and want to wear it out right now. If not- toss it in the bag. You should have a few bags available. Start with anything on the floor, then move to flipping through coat hangers quickly. Speed is the key here. Don’t try things on or contemplate their importance. You know which pieces you love to wear. If you have a dresser, quickly move through that too.
4. When the timer goes off, tie off the bags and either store them, toss them or put them in the car to donate on your next errands trip.
5. Set the timer for another 10 minutes. Does the closet still have things out of place? Quickly go through and hang them up or find those items a home.
6. Jot down some quick notes. What are you left with? What do you really need?Do you have only 6 shirts, but 20 pairs of pants? Make a list of things you need, and things you would love to have. Try sticking to classics that won’t go out of style for a few years.
Tip: I aim to keep my wardrobe limited to this list or 40 hangers in my closet
- 3 pairs of jeans, 2 shorts, 3 dresses, 10 blouses, 15 tee shirts (long and short), 3 skirts, 5 workout pants, 5 workout tops, 10 pairs of shoes (including sandals, sneakers etc), 4 sweaters, 3 tank tops or cami’s and 2 coats. I have no limits of jewelry or scarves as long as I love them. Make yourself a need list and a want list.
7. Sit on this list for a while. If you’re organized, sell your old clothes in large lots on eBay according to size. I made just under $1,000 on this once! Put the money aside to be spent on your new clothes. If you aren’t organized, toss it and don’t think twice. If you have a budget, make sure you have a clothing allotment. Let it build up to about $50 before your first shopping trip.
I use ThredUp almost exclusively for my clothes and shoes. I use the shopping rules below and take advantage of the free returns by returning almost 80% of my purchases from there. I can try on the clothes at home and then send them back if they aren’t perfect. The key to using ThredUp (which has designer clothes and amazing prices) is to build up your clothing budget first. When you spend over $150, you activate free shipping until the end of the following calendar month.
So about once a year, I do a closet overhaul and make my shopping list. I build up my clothing budget to at least $150, make a huge ThredUp purchase on the first of the month. That gets me free shipping for the rest of that month AND the next month. For the next two months, I use the same $150 that I originally spent and have a continuous cycle of new clothes arriving and being sent back (all for free!) until my wardrobe is perfected.
(P.S. If you want to use ThredUp, you can get an extra $10 to spend here.)
- Don’t buy anything not on the list, no matter how amazing and fabulous.
- You should be conscientious of sales, but I’d rather you spend full price on one item that you will cherish and love than something you “like” but got on sale. Never go outside of your assigned budget. Even if it takes a year to build up to your dream wardrobe, it’ll be worth it.
- Don’t forget thrift stores, but understand that you won’t settle. Finding the perfect piece in a thrift store may take many trips, but most of my favorite jeans I purchased for $4 at the local Village thrift store on 50% off days. Don’t bother with thrift stores that don’t organize their clothing by size.
- Don’t over do it. Your goal is to keep your wardrobe contained to 40 hangers.
So, How much stuff did you get rid of?