5 Ways to Reduce the Number of Clothes you have

Thursday, 17 October 2013

I've got serious wardrobe issues... We're not talking a lack of things to wear, this is more of a 'not enough space to store what I've got' situation! Every day I fight to get things out of tightly-packed cupboards and end up having to re-iron before I can wear them and look vaguely presentable.

I've tried to regularly cull my clothes and shoes over the years, but it does get to the point where, taking into account summer and winter clothes, you reach saturation point and most of what you have you want to keep ~ or think you do. Whether or not I wear all the clothes I have is another story...

We're planning a bedroom refurbishment early next year ~ I'm dreaming of floor-to-ceiling cupboards and dedicated shoe storage ~ but I still need to be mindful of the fact that in a one-bed flat there's always going to be limited storage space and therefore quantities of clothes and shoes need to somehow be kept in check.

And I don't think I'm alone in this predicament. A quick scan of the Internet pulls up a ton of stuff on maintaining a wardrobe and ways to get rid of clothes you don't need anymore.

If you're in the same position as me, here are a few practical tips for deciding what stays and what has to go:

1. The 6 Month Rule
Divide items into three piles:
* Keep (I love this and wear often)
* Keep for 6 months (I don't wear this as often as I might)
* Chuck or donate (I never wear this, it doesn't fit, I don't like it anymore)

If you don't wear something in the 'keep for 6 months' category during the next 6 months, it has to go. You have to be ruthless here though ~ don't be tempted to give 'extensions' to items, 'just in case I might wear it'!

2. Reversed Hangers
This works in tandem with the 6 month rule. Every time you put something back in your wardrobe having worn it, turn the hanger around the other way. That way you'll know if you've worn it or not. Any 'unturned' items after 6 months get the chop!

3. Take a Photo
If you're hanging onto something for sentimental reasons (and we've all done this at some point I'm sure), take a photo of it then chuck/donate it. That way you've still got the memory, but gain new space!

4. Wear Everything
Commit to slowly working your way through everything you've got, day by day. If you feel an excuse coming on (with the possible exception of weather/season appropriacy) ~ too big/small, I don't feel right in it, not in fashion etc. ~ it has to go. I know I tend to fall back on the same few things I enjoy wearing and ignore the rest, which just sits there taking up precious space.

5. Project 333
Try living with 33 items for 3 months. This is a more extreme option, but will surely put into perspective what you really need and love and what you don't. More on this here.

This autumn I'm going to give number 4 a go. My problem has always been 'oh, but I might wear that again' syndrome. But if I'm not prepared to wear it today for any reason, what are the chances I'll ever wear it? Wouldn't I rather have the extra space that would be created if I no longer had this item?

I guess all of this is just another example of living in the present moment and dropping the what ifs/what was/what might bes. Am I right?

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your wardrobe in shape?

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