Closet Purge: Decluttering

white and black floral cap sleeved shirt
Photo by Artem Bali on

Unfortunately, decluttering is not a simple task. It is a task that takes energy and self-reflection. With the holiday season approaching I have been attempting to declutter my apartment every day since November 1, but due to my busy schedule, I have barely made a dent in the amount of stuff I have accumulated over a year and a half of living at my current residence.  However, this past weekend over two snow days, I re-committed and dove into the overwhelming amount of stuff in my closet.  It was difficult, and I am still a long way from done, but this morning I left my apartment with a large bag accompanied with a  small bag of items I no longer use or items that do not bring me joy, and already felt lighter spiritually.  The three things that I found most difficult to declutter was my office stuff and my clothing.

Closet Hazard!!!

Before this yesterday evening it was a hazard to walk into my closet. I had stuff stacked from floor to ceiling and clothing hung on every open space with a suitcase full of winter clothing I had yet to hang.  I was overwhelmed. In response to feeling overwhelmed, I ask my boyfriend to help me go through items and dove into the incredibly large amount of clothing residing in my closet. Unfortunately, the first five minutes was extremely discouraging. My boyfriend would pick up an item and ask to keep or stay.  Most of the time the answer was stay. However, after going through all the articles of clothing using the keep or stay method, I had picked around 10 items to donate. While it doesn’t seem like a large amount, it is for me due to the fact that I really struggle to declutter my closet.

Mindsets that Constantly Stump Closet Decluttering

The fitness struggle:  If I start running and going to the gym for an hour or two every day I will be able to fit into this dress again! ( This line is what kept me from being successful in decluttering my closet for over a year)

I have a large number of clothes from high school that are classic pieces that were purchased by my parents. They were on the higher quality and pricier side of clothing. During high school I did online school and played tennis five hours every day, trained in the weight room every day, and played tournaments every weekend. I was extremely fit. Today I sit in class and study most of the time while playing tennis for four hours every week and working out in total about 7 hours a week.  I am by no means overweight, but my body is not the same muscular machine it was in high school, and a large portion of my clothes do not fit properly or do not look good on me anymore. But I still struggled to get rid of them when decluttering, until I dropped the attitude about forcing my body to change.  If you struggle with this mindset, take a deep breathe clear your mind and decide to let it go. You will feel so much more successful in decluttering. As a bonus: One I donate those clothes have been donated I never miss them.

I feel wasteful-  This shirt was 80 dollars and I never wore it! This shirt still looks good on me but I am tired of wearing it. I struggled with feeling wasteful in getting rid of clothing items that look good on me, were expensive, and were not worn more than a few times.

I am very passionate about doing my part in taking care of the earth. About a year ago, I learned how to reduce my overall consumption of products by being more conscious about my purposes and the affect over-consumption would have on the earth and my well-being. Previously, If I liked an article of clothing I would purchase it. Now I ask myself, “What can I wear this too?” “Is this clothing absolutely comfortable?” “Can I get this basic black top at a different store for less money?”  “Do I already have clothing similar to this item?” “Do I need it or do I want to buy something for the sake of buying something?”  If I do not pass these questions to my satisfaction, I do not purchase the article of clothing.

I used to look so good in this! When I love the way I look in an article of clothing and it still gives me a feeling of joy to wear, I am super disappointed when it does not fit comfortably. This is a difficult situation because it leads me back to mindset number 1 listed above.  I have to remind myself that this item of clothing is taking up precious space because I will not wear it if it is not comfortable to wear.

If you are like me an struggle to purge your closet, do not get up! I would love to share any advice I can to help you with your decluttering and freeing journey!