Inevitably, whenever you decide to do one of these decluttering exercises, you have to sort through the mess now dumped on the floor or bed.
During this sorting process, I came across certain belongings that clung onto me for dear life and made me feel strangely like a bad owner for even considering putting them in a garbage bag (How dare you put me in the bag after spending $XX dollars on me! … Remember the good times when I kept you warm for so many winters? Now look at how you stuff me in this cheap green plastic bag!).
To help me during this elimination process, I categorised as follows:
- Definite ‘happy’ keeps: This is the easiest category to filter. It includes clothes I currently wear, love and look good in (think about what you wore most in the last 12 months. They’re the keepers and you recognise them immediately).
- Maybe keeps: Clothes that I used to wear regularly, were pre-loved (not worn-out) and those I never got around to wearing more than once. This is the most difficult category to filter as it often includes those sentimental or guilty purchases. It needs the most critical eye and internal grit to divide and conquer.
- Charity: Any clothes that are rarely worn (if ever) because they’re ill-fitting, outdated or you’ve just changed your style and it doesn’t fit in with it any more.
- ‘Money-making’ clothes: Clothes that are mid to high-end designer labels, in excellent condition and still saleable. Post them on eBay or, even better, join a Facebook group that specifically sells and trades that brand and sell them there. You can even see if there are any clothing exchange opportunities in your city. These are great if you want to ‘exchange’ pieces for another equivalent item that would add value to your wardrobe. If you’re in Australia, check out The Clothing Exchange.
- Clothes to discard: If it has indelible stains, chuck it. Non-mendable holes or tears? In the garbage. Too old and worn-out to give to charity or sell? Bin it. Easy peasy.
The ‘maybe keeps’ are the most challenging. There is one particular woollen skirt I own that, over the years, I have worn less and less because I feel it’s too long and makes me look a bit dowdy. Every time I do a clean-out, I place it in the charity bag only to madly take it back into my cupboard. The main issue for this craziness is that it is both sentimental AND expensive. At the time I bought it, I wore it during entire seasons. It has been with me now for nearly 15 years and is still in excellent condition. But it really has to go now.