Reader Petra submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:
Uncluttering is not a huge problem for me — with one exception: my wardrobe. I’m a stress-eater and easily gain weight, nevertheless I try to get rid of the extra kilos whenever possible. Those ups and downs expand sometimes over periods of a year.
My clothes are of high quality and just prime, timeless wear. Due to my weight problem I have every item needed in three to four different sizes. How can I unclutter this huge amount of clothes without the need to shop whenever my weight changes ? (Yes, I know I should do something about the weight problem permanently…) I would love to hear from you.
To begin, I want you to know that you are doing two things right already — your wardrobe is full of well-made and classic clothing. You will get many years of use from your clothing and won’t have to replace what you will ultimately decide to keep. You’re definitely on the right track.
Next, I recommend going through all of your sizes and identifying the pieces that look best on you at each size. You know these pieces because they make you feel good when you wear them, people compliment you when you wear them, and you never hesitate to put them on when they’re clean. These items should go into your keep pile.
If you still have some space in your closet, I recommend keeping your most classic pieces — for instance, a black suit that can be worn to a meeting, dressed up to attend a dinner party, and is also appropriate for a funeral. These extremely versatile, classic items will be fine to keep in all of your sizes. I call these items the basic wardrobe, and you should create one that best meets your needs.
Beyond these two types of clothes, you won’t really need much else. You may find, however, that you want to increase your accessories — scarves, jewelry, shoes, and drapey cardigans that can be worn at any size. Use these items to give color, spice, and a trend to the current to all of your outfits. Fortunately, (well, except for the shoes) these items are considerably easier to store.
Thank you, Petra, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column.
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