Even if you’re not a student or don’t have students in your house, the start of the school year is a terrific time to sort through your wardrobe and purge the clutter. We recently went through this process in our home, and used some new strategies as we sorted.
First, we started by looking at photo albums from before my husband and I were married (11+ years ago). If we spotted any items of clothing still in our wardrobes that we were wearing in the old pictures, those items of clothing immediately left the closet. I had just two pairs of shoes that met this standard, so I decided to increase the scope by looking at pictures from before I turned 30 (7+ years ago). This strategy yielded better results — getting rid of a fifth to a quarter of my stuff. Items I couldn’t see in pictures but that I remembered had been around this long (many old socks were part of this category), went into the purge pile.
Second, I got rid of all of my summer clothes that I didn’t put on a single time this summer. This isn’t a new strategy, but it’s a good one for this time of year. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, this process would work for your winter clothing.
Third, and this new strategy turned out better than expected, my husband and I gave each other permission to purge the two items we least liked from each other’s wardrobe. He got rid of two pairs of my yoga pants that were what I wore whenever I was sick. He was right, they needed to go. I got rid of two of his shirts that weren’t flattering on him, and he agreed they should go. If you don’t live with someone, you can implement this same strategy with a close friend or family member. Remember, though, to make it about the clothes, not about the person.
Implementing our old strategies also helped a great deal to purge even more clutter from our closets. We kept to our styles and didn’t let any clothes stay that don’t meet our current style. We limited our wardrobes to items that fit right now, things we want to wear, and clothes that project our desired image. Check out our article “Discover your style to keep clutter out of your closet” if you’re looking for more tips on what to keep in your wardrobe and what to purge.
Remember: Most clothing (except for previously worn underwear and socks) can be donated to local charities. However, clothes that someone wouldn’t buy in their current condition should be bundled up and labeled as rags. Groups like Goodwill recycle these well-worn clothes to be used again, but in a different form. Be sure to contact your favorite local charity before making any donations to be sure that they are currently accepting clothing donations.