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Clothing purge trick I learned for reluctant family members (and yourself!)

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
A co-worker taught me this one! She has a house full of men who hang on tightly to their clothes even when the closet is bursting. So she came up with a plan to purge their summer/golfing clothes. At the beginning of the summer, she put all of the clothes in the closet with the hanger backwards. At the end of the summer she brought them in to look at their closets and showed them the items still hanging backwards, explaining that those were the clothes they hadn't worn all summer. At that point, they quit arguing.

She uses it for herself too, and once she got her own clothes thinned out, she's implemented a one-in-one-out policy to keep in under control.

Thought that was pretty clever and worth sharing!!! I'm going to store that in my bag of tricks!
post #2 of 33
Love this idea, but I'm having trouble picturing what it means to have the hanger backwards.

?
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katielady View Post
Love this idea, but I'm having trouble picturing what it means to have the hanger backwards.

?
Instead of hooking the hangers towards the back, have the hook part facing you. Bring the hanger up and over from the back of the closet rod. Does that make sense? It's completely unnatural to hang things up that way, so you know that anything still hanging with the hooks backwards haven't been touched since you put them there.
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post
Instead of hooking the hangers towards the back, have the hook part facing you. Bring the hanger up and over from the back of the closet rod. Does that make sense? It's completely unnatural to hang things up that way, so you know that anything still hanging with the hooks backwards haven't been touched since you put them there.
oh duh. I was picturing somehow hanging the clothing differently on the hanger, and couldn't figure out how you could tell.

cool idea!
post #5 of 33
That's a good one! Thanks for posting.

I have trouble letting go of stuff but right now have excuses that enable me. I would say a good 75% of the stuff in my closet I don't wear but it is because it fits into one of these catagories: clothes that should fit me again once I lose this pg weight, clothes that are great but will work better for me when I am not nursing and don't need access to my chest, clothes that are appropriate for work (I SAHM right now) etc etc. *sigh*

Does anyone else have clothes they hang onto for these reasons? Or am I crazy?
post #6 of 33
Great idea! I need to do that!
post #7 of 33
My BIL did that a few years ago and one year later had 2 garbage bags full of clothing he donated. He gave me the idea.
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
That's a good one! Thanks for posting.

I have trouble letting go of stuff but right now have excuses that enable me. I would say a good 75% of the stuff in my closet I don't wear but it is because it fits into one of these catagories: clothes that should fit me again once I lose this pg weight, clothes that are great but will work better for me when I am not nursing and don't need access to my chest, clothes that are appropriate for work (I SAHM right now) etc etc. *sigh*

Does anyone else have clothes they hang onto for these reasons? Or am I crazy?
I used to...but gradually got over it. I haven't worn a suit in so long they were out of date! Same with my "will fit when I lose weight" wardrobe! And then there's the "oh it fits but I really don't like it" and the "but I spent $x.xx on this!) category. The way I got over it was to do it quickly one bit at a time. Whenever charities called saying they'd be collecting good-will stuff in my neighborhood, I'd accept and do a sweep. EVERY time I managed at least a couple of bags or boxes! Usually I did the sweep quickly that morning...don't think just purge. It helped me disassociate from the emotional part of the things in my closet I never wore. Now I've got it down to hardly any clothes...too few really, but I get by. My son also has a very minimalist wardrobe. He's got more clothes now than usual because we just mastered potty training and need a few more changes of clothes than when he used to be able to wear the same pair of jeans for a few days in a row.
post #9 of 33
I need to try that with my clothes and DH's also! He swears that he wears all his, but I know there are some that haven't left the closet in forever.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
Does anyone else have clothes they hang onto for these reasons? Or am I crazy?
Yup. I've got one Bergdorf Goodman suit, I can't fit into it anymore and I work from home and NEVER need a suit. I'm still not inclined to get rid of it.

I have my wedding dress.

I have 2 or 3 pairs of pants I don't have a prayer of fitting into but they are super, super cool, and even if I don't drop all this weight like I keep saying I will, my DD will probably love them in 10 years. I mean they are really incredibly cool pants, like you would wear to a club or something. I think those are timeless, doesn't matter if they are 90s, 80s, 70s - probably the older the cooler.

I have some of my mom's dresses and shirts from the 60s. Not many, maybe 4 pieces. One shirt I probably wear once a year. I also wore one of the dresses last year for Halloween.

I have a flight suit from Space Camp from when I was a teen.

Anyway, I'd actually rather get rid of something I actually wear than any of those things, so I keep them. I figure I'm ok because my closet is not overfull (even though it's your basic 1905 New England closet, not a walk-in or anything). Probably half the stuff in it is stuff I don't wear, but I think I really do have the room for it. The stuff I wear is cheap Walmart crap that my mom or MIL bought me 5 years ago so it doesn't have any value to me and I have no desire to free up more space in my closet for more cheap Walmart crap (all I can afford these days - hence I literally wear them to rags, I even mend them).
post #11 of 33
I love your post Seashells....quite understand where you are coming from, re holding onto special pieces of clothing.

I am so going to try that back to front hanger tip...thanks RollerCoasterMama for sharing that one! I want to try it on myself and my DH.
post #12 of 33
That's a great idea, I'll try it. But my DH hangs his clothes backwards all the time. That's just how he prefers to do it. It drives me crazy. So I guess with his clothes I'll have to hang them "normally".
post #13 of 33
This is a great idea, thanks, I'll have to try it! Any great ideas for dealing with a dresser drawer-full of worn-out T-shirts?
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by curiouscanadian View Post
This is a great idea, thanks, I'll have to try it! Any great ideas for dealing with a dresser drawer-full of worn-out T-shirts?
One thing that helps me is instead of trying to sift through and take shirts out, I take them all out and spread them out on the bed, then choose a certain number to put back in. So you're choosing what to keep instead of what to donate. Somehow it works better.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post
I used to...but gradually got over it. I haven't worn a suit in so long they were out of date! Same with my "will fit when I lose weight" wardrobe! And then there's the "oh it fits but I really don't like it" and the "but I spent $x.xx on this!) category.

Same here! I have/had all these categories. I even had a post here about saving things that "did" fit, "will" fit, etc. About a month ago I finally got sick and tired of having no room for anything. I briefly considered packing it all up for a yard sale, but I knew better than to think that would happen soon. So I bagged up FOUR huge garbage bags full and gave them away. Just like that I cut my wardrobe down to 1/4 of what it was!! I still was able to keep some special things (wedding dress, etc) and I kept one short shelf of nicer things I "think" I'll fit into once we're done BF and I lose the rest of this weight. I really don't miss anything and could probably get rid of at least on more bag full....however, I've done all I'm willing to do now and everything fits nicely into my closet now My mom, sister, and SIL (and a cousin and aunt) were all recipients to some awesome clothes, many brand new with tags, and I really feel good about helping others out! Now to get DH to do the same! (thankfully he doesn't need to get rid of nearly as many : )
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BJewels79 View Post
Now to get DH to do the same! (thankfully he doesn't need to get rid of nearly as many : )
We went through a BIG purge/declutter before putting the house up for sale last fall. I couldn't get him to actually go through his clothes, so I ambushed him to make quick decisions. I made sure we were totally caught up on laundry, then pulled out ALL of one thing and brought it to where he was. Faced with the reality of an obnoxious number of t-shirts, or hoodies, or coats or jeans or boots, he realized immediately that there were far too many. This was after several rounds of decluttering...but he was still stuck in the "but I spend $x.xx" on it. Plus, I think part of it is that even though his family is pretty solidly middle class income right now, he grew up pretty broke, and we've always had financial struggles...so he had a little bit of trouble parting with the STUFF that he'd worked hard to get. I went through that stage myself!!

Once he saw how many of that one item, he spent 10 or 15 mins going through that pile and got rid of probably 2/3 in the first round just by eliminating the things that didn't fit, or he didn't really like/wear.

It was less intimidating than facing the whole closet. I didn't influence the decisions at all. I just brought the pile to him and asked him to go through each item and decide keep or donate quickly...never mind if it's practically new, be realistic.

By asking him to make a limited decision on one type of item at a time, it wasn't time consuming. So I just had him do one or two piles each evening for a few days and by the end, he did really good. We sent a huge amount of stuff off to goodwill. He even drove them over for me!!

Also, I think facing all of one type of clothing at a time was helpful. Rather than deciding based on an individual item, he saw that he had several of the same type of item and he really didn't wear them all. It was very visual. (Esp when I brought him TWO LAUNDRY BASKETS of his shoes and combat boots!!!) :-D
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by curiouscanadian View Post
This is a great idea, thanks, I'll have to try it! Any great ideas for dealing with a dresser drawer-full of worn-out T-shirts?
I recently saw something on instructables.com that I liked: Cut off the sleeves, cut out the neckline, and sew the bottoms of the shirts closed. Voila! Instant shopping bag! The shoulders of the T-shirt become the handles of the bag.

I want to do this with some t-shirts that I still like, but never wear anymore. That way, the logo on the front of the t-shirt isn't lost, but the shirt isn't just sitting there in your drawer.

And if you still want to wear them, "t-shirt modification" is really hot these days. Perhaps a little cutting and weaving will make those shirts into something you wouldn't mind wearing again?
post #18 of 33
I should do that with my hubby. He likes to keep things.

As for hanging on to clothes that don't necessarily work for you anymore, I don't anymore. I got rid of all my prechildren clothes but one pair of pants. That pair I ended up getting rid of a couple of weeks ago, not because they don't fit me but because I rarely wear jeans anymore.
My work clothes were uniforms and I gave all of them away when I got out of the military. Some went to my husband and others went to a lady I worked with that grew out of her pregnancy cammies. I still have my service uniforms, I plan on making a shadow box out of them.
Anything that doesn't work well with nursing I got rid of. Ive been nursing for 3 years solid now and I just don't have the patience for non-nursing accessible clothing.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygreen713 View Post
That's a great idea, I'll try it. But my DH hangs his clothes backwards all the time. That's just how he prefers to do it. It drives me crazy. So I guess with his clothes I'll have to hang them "normally".


That sounds like a good idea (more refering to the OP here, LOL). I should try this with my own closet, too.

I've downsized quite a bit because my children wear school uniforms here, so we simply don't need that many pants and shirts anymore.
post #20 of 33
that is a good tip. thank you!!!
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