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

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Old 04-24-2010, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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Love this idea, but I'm having trouble picturing what it means to have the hanger backwards.

?

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Old 04-24-2010, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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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!

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Old 04-24-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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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?
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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Great idea! I need to do that!

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Old 04-24-2010, 08:15 PM
 
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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.

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Old 04-24-2010, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:04 PM
 
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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.

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Old 04-24-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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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).
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:57 AM
 
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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.

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Old 04-26-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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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".

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:45 AM
 
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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?

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Old 04-27-2010, 05:13 AM
 
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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.

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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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 : )
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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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?

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Old 04-28-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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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.

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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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.

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Old 04-29-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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that is a good tip. thank you!!!

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Old 04-29-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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Love it!
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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I WISH it were that easy with my husband!! I went through all his clothes with him the summer of 2006 (just before we married) and got rid of a lot (like finally convincing him to part with his too small and way out of style WHITE jeans). A couple years later I managed to convince him to part with 16 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of shorts, and 51 shirts!! (I know the amounts cause I actually blogged about it)! :-P

Last year we moved into our first house. I had him pick out a core wardrobe consisting of about 30 different shirts and most of his pants (those weren't as much of a concern). The rest I hung on different colored hangers and put in the back of the closet...hoping that after a year we could get rid of most of those (since he did pull out a few of them for specific things). After a year we went through them and did get rid of a couple more garbage bags full, so that's good.

However, he still has something like 85 shirts in there, his job situation has changed so that his company provides his work clothes, his best friend is constantly giving him more clothes that he is weeding out, and he brings home more free tees and polos from vendors every other week!! It's insane!!

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Old 05-01-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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I turned all the hangers in my closet around my birthday 2009. I asked DH if I could do the same for him. He agreed. Around my birthday 2010, we're both going to pitch out anything still turned backwards.

Last time I glanced, DH has actually worn almost every shirt he owns -- even some of the fancy ones because he went to a business conference where his standard programming dress code (jeans and polo or other collared shirt) wasn't allowed. He actually had to wear dress slacks and button-up shirts for a week. We were glad he already had them because this conference came up sooner than usual in the year! (The new venue is what prompted the change of dress code. The conference itself is annual.) When we were preparing for our island vacation (first family vacation NOT to visit family), we discovered his casual pants (not jeans and not dress slacks) no longer fit. He willingly gave away two pairs and I got him one pair to replace them.

Last I looked, the only tops I hadn't worn were long-sleeve knit tops. I found it a bit odd since "winter" is mostly over here. I think I layer more than I thought. I have worn all three long-sleeve fleece tops many, many times, so I think I wore a short-sleeve knit top under one of those. We often have warm enough winters that that combination is sufficient during the day and then add a coat in the mornings and evenings. Whereas a long-sleeve knit top wouldn't be warm enough on its own and under a fleece top would be too warm. I wonder if I wear them in the spring, which we are just entering?

In any case, neither of our closets are too full. I just wanted to really see what we wear and don't wear over the course of a year. An experiment of sorts.

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Old 05-10-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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I really like that hangar tip. I'm definitely going to do that when we get ready to purge again (after bf and losing weight is done!)

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Originally Posted by seashells View Post
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'm trying to imagine what these pants must look like. I really have no idea. What do they look like? And I totally agree with the keeping of a few awesome, irreplaceable pieces! I once had a peach leisure suit that I bought for a retro 70's party, and man, I wish I still had that thing!!

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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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 have clothes that took up space in my closet for the same reason. What i have done is put them in bins in the basement. About once a year I go through the kids clothes and pack up the outgrown ones and then I also go through my bins and weed out what is out of style that I know I wont wear now even if I could. It has made more closet space for what I do wear and cut down the anxiety of just getting rid of things I really like but just don't fit right now.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:14 AM
 
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I have clothes that took up space in my closet for the same reason. What i have done is put them in bins in the basement. About once a year I go through the kids clothes and pack up the outgrown ones and then I also go through my bins and weed out what is out of style that I know I wont wear now even if I could. It has made more closet space for what I do wear and cut down the anxiety of just getting rid of things I really like but just don't fit right now.
I think I might try this...put some clothes in bins in the basement, because I need to free up space and I don't wear 75% of the clothes that are hanging up yet for some reason I can't throw them out...

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:36 AM
 
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I think I might try this...put some clothes in bins in the basement, because I need to free up space and I don't wear 75% of the clothes that are hanging up yet for some reason I can't throw them out...

It really works! When I got pregnant in 2008, I packed away almost all of my clothes and put them in our storage shed (making room for maternity though). Once I was ready to put them back into my closet I got rid of the majority of it. It was like seeing it for the first time and I couldn't believe half of the stuff I kept!
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:40 AM
 
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And I still haven't been able to convince DH to go through his clothes There are some things (like some old old boxers) that I just tossed without asking and he hasn't missed them. However, how do you get someone to toss *at least* worn out clothes. He has t-shirts that the collar is barely hanging on, at least one pair of jeans where the crotch is completely ripped out because they just wore out, etc. He keeps insisting they are good "work around the yard and house renovation" clothes. But I keep telling him they aren't even good enough for that. He insists though (he thinks he's going to patch the ripped jeans, I'm all for repairing and such, but there are no patches to cover this stuff and I don't think I could sew it up at all....the fabric is too thin!)
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BJewels79 View Post
He keeps insisting they are good "work around the yard and house renovation" clothes. But I keep telling him they aren't even good enough for that. He insists though (he thinks he's going to patch the ripped jeans, I'm all for repairing and such, but there are no patches to cover this stuff and I don't think I could sew it up at all....the fabric is too thin!)
LOL he sounds exactly like my DH!

SAHM to three
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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Weeellll......last night I spend some time and effort turning all DH's hangers around.

Then this morning he went to get a shirt and I noticed for the first time, that he just pulls the shirt off the hanger, he doesn't take the hanger off the railing at all!!

SAHM to three
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