help me get rid of clothes! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been so inspired today by everyone on here. I going to start a clothing declutter after the kiddos go to bed tonight.

My problem is we all have a ton of clothes. I love to shop, even if it's 2nd hand, all the better. As I posted elsewhere, I currently have 3 laundry basket full of clean clothes and my closet is still full. Dh thinks it's crazy we have so much, that there could be so many clothes left in the closet when we have just done all this laundry. So obviously we need to pare down.

I have a hard time letting go of any of it, it's crazy. I know I don't wear half of it, but when I look at the shirts I think "oh I do love that, I'll wear it soon". And lots of stuff I plan to wear once I lose more weight (these are things that could probably definitely go). Also, I have a hard time parting with my dd's clothes, but their shelves are full, and like I said, I still have all this clean laundry. How much of each thing (shirt/pant/sweater) do we really need?

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#2 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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Hi again,
The first thing I've done so far today, to tackle my kids closet, is to start "girls clothes to grow into" & "boys clothes to grow into" boxes, and remove anything from their closets that they don't fit well yet. That helped a lot!
Now I'm weeding out clothes are too small, as well as ones that I don't really like on the kids (as long as they have enough of that type of clothes that they don't "need" the item. Also, any obvious duplicates, like 2 pink shirts with a watermelon on each one. The smaller shirt went to give away, and I kept the one that fits her better.
It's hard, isn't it?! But so rewarding...
Good luck!
Shellie
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#3 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I've been going through a clothing purge lately. My rule is: If I don't feel absolutely fabulous when wearing it, I get rid of it. If I don't wear it, I get rid of it (unless it's something for special occasions). If it doesn't fit me, I get rid of it. If I lose weight and go down to the size I once was, I can always treat myself to new clothes.

I've gone easy on myself, and kept a few pieces that I don't wear regularly, only because it's REALLY cute and I feel wonderful when I do wear them (like a pair of shoes that are amazing but hurt if I wear them more than a few hours; or my 70s style dresses that I adore, but I need one more piece to start wearing them all again; or my business skirts I know I'll wear if I get a professional job in the future).

I can't give you an exact number of pieces to keep. Don't focus on exact numbers, just focus on the clothes that make you feel wonderful! If you still have too many clothes that you love, get a friend, family member, or partner to help you. Start modeling your clothes for them, and allow them to vote on whether you keep it or get rid of it.
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#4 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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Well, does that include your winter clothes? I mean we have tons of winter clothes we're not wearing, and our light summer clothes will take up room this winter.

I agree that if you don't love it, leave it. AYC's idea of trying stuff on is a good (and fun) one. You could even do that with the kids. Though, I dread to think of what I'd end up with, LOL!

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#5 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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yep, if you don't love it, lose it. If you have a wardrobe of 'but I'll lose the weight and will need something to wear til I get new stuff!' then just pare that down to the bare minimum of what you like so that you CAN treat yourself to new stuff. If you really haven't worn it in MONTHS or even years, drop it even if you like it unless you get rid of something else to keep it.

I agree that it isn't so much about how much you have but whether or not you wear it on a regular basis and feel GOOD wearing it. I also agree with the idea of modeling for some people who's opinion you trust to get help paring down further if you just like and feel good in a lot of stuff... let them tell you what you look best in... you already like it all and feel good in all of it so if you just keep what others think looks best, you have a pretty awesome wardrobe

I also recommend putting like items together too to make it easier to pare down. If you put regular blue tshirts together and find out you have 10 of them... well you don't need that many! choose one or two that you like and go from there... same for other colors of any style of clothing (regular tshirt, nice shirt, long sleeves, sweater, pants, whatever) as well as patterns. Unless you really like wearing plaid EVERY DAY, you probalby don't need 8 pairs of plaid shorts That kind of thing. It definitely helps to decide when you can see how many like items you have. I was surprised at how many light black sweaters and black tank tops I had... especially because I rarely wear black! once they were all next to each other, it seemed so obvious I just couldn't keep them all.

Finally, once you have your wardrobe down to a reasonable amount, if you STILL think you might have too much but still can't decide what else to drop, try this trick: put EVERYTHING away clean with the hangers facing backwards (so you put the hook with the point facing out rather than in) and as you wear things, put them away forwards. After whatever time period you set (6 months, a year, 1 month.. whatever) get rid of anything that is still backwards. You didn't wear it in a time frame you felt was reasonable so clearly you don't love it as much as you thought you did. Same for things you put away in drawers, put things away with the collar at the front of the drawer (upside down) and then as you wear things, flip so the collar is to the back (right side up) and at the end of your time frame, anything on the bottom that is still upside down is clearly not something you love enough to find and wear.
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#6 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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This is what I've done---

I saw on a show "Clean House" a great rule of organizing and simplifying tons of clothes for an adult---one size up, one size down, from your current size, everything else goes. (I have modified this to Pregnant Clothes and Not-Pregnant Clothes, but you get the idea)

For the kids---I do save my oldest's stuff for his brother, 4 years younger. BUT--only *certain stuff*--clothes that were dress clothes that look new, clothes I particularly liked, etc. I do NOT save things like cutoff jean shorts, hole-in-knee jeans, stained shirts, etc. Trust me, they *create* enough play clothes of their own! I do not need to SAVE any.

Their drawers (what they can reach) contain their play clothes, and only appropriate to what the weather is MOST of the time currently. This is ONLY stuff that I don't care if they wear it out to play in the mud, etc. And their socks, underwear, swimsuits, and PJ's.

What is hanging in their closet is clothes for when we are going someplace and I actually care a little what they are wearing. They need adult help to reach them, therefore they wear them when I approve it. I am HOPING (since i just started this) that this will be the thing that prevents me from the frustration of not being able to find anything "decent" for them to wear.

In the basket on the top shelf of the closet is clothes that we may need on a rare day--like right now it is summer--definently hot, shorts, etc. but the other day was rainy and cool and they needed pants. But keeping them in a basket on a high shelf prevents them from being thrown all over as they search for shorts or whatever, and it also prevents arguments over wearing clothing that is appropriate to the weather.

Now as far as what to keep--I still have more than this, but as stuff wears out, this is what I'm trying to get down to....

DS who is in school--probably 8 decent shirts, including what I keep for dress clothes for special occasions only. (one might be part of a suit outfit, and this is counting probably 2-3 different shirts appropriate to wear to special occasions since we might go to a few in a short amount of time and DH likes them to not wear the same stuff *all the time.* These I get second-hand to save money because dress clothes rarely look used anyway.)

I do have 4 pairs of jeans for him right now that are 'school condition' but I expect the used pair will soon have a hole in the knee and go to the play drawer, leaving him with 3 which is my goal for 5 days of school.

I have *a lot* of play shirts in his drawer right now, but I would like to get them narrowed down to about 5 as he outgrows some, they get holes, etc. Same with pants, there's no reason he *needs* in my mind more than 3-4 pair of play-condition pants.

The kids who do not go to school can get by with less "going out/nice/not play condition" (which I consider to be the shirts with a small stain or tiny hole or jeans with a hole in the knee, or cutoff jean shorts etc--those are play clothes)
Again, my kids probably right now have more than I'm recommending, but I'm *trying* to narrow it down to...
Maybe 4-5 outfits each--including a couple dresses for my daughter, that are "going out" and "special occasion only" clothing. (anytime I actually care that the clothes are not old-looking/slightly stained, etc.)

Underwear and socks I buy a lot at first--like a 10 pack of socks per kid, 7-8 of underwear etc. so that I don't have to run out and get more when we lose a sock, they get a hole, etc. With the frequency that we do laundry, they can probably get by all right with 4 pair of each. (oh and the extra underwear take into account potty training accidents or "I want to change cause I didn't wipe very good, etc. )

And I've simplified by getting them all one type of sock, but they obviously look different--DS1's have the gray heels and toes, DD's are pink, the baby/toddler socks are the ones from Target and have the size written on the bottom so you can tell which are the 2 year olds and which are the newborn's easily.

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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#7 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all! This is exactly what I needed. I just feel overwhelmed, so these are some great ideas to get me started. thank you!

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#8 of 13 Old 08-07-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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I have the same problem with too-small clothes. All my expensive work clothes are one or 2 sizes too small.... but once I stop having babies, and nursing, and being hungry all the time, I can't bear to rebuild a work wardrobe on a SAHM salary!

I put them in large bags, labeled them, and put them in the attic. My closet is SO much better now! If they are still up there in 3-5 years, I will have to get rid of them since they will likely be out of style anyways. If I lost weight and go back to career-woman, I am golden. Otherwise, things are WAY easier to donate once you haven't seen them in a year or two. For some reason, more honest reasons come out.
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#9 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtYourCervices View Post
I've been going through a clothing purge lately. My rule is: If I don't feel absolutely fabulous when wearing it, I get rid of it. If I don't wear it, I get rid of it (unless it's something for special occasions). If it doesn't fit me, I get rid of it. If I lose weight and go down to the size I once was, I can always treat myself to new clothes.
I have decided after reading your post to attack my closet today!

I find it a lot easier to declutter my son's clothes, and my daughters do their own decluttering, but going through my things is so confusing...I always find myself thinking the same things "what if lose weight", "what if I haven't given this skirt/dress enough wear and I might wear it one more time..." etc etc....but I always end up putting them back in the closet and never wearing them.

OK maybe I would end up wearing them once or twice, but that is probably about it, so I don't think it is worth the clutter to have them hanging there year after year...

SAHM to three
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#10 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
This is what I've done---

I saw on a show "Clean House" a great rule of organizing and simplifying tons of clothes for an adult---one size up, one size down, from your current size, everything else goes.
Hmm....that doesn't help me unfortunately, as I have never owned clothes more than one size up or down! They all range between 10 to 14 australian size (that's 8 to 12 US size), so I think I will have to choose other criteria apart from size...

SAHM to three
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#11 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post
Hmm....that doesn't help me unfortunately, as I have never owned clothes more than one size up or down! They all range between 10 to 14 australian size (that's 8 to 12 US size), so I think I will have to choose other criteria apart from size...
definitely group like items together so you can get rid of things that are really similar.
Also consider the technique I mentioned in my previous post... it helps you see what you ACTUALLY wear so you can get rid of what you don't wear.
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#12 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
definitely group like items together so you can get rid of things that are really similar.
Also consider the technique I mentioned in my previous post... it helps you see what you ACTUALLY wear so you can get rid of what you don't wear.
Thanks I will try the grouping like items together....and re the technique, I did do that with my clothes recently, turned the hangers around. However I would like to get rid of lots quickly without waiting 6 months, and I am sure if I wait to see what I wear, I would find too many excuses to hang on to my clothes!

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#13 of 13 Old 08-08-2010, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got to work last night on my closet and woohooo!! I cleaned out two large bags. But I have to admit it was a bit of a struggle. Lots of "I really love that shirt" even though it doesn't fit. Or "I might need this for ___ event". I mean looking at all my clothes in the bags made me feel like I was breaking up with someone! So crazy! Of course it made me happy to have it all cleaned out but I felt a bit sad too. Ughh

I followed the ideas you all gave me. My clothes were already grouped by color so that helped. then I went through each peice and thought about if I truly wore it or not right now. If it was too small or somehthing not regularly used, out it went. I had a few I couldn't decide on so I did the backwards hanger thing.

Funny enough, I found clothes that I had been looking for! Capris mixed in with winter pants etc. Today I plan to tackle my dresser. We had dd1 try on a bunch of her pants to figure out what fit....I didn't realize but dh got out all her pants and said she had more than 25 pair

I took pics of my before and after closet but I have a new camera and having trouble uploading the pics. I'll work on it tonight!

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