Do I Need It? Do I Use It? Do I Love It?
I thought the most logical place to get started with The Great De-Clutter would be the bedroom closet. If you’re like me, along with the dust bunnies and random coins and earring backs that accumulate in your closet, are way more clothes than you actually wear.
It’s an easy place to start.
And now that I look at how many shoes are in there, it’s kinda embarrassing.
I have size 10.5 half feet that have been with me since I was, oh, about 10.5. Back then, the only shoes that came in that size were clunky Red Wing orthopedic shoes. So let’s just say I enjoy a stylish pair of shoes in my size when I find them. (Or maybe I get it from my mom. She’s a size 11. Enough said.)
But I’ve been really noticing lately how prevalent the “You can never have too many shoes” message is in our culture. It’s on mugs and bumper stickers. Almost like a woman’s badge of honor.
I’ve decided that, indeed, you can have too many shoes. And clothes. But not for long.
I had read about the reverse hanger method of closet de-cluttering featured on Oprah. Problem is, it takes six months. And I’m on a mission. And this is about simplifying. (I was going to link to it, but figured O gets enough traffic on her own. Here’s a link to Freecycle instead.)
Here’s how we did it.
Mauricio and I dedicated a free weekend afternoon to the project. The guiding principles were:
- Do I Need It?
- Do I Use It?
- Do I Love It?
If we couldn’t answer yes to at least one of those questions, it went in the give-away pile. We were ruthless. And, in fact, it was easier than I thought. I had so many clothes that just didn’t flatter, didn’t fit, or simply didn’t make me feel my best. Why didn’t I get rid of them before? Because I thought they were too good to give away. So there they sat, cluttering my closet and my mental space.
Here’s the pile we ended up with.
And here’s the most amazing part. Someone on Freecycle had posted that they were having tough times and needed clothes and shoes in my size. I contacted her and said she could come over and choose which ones she wanted. Her answer: I’ll take them all.
That evening, all of my too-good-to-give-away clothes were given away to someone who may actually wear them. The rest of Mauricio’s clothes went to Goodwill in moving boxes I had gotten from Freecycle. We were left with an entire half of the closet and two of my six drawers totally empty.
Wow, that felt good.