Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cleaning out the closet

So remember how I mentioned that we were on a mission to get organized, simplified, and downsized? Well, last week I took another step.... by cleaning out my closet... and dresser... and under the bed.

I went through all of the clothes in my closet and got rid of anything that didn't fit or that I no longer liked or wore. I was ruthless.... well, sort of. Here's some of what I ended up with:

A couple of nights before, I'd gone through these dresses (I kept some and got rid of the rest):

The shoes:

And the jewelry:

There were a few purses, too, but I didn't get a picture of them.

Some of these things went to the consignment shop. Others will be sold online. Others will be donated, and still others will be thrown away.

Sometimes it's tough getting rid of things. For example, there were a couple of shirts that I wanted to keep, not necessarily because I liked them all that much, but because they were my go-to shirts if I needed something to wear in a hurry. And that's not the right reason to keep something.

Here are a couple of rules I established for myself to make sure I tossed all the things I really needed to:
  • Don't keep it just because it fits. Sure, something may fit, but if you don't like it or have no reason to wear it, do you really need it? Like I mentioned in the example above, the two shirts that I wanted to keep both fit fine, but I didn't really enjoy wearing them.... I'd had them a while, worn them plenty of times, and was bored with them. It was time to move on.... meaning, it was time to get rid of them (and perhaps use the money I made there to buy new--or new-to-me--shirts).
  • Make sure you don't have three more just like it. It was easier for me to get rid of a black sweater when I already had a very similar black sweater that I was keeping. I got rid of a plain, long-sleeved, white shirt.... but I had two more that were a lot like it.
  • Ask yourself: When was the last time you wore it? If you're hesitant to throw something out, but you realize you've been pondering that move the last three times you've cleaned out your closet, then either you clean out your closet way too often or else you really need to get rid of that article of clothing.
  • Think about how you can get money for it. Having trouble letting go of something that you know needs to go? Here's a little encouragement: There's a good chance you can make some money off of it. Many, if not most, articles of clothing can be resold at a consignment shop, in a yard sale, or online (like on eBay or craigslist). Or you can donate the clothing to a place like Goodwill and get a tax deduction.
I'm a big fan of consignment shops. I took a bunch of these items in to my favorite local store today to see what they would take. They took several things, but they left me with quite a few, too. I'm going to try selling these on craigslist, or I may even do a sale here on the blog. I'll keep you posted on the details!

I think I'm going to continue this one-room-a-week cleanout until I've covered the whole condo. I'm hoping we'll continue to find more things to sell, donate, and throw out as we try to simplify!

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