Written by Piotr Golinski
Have you ever ordered a coffee and suddenly found yourself transported to the nearest shopping centre poking your head in and out of windows until the sun goes down? Whether perusing alone or with friends, I never thought I would miss in store shopping so much as when I think about how great these kinds of lazy afternoons were.
However there’s a silver lining in the inability to do so; my closet and my wallet couldn’t be happier! I don’t like buying clothes online and by not being able to browse in person, I’ve been able to get a grip on my spending habits and actually wear what I have! I’ve had so much fun and relief in being able to let go of clothes that make me feel guilty (for not liking them) or ugly (for not fitting them). This frees me up to wear the ones that remind me of those who love me (like my favourite hand knit sweater from my grandmother) and make me feel a little wild (yes I’m talking to you orange platform Crocs).
By paring down my wardrobe, I feel like I’m finally able to express my own style and this was only possible for me once I consciously made decisions about what I liked and disliked. Decision making stimulates the largest frontal lobe brain which is also responsible for personality characteristics and movement and with enough practise, it gets stronger and easier to do. Within no time at all, I knew exactly what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to gratefully pass along or discard. After all, you can’t renovate a house without getting rid of the old and broken, right?
Ways to Declutter
So whether you’re downsizing, moving, or just spring cleaning, I’ve made a list of some resources and tips to help you get up and started on that decluttering journey.
Make it a game. Specifically The Minimalism Game. The self proclaimed minimalist duo Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus love decluttering so much that they made it into something fun. If a challenge or a game is what you need to get yourself into gear, be sure to check out their website for details and other tips. The most basic premise is that you make make daily decisions to declutter something but the minimum amount of stuff to declutter increases each day. So on day one you declutter one item. On day two you will declutter two items, day three, you will declutter three items and so forth. The game specifies to go to thirty days, but I stopped at around 15 as I was happy with that amount of progress.
1 in 10 out rule. This is another tip from Fields Millburn and Nicodemus’ website. It’s pretty aggressive but effective if you really do want to swear off buying more things because you essentially have to make a choice between buying one item and getting rid of 10 items you already own. If it’s worth it, then you know you’re making a good purchase. I particularly like using this rule after I’ve decluttered but paring it down to a less stressful 1 in 1 out rule and making sure that if I add one piece of clothing to my closet, I must declutter one piece to maintain the balance.
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo yet, then you are in for a whole new world. Taken from her website, Marie Kondo is, “a tidying expert, bestselling author, star of Netflix’s hit show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and founder of KonMari Media, Inc.” with seven books and a manga adaptation of her most well know book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She has trademarked a Konmarimethod of decluttering that many have found helpful in their lives even after the initial clean up. It a much more spiritual and mindful approach to decluttering that may be more valuable to you rather than what others might consider mindlessly throwing stuff out.
If all else fails, youtubers or other bloggers always have your back! Simply search for “decluttering” or “closet clean out” and a plethora of people from all over the world have shared their personal experience with this topic. Sometimes it’s also really nice to know that so many other people are or have been in the same boat as you! One of my favourite bloggers who cover clothes decluttering extensively is a woman who goes by A Small Wardrobe. On her website you can also find links to her youtube channel which is where I first found her.