In my decluttering journey until recently I’ve had one category that I really had trouble with: clothes. I tried KonMari-ing (Now four times for that category – I haven’t made it all the way through Komono yet, usually using the Minimalism Game for the random items.) . I tried Project 333. Multiple times. (Never made it past two or three weeks.)
All of this was very frustrating in my minimalism journey – why could I toss an old photo more easily than an old t-shirt? I did make progress, lots of it, but was still left way over the “click point” Marie Kondo talks about. I could still feel I had way more clothes than was right for me.
So what was going on? It certainly wasn’t an aversion to tidying. I was having no issues in any of the other categories. It wasn’t until Courtney Carver suggested writing a letter to your clothes (or any possession you’re having trouble with) that I figured it out:
Clothing is how I determined “who I was” and by maintaining a large variety I was able to avoid having to sit down and really think about who I am and where I want to go, instead taking on various “personas.”
KonMari talks about envisioning your “ideal life” before starting her method but that never quite clicked with me. It’s only recently that I finally determined a vision for myself, and just like that another 10 grocery bags of clothes were out the door. (Admittedly with just a few new purchases that I love.)
So if like me you have trouble with decluttering clothes give the following a try:
- Do a Project 333 – This is great to test whether your concern is having “enough” clothes to wear. It’ll teach you how few items you really need. If you are unable to complete it – think about why. For me, I’d get bored and start sneaking more items in, but that was because I would always try to do a monochrome wardrobe (the stereotypical minimalist aesthetic), which not just bored me but meant I had chosen the wardrobe based on color rather than whether I liked the actual pieces.
- Ask Yourself “What am I getting out of this?” – For me, it was the ability to adopt different personas and avoid doing the digging to figure out what I really actually liked.
- Pay Attention and Make a List – Can’t stand capris? Get rid of the four in your drawer. Love big bulky sweaters but only own thin, form-fitting ones? Time to trade out those five you don’t like for a couple you love. For me I realized that I owned four zip-up hoodies although I only like pullover ones and way too many tank tops for someone who really doesn’t like them, yet I had zero of the pretty, flowy peasant-type blouses I always coveted.
- Finally, Envision the True You – This will help make it clear what pieces should be in your closet. In my case, this meant buying more clothes, but 10 bags went out and I bought about two, so a huge net loss and my closet it the better for it.
Here’s to a closet full (but not too full) of only clothes you absolutely love and speak truth to who you are..
Hugs from Hobbiton,