View Full Version : decluttering v wasting

7-24-12, 1:51pm
So, yesterday, DH asked if we had any more hangers. I told him no. I said I was thinking about getting some, but then also thought I could get rid of some clothes and free up hangers that way.

One of my dilemmas in trying to declutter is that I have perfectly useful things. Say, I have a nice hoodie sweatshirt. I use it, I like it. It's a good thing to have. But what if I have 3 hoodies in rotation? I only need the one, but when it wears out, I'm going to want to go get a replacement. Well, I already have a replacement (or 2), I shouldn't get rid of them as I'm going to anticipate needing it, right?!

I suppose I could pack things up and put them in the attic, and then raid the stash as needed. But then I feel silly having things in the house I am not using.

What do you guys do in this type of situation? Figure there is a cost to having extra stuff and get rid of it? Figure you are saving cash outlay in the future and keep it?

7-24-12, 2:01pm
In that example, definitely keep. If it's useful and you know with a high degree of certainty that you will need it in the future, and it doesn't require any care or much space, you should keep it. If you had 10 hoodies, then probably let some go. Or if you'd never worn hoodies then you aren't likely to start, give it away.

I've definitely given away a few things I've regretted, so now I'm keeping certain things that I might want in the future even if I'm not currently using them. I have the space, so I figure I don't have to be super minimalist and may save money in the long run.

Float On
7-24-12, 2:02pm
Do you need a hoodie sweatshirt right now? I put my winter clothes in suitcases and a trunk and only have summer clothes in my closet right now. Frees up a lot of hangers because I have way more fall layering items than summer t-shirts and tanks.
When the season starts to change I'll get rid of the 15% of summer clothes that I never bothered wearing this year so that may make hanger room for the fall things I've been picking up lately and just storing in a laundry basket in the laundry room for now.
I think I'm going to have to break down and buy another packet of hangers soon though because I've got a 15 year old who has discovered men's fashion and is spending all his money on clothes (mostly good sales and thrift shops).

Do you wear all three hoodies? Or are you saying they are all the same? If they are all the same, I'd only keep one in the closet, store one, and donate one. I'd be tired of the same hoodie after several years.

7-24-12, 2:19pm
I can't say I'm a minimalist in most things, but I freely get rid of clothes. My side of the closet looks a LOT different than DH's, who hates to part with any rag-tag shirt he's worn for years (just how many shirts do you need to change the oil or paint the ceiling in?)

I guess the way I would look at your hoodie situation is:

--Just what FloatOn said: segregate the seasons. That frees up a lot of space, and gives you new perspective when the season rolls around
--Keep ONE back-up hoodie IF you are impartial to all three.
--When you need another one, you can get one either new or used. If you really love all three, then keep them. But chances are, if you really are keeping it "just in case" there's really no reason to keep it. You already have one + a spare.

7-24-12, 4:08pm
I have decided to donate useful but surplus items to charity. I view it as a part of my annual charitable contributions. The last batch of items went to the thrift shop for the shelter where we adopted our dog. He is a great pet and a really happy little dog. If it wasn't for the shelter he would have been put down instead of adopted by us.

7-26-12, 5:11pm
I think this depends a great deal on how much space you have.

It can be simpler to have more clothes, because then you don't have to do laundry as often. If it's something that I wear regularly, then I keep it, even if I have other similar items. I have a whole drawer of tank tops, but they get regular rotation.

I really like having an "outbox." Ours is a dresser in the attic. If there is a questionable item, we put it in there, and if it hasn't been missed in, oh, 6 months or so, then it goes to the thrift store. Having an outbox allows you to gain some emotional separation from the item, so when I go back I often think "What the heck was I hanging onto this for?"

7-27-12, 6:50pm
Interesting that I am just reading this thread now, because I just read about Project 333 challenge this morning:

It's a way of paring down your wardrobe to 33 articles of clothing and accessories for a 3-month period. It really makes total logical sense, and I'd love to try it.
Anyone heard of it before and tried it? Here is an excerpt from a challenge participant:

"I realized with some sadness that holding on to these clothes meant holding on to the idea that who I am now isn’t enough. For years I’ve wasted mental energy sorting through a closet sprinkled with disappointments.
I completed the challenge a month ago. I donated the (unopened) box two weeks ago. Since then

getting dressed is a much simpler process. I have fewer choices, they all look great, and my wardrobe is easier to maintain.

I feel great when I look at my closet. There’s nothing in there that I don’t love.

I see myself more clearly. I’m better able to focus on the present and what my life looks like now.

I have more time and energy to devote to what’s important."

7-27-12, 8:33pm
I find the concept of less clothes = simplicity interesting, because although it certainly makes sense, I've always preferred the more clothes approach, because then I almost never struggle over what to wear. Especially when I'm getting ready for work in the morning, I like to have about 10 outfits to choose from at any given time. I don't find that this leaves me in a position of vacillating over too may options either. I'm usually pretty decisive, and will decide something like "today it's the black suit with the pink sweater," and then I'm good to go.

7-28-12, 1:00pm
KayLRZ - I started the 333 project in January, actually, and decided to keep going for a full year. I've found it very useful, and agree with most of what the participant you quoted said. Almost everything I've purged was too shabby to wear to work, or never fit quite right, or made me feel frumpy - no great loss!

I actually do have a cache of logo tees (and one pair of jeans) that's pretty much what Catccc describes: they fit well, look good, I like them, I just have a lot. I'm storing them for now, because they are copies of things I do wear (workout clothes, loungewear in cooler seasons), and there's a decent chance I'll be able to rotate them in in the next couple years.

7-30-12, 2:02am
Hmm, very interested in the 333 concept... thanks for all the feedback! I'd love for everything in my closet to be stuff I love to wear! I really could pare down a lot and should. I'll probably pack things up and put them in the attic, just because I still worry about giving something away that I'll want later!

7-30-12, 2:39am
Since I have gained a lot if weight in the last two years and have been on a diet for a year now -- I'm not willing to part with any of my smaller size clothing since I'm hoping to get back there again.

Most of the stuff I have I use: craft supplies, books and kitchen appliances are the things that there are a lot of, on top of the clothing now. I am going to pack up boxes according to size and put them away until I get to that size...:)

7-30-12, 11:11am
Another thing that works well is to divide the clothes up into multiple sets of 333 or SWAP(1 jacket, 6 tops, 4 bottoms) or everything for that season in the 3 or 4 colors for that rotation as listed below or similar units. Then just have one unit in the active part of your closet at any one time. By rotating units every 6-8 weeks, you can see which clothing currently works and which doesn't. Clothing will get worn more evenly. Also when you rotate in a new unit, you will be seeing it with a fresh set of eyes. So you might more easily realize that something is now in the yardwork clothes category or the dust rag category. ;)

A good way to create a unit is to have two neutral colors and 1 or 2 accent colors. So for an example for a person of Winter coloring:

August 1-September 14 Stone, Black, Turquoise

September 15-October 31 Stone, Forest Green, Lemon

November 1-December 31 Black, Forest Green, Red

January 1-February 14 Cobalt Blue, White, Yellow

February 15-March 31 Navy, Charcoal, Pink

April 1-May 14 Charcoal, Silver, Violet, Lavender

May 15-June 30 Blue, White, Green

July 1-July 31 Navy, White, Red

Lots of other possible combinations such as
Black, White, Red
Black, Gray, White
Charcoal, Violet, Pink