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Thread: Need help clearing closet

  1. #1
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    Need help clearing closet

    I'm a minimalist by nature except for my wardrobe. I've cleaned it out so many times, only to fill it up again. The problem is, I get bored wearing the same things. I'm retired so I don't need a career wardrobe, but sweaters and tee shirts keep finding their way into my uncluttered closet.

    We downsized last year and I did a major cleanout. Once I got to our new condo, I started missing some things I sold or donated. I found some identical items on eBay, and others I bought online or in stores (way too many).

    The thing is, I hate a crowded closet but I love variety.

    I know all the rules: get rid of items that no longer fit, are worn out, aren't flattering, etc... Right now I no longer have anything like that.

    But...there is an 80% chance we will be moving once again, this time to a warmer climate. I could probably part with half my woolens, but I don't know which ones I will miss.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    I'm a minimalist by nature except for my wardrobe. I've cleaned it out so many times, only to fill it up again. The problem is, I get bored wearing the same things. I'm retired so I don't need a career wardrobe, but sweaters and tee shirts keep finding their way into my uncluttered closet.

    We downsized last year and I did a major cleanout. Once I got to our new condo, I started missing some things I sold or donated. I found some identical items on eBay, and others I bought online or in stores (way too many).

    The thing is, I hate a crowded closet but I love variety.

    I know all the rules: get rid of items that no longer fit, are worn out, aren't flattering, etc... Right now I no longer have anything like that.

    But...there is an 80% chance we will be moving once again, this time to a warmer climate. I could probably part with half my woolens, but I don't know which ones I will miss.

    Any advice?
    If you love your clothes, then why get rid of them?

    (I ask serious, as I am a practicing minimalist).

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I would definitely keep two or three of your favorite sweaters and/or hoodies. Most places, even warm places, have cool nights. I would also keep a light jacket, and I would also keep (if you have one) one of those late fall/early winter jackets that scrunches up into it's own bag, so that if you travel back north, you'll have something to wear. Similarly, keep some sturdy shoes that can double as winter boots for the same reason.

    I'd also do the Marie Kondo thing--if it sparks joy, keep it. I think I sub-consciously followed that rule during my own downsizing this spring.

    I'm not a big clothes buyer--during the downsize I got rid of a winter coat that I had since 2011, with ripped pockets from my dog trying to chew the treats out. I replaced it with a Patagonia winter parka--I waited for their winter 50% off sale, and I figure if my old coat lasted me 8 years, the price per wear of this Patagonia jacket should be pennies.

    As far as variety--if you find you are buying things just for variety, how about sticking to one kind of pants and just varying the tops. Or add different scarves or costume jewelry?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #4
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    I understand. I downsize my clothing, and honestly it is less than a lot of people, but I think getting dressed in the morning is like putting on a daily costume. I have my camping/retreat clothes that need to cover a week of outdoors, then my daily clothes that are professional but you can also sit on the floor, lots of skinny jeans in different colors, and I love hoodies. I couldn't wear the same thing every day, even the skinny jeans!

  5. #5
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    Can you out away off season clothes to free up more room in the closet? No need to toss good things.

    Some things I may like really are not flattering, which I note when I pay attention to myself in a mirror, see a photo of myself wearing them, or get feedback from someone who cares enough about me to tell me tactfully. Any chance this is the case with you and would help you winnow down items?

  6. #6
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    Ultralight - You have a point. I'm a minimalist in everything else. Why not have one splurge?

    Yppej - When we downsized to a condo, we lost a lot of storage space. But yes, I can still pack most the off season clothing in a spare closet. I just hate to see it too full. And yes, I also have clothing I like that is not particularly flattering. I need to work on winnowing those out.

    Thanks Catherine - most of my clothing sparks joy! But maybe in only one aspect. I may like the color but not the cut. Or the fabric may be fabulous but the fit isn't so great. I may only have a few items that would fall into the "You'll have to pry this from my cold, dead hands" category. I don't care for scarves and have very little costume jewelry, (or shoes for that matter). I do like your idea of the dual purpose jacket and boots.

  7. #7
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    My solution would be to keep the stuff you really love, first. Secondly, here's my criteria and why (I have too many clothes too, but I'm a hoarder. With doing laundry more regularly, I'm culling clothes regularly these days.)

    I did a real serious batch o' research/thinking about this a while back and came up with these "rules" for myself:

    1) Buy only solid colors. Why? Because colors go out of fashion slower than patterns and styles of patterns do.
    2) Buy the same type of pieces, though I have far too many of them: tank tops, leggings, jeans, yoga pants, long sleeved shirts.
    3) Buy only classic styles, because they also go out of fashion less quickly.
    4) Look for a secondary use for one-season clothes. I use tank tops and leggings as long johns in winter or as pajamas. I will use long johns when I have them as pajamas.

    My winter uniform is a tank top, turtleneck, (maybe a sweater), leggings, and pants. My summer uniform is just pants and a tank top with a cotton long sleeved shirt over.

    This absolutely only works because I work at home, no office to go to!

    I have one fancy, summer dress, a shift. I have a long sleeved "funeral" shirt which is patterned in beige, greys and blacks. I have lots of sweaters, short coats, etc. appropriate for our New England weather.

    I keep thinking I should get it down to 10 pieces for each season, but I doubt that will ever happen.

    I hope something in here is helpful. . .
    Last edited by NewGig; 8-1-19 at 11:39pm. Reason: typo

  8. #8
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    OK. I'm taking a different look at this. You like your clothes. They are paid for. Wear them out. Use them up. Simply don't acquire new clothing until it is a true need that meets your idea of how large/small your wardrobe should be.

    I have a ton of T-shirts...very few I paid for. I wear about 5 at a time (so I can still do laundry once every other week. I shall die an old woman and not have trashed them all yet. The one thing I do, is purchase a new tie-dye when I have to trash the one I'm wearing week after week after week. They last me about 2 years.

  9. #9
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    Good lord, you have all the way to Narnia to store your clothes, don't tell me that is not enough room!

  10. #10
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    @ Molly,

    What is your goal in clearing the closet? I ask, because I find it sometimes helps me to decide how to do something, when I refresh my memory on why I want to do it (my goal).

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