Declutter your wardrobe with these easy steps.
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Virginia Wells

But it doesn’t take up much space!

Are you keeping something purely because it doesn’t take up much space? When decluttering you might come across things that you don’t really love, but you don’t hate either. When you consider letting these things go, you might think, “Oh, it’s not taking up that much space.” Or, “It’s just one extra thing (that I already have lots of), so there’s no harm in keeping it.” You think, at the time, that one item isn’t impacting your space or life and therefore it stays in the drawer.

Challenge this Thinking

This is a thought I’d love you to challenge. With many years experience decluttering, I have observed how many small things build up to be a lot of things. Choosing to let go of these as you come across them can, ultimately, make a huge change to your space and life.

For example, let’s say you’re working through your wardrobe. It is overflowing and you’re struggling to be able to see what you have in there. The shelves are full, and things fall out on you. The hanging space is jam-packed tight and you can’t easily get clothes off hangers without a fight. But… you know you want to be able to get dressed quickly and easily each morning so you set out to create some space.

You work through your shirts, and you come across one that you know you don’t wear anymore. There isn’t any sentimentality attached to it but it has a bit of wear left in it. You decide to keep it. “It’s just one shirt, right? Plus, I’ve found a few to let go of, so I deserve to keep a few… No big deal!” Next, you go through your pants, your skirts, dresses… and you do the same for multiple pieces in each of these categories. It’s just one or two extra, right? No drama, removing that one pair of pants from the pant section is not going to make a difference.

Think of The Space They Take Up

Each time that you agreed to keep those ‘it won’t matter’ clothing items, you’ve added more to your space. Imagine each of those items going into a pile. In relation to your wardrobe, keeping an extra shirt, pair of pants, a few skirts, a cardigan, three pairs of socks and so on equates to a hanging space that is still too cramped to access what you have and a sock drawer that is still overcrowded with no home for your pantihose.

And It Isn’t Just Physical Space Too

Not only do these items take up physical space, they will also take up your time. How do they take up your time? Well, now decisions are harder because you have all of these extra items to choose from or you have to move things out of the way to get to the item you want.

They also take up your headspace. Having to make extra decisions takes energy. It is proven that having to make fewer decisions on basic tasks can set you up for a better day. You won’t suffer decision fatigue before you even get to work.

Let me encourage you to not let your mind trick you into thinking this way. Don’t believe that one little shirt, paperclip or doo-dad won’t make a difference to your space. Each time you say goodbye to the stuff that doesn’t really matter, you make your life a little easier. Remember, we’re talking about stuff that you don’t feel anything positive about. It’s just there. It seems harmless but you don’t use them or care for them one way or another.

The No.1 Reason People Hold On To Things They Don’t Want

Let me share the top reason that stops people from letting these items go that I’ve observed in my work.

“I don’t want it to become landfill!”

Many a WellSorted client

The most common reason I hear from clients is that they don’t want to let go of things they don’t actually want because it will probably end up going to landfill if they don’t keep it. Does this sound like you? You might have a shirt that is a bit stained, a few loose paperclips, a bull-dog clip, or a notebook with a few pages used. It could be a knick-knack with a chip. You’ve decided you don’t really want these items but, as they have life left in them, the idea of throwing them in the trash is inconceivable and you know a charity shop won’t take them. So… they sit in the back of your drawer.

Get It Out of Prime Real Estate

In these instances, I’d still encourage you to remove them from your ‘prime real estate’, where you’re storing what you do use and love.

With them out of your ‘prime real estate’, you can then consider if there is anyone else you can pass them onto. You might be surprised what someone in your Buy Nothing Group or at a local school might take. Local mechanics are often on the lookout for rags too. Another place to consider sending textiles is Upparel or a similar textile recycling business. There is often a cost involved but you might consider this worthwhile to keep things out of landfill. Think about sharing a box with friends or neighbours. In thinking of ways to pass items on, you might need to get creative.

However, if there are not feasible options for reuse, let them go. Keeping these items in your home because you don’t want to send them to landfill essentially turns your home into landfill. If you know you don’t want it, you know it’s taking up your space and time, if you were at the shops, you wouldn’t re-buy it, so why are you giving it space in your home?

If You Really Do Want It, Find It A Home

On occasion, some of these items are actually things you do want to keep, but they just don’t have a home yet and that’s why they’re floating around. With these things, take the time now, to find a home for it. But be honest, if you don’t think you’ll remember that you have it when you do need it, let it go now. Your future self will thank you!

Are you keeping something because it doesn’t take up much space? Share your struggles with letting it go in the WellSorted Facebook group. Someone in the group might know just the thing to do with your unwanted stuff!

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