Today it’s time to talk about the base, decluttering. Now first of all you should know that it took me about a year to completely declutter my entire home, and especially my closet. I wanted to do this right and really have no regrets about anything so i really took my time. Some areas were a lot faster and easier than others (books for example, i shared my decluttering process in this previous post) but my closet was definitely the most challenging one. I actually started with a lot to be honest, i use to have a very chameleon style so i had a bit of everything in my wardrobe and it was basically a mess! I simply followed all of the steps below and finally ended up with a wardrobe that is really me and with only clothes i really love and wear all the time. It was a long process, but so worth it, trust me on that!
First important thing to do is evaluate everything you have and divide it into categories. To do that, nothing works better than a good ol’ pile…
- Keep – Everything i truly love and wear often
- Sell – Things i don’t like and/or wear but that are quite expensive and that i can try to sell
- Donate – Things i don’t like and/or wear and want to donate
- Maybe – Things i love and don’t wear often but that i’m tempted to keep
It’s also important to check each piece, especially the ones you wear a lot, to see if anything needs a bit of stitching or cleaning or if it needs to go away if it’s too old and too damaged.
Taking the time to try on every item is very helpful, especially for all the clothes in the “maybe” pile. First you want to check if the piece fits you the way you want (not too tight or too loose, depending on what you like of course) and if you feel good in it. Then think of the ways you can wear that piece with everything else you have and try different outfit combinaison. If you struggle to find something but really love that piece, then put it away for a while…
GIVE IT TIME
When you really like a piece from your “Maybe” pile and you truly believe you can find a way to wear it more often, the best thing i found to make a final decision is to put it away and out of sight for a few weeks and then re-evaluate. If after 6 months you find that you haven’t thought of that piece or didn’t miss it at all, you should let it go. But if you actually find that you often wanted to wear that piece but still didn’t really know how, try it again with a few different pieces and only if really necessary, start to consider one potential purchase that could make this item work for several outfits (not just one, try to think about at least 3 or 4 different combinaison, at least if you want to keep a coherent small wardrobe).
KNOW WHEN YOU ARE DONE
When you are really invested in your decluttering process and if you did it over a long period of time, it might be a bit tricky to know when you are done. My only advice here is to stop when you find yourself happy with what you have and with your space. For example if you’re happy with the amount of things you have in your closet but you still have clothes you don’t wear/like, don’t hesitate to get rid of them. I promise you won’t miss them if you didn’t wear them in the first place. But on the contrary, if you are left with only the things you really love and use, don’t force yourself into getting rid of X amount of stuff because it’s the best way to feel frustrated and have regrets.
DO NOT RECLUTTER!
It can seem a bit silly but often when you find yourself with extra space after decluttering, you might be tempted to repurchase things. I think the whole purpose of a major decluttering is to become more aware of the amount of unnecessary and unwanted things you can accumulate in your home and in your life. So the end goal of decluttering is to learn what are the possessions that really make you happy everyday and what you can easily do without. Try to think about that every time you’re tempted to buy something and bring it home, i promise you’ll avoid lots of wrong purchases! My specialty last year was to fill up my basket (both in store and online) and just stop and leave after 2 hours of “shopping”, always empty handed. And the truth is, i don’t have any single regret and i’m not missing anything i didn’t buy!
If you have any tips or advices about the decluttering process you went through, please feel free to share them in the comments so we can all help each other!