The Great Closet Clean-up: Results

So I did as promised: I emptied out my entire wardrobe and drawers and put all the clothes on my bed. Before I emptied everything, I thought this wouldn’t take super long. I thought that those people on the Marie Kondo tidying-up show were way more extreme than me. Granted, I don’t have several closets filled with clothes, I have quite limited space. But I have somehow still managed to accumulate way more items than I had imagined. It all got quite real when everything was lying on my bed. Here is how it looked:

Good thing that you are supposed to put it on your bed, because then I couldn’t go to sleep before I had finished, haha. Overwhelming as it was, it was also quite interesting to get a complete overview of my wardrobe. For the first time in years, I knew exactly what I owned.

How I sorted my clothes

Again, I have very limited space to work on, but I divided my clothes into four piles:

  • Keep: I love this item, I wear it a lot. My brain has to go “instant YES”.
  • Sell: I don’t wear this and I am happy to part with it. It is in a good condition and I think I absolutely can sell it.
  • Donate: I really can’t sell this, but it is too nice to be turned into rags.
  • Maybe: I need to try this own and see how it fits, I need some more time to think.

Once I had divided all my clothes into these piles, I hung the items I wanted to keep back in the closet, and then I started trying on the “maybe” pile. It was a lot, but having that option helped me get through the first rough categorisation quicker. Once I tried on most of these items, I either remember how well they fit me, or the exact opposite. Most of them went to the sell pile.

So how many items are getting sold or donated?

The total number of clothes I removed from my wardrobe was 73.
That is absolutely crazy to me because I am by no means a huge shopper. But when you aren’t aware of how much clothes you have, it is easy to forget about drawers, or keep items that don’t fit you perfectly “just because”. Now I know what I have left, and seeing the piles of clothes to sell or donate grow, was a nice wake-up call. It also effectively curbed my need for shopping – now I know what my wardrobe needs, and where I by no means should add anything else.

The total number of clothes I am donating is 22.
Still too many for my taste, but I am glad that I’ve taken good care of my clothes and steered clear of too much fast fashion, so that the majority of the 71 items are easier to sell. I also removed outworn socks, underwear, etc., but I didn’t count those in.

The total number of clothes I am selling is 51.
This was the biggest shock for me. I am quite good at selling items I don’t use and return things I’ve bought online, but the fact that I still had over fifty pieces of clothes to sell was mind-blowing to me. And an insane amount of money. If I sold all of these items for just $13 a piece, I’d have more than a month’s rent. I might not be able to sell all of them, and hopefully I’ll get more for some of the more expensive items, but it really was quite thought-provoking.

So yeah. Even for a mindful spender that has gone on several shopping bans, I was able to dig out this much. It makes me think about how much money I’ve wasted, or not gotten enough use out of. I also realised that I had a lot of clothes from a job in retail, that I never used due to the bad memories tied to it. For the money I did spend, however, I could have invested more, travelled more, paid off more debt. It is easy to spiral into this sort of thinking, so I am trying to remember that there would be no use in keep holding on to these things. I can recoup some of the money, and now I can start fresh. It really does feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, now that I don’t have to think any more about the piles of clothes hiding in drawers and in the back of the wardrobe. I know exactly how much I have and need – that is quite liberating, and it was worth the many hours of sorting.
Another side effect is also that I now assess my wardrobe much more critically. I have my eye on a few things that might be nearing the end of their life or that must be sold at some point. But at least I only own clothes now that I enjoy wearing.

Photo by James Hollingworth on Unsplash

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