To start my journey of throwing out and living a more simple life, I thought I would start with the place where I could definitely give away most stuff: My closet. To give you a little insight into my situation: I have (had) an overflowing wardrobe in my room at my parent’s house and also a full one in my flat. I still very often believe I have nothing to wear (tell me one woman who doesn’t). I guess three quarters of the stuff I owned I never wore. So I started throwing out.
And throwing out and throwing out. The pile of clothes I didn’t want to wear and have lying aroung quickly grew (you can see the pictures above, and I still have lots to wear!). At first I thought I would list how many things I gave away (how many bags, t-shirts etc) but when I saw the amount of stuff in the end, I thought that would be quite a pointless way of spending my time. I put it all in bags, gave it to the local charity shop and got on with my day.
I gave away:
- Things I hadn’t worn in two or more years (I actually already put those in boxes – which were sitting in my wardrobe).
- Things I would never fit into again or which never really suited me in the first place (looking at old pictures can be quite the eye-opener sometimes).
- Things I didn’t like in the first place and couldn’t really remember why I bought them at all. Somehow I always keep the things I had never worn in my life (or maybe one or two times) the longest because it is so obvious that they were a waste of money. Now I know at least what NOT to buy.
- Things I maybe wanted to alter someday soon. Truth is – I will never get around to doing stuff like that.
- Things I was still wearing. Obviously.
- Things that still had some kind of sentimental value (like band t-shirts or my prom dress).
- Higher quality pieces (sometimes I splurged!) like genuine leather bags or nice dresses.
It was hard. Although I don’t really understand why – they are just lifeless clothes after all. And afterwards I felt so much better. Refreshed somehow. And all the time I was thinking: You are never buying anything new again. Of course, that’s neither realistical nor fun, so here are some basic guidelines I have set myself for the future:
- I actually won’t buy anything new until mid-August (our London trip, I can’t go to London and not buy anything, sorry). Instead I will write down everything I would like to buy and then see if the wish still exists in a few months.
- Before buying something new, I will think to myself: Is this something I would like to give to my future-daughter? I really love looking through my parent’s old stuff, and I want my daughter to find real treasures. Pieces that are memories of a certain time and not just objects.
- I will choose quality over quantitiy. And one-of-a-kind, timeless pieces. There are certain items people have worn in the sixties and are still wearing today. And I will look for great Fair Trade fashion. I’m already in love with the People Tree collection, if only I could actually afford it!
- And in my last Simplify post, Morgan commented that she always throws away one (or even more) piece of clothing everytime she buys something new. That will not only keep your closet smaller, but will also keep you away from mindless shopping (since you have to give away something you owned before!). I’ll try that out as well.
What are some of your tips to cleaning out and giving away? I would love to hear!!