Cleaning & Organizing
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Confessions of a Clothes Hoarder: Cleaning Closet Help!

DH is out of town for two days, and i'd love to surprise him by having cleaned out our closet and dressers. When i moved in, it became super-evident that i've got *way* too many clothes. Girls, i've got shirts that i wore in high school . . . and i'm thirty. i had to buy all my own clothes growing up, and i've clearly become a hoarder!

My current plan is to pull everything out of the drawers and baskets, fold it on the bed, sort it out, and reorganize where i have things put away. DURING the process, i'd like to eliminate around half (maybe more?) of what i've got tucked away in there. There is *definitely* stuff i haven't worn in FOREVER.

i need tips, advice, thoughts, recommendations. Help!

One thing i'm unsure of is what to do with all the old race t-shirts. i love that i've got them from so many runs, but what do i *do* with them now?

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Re: Confessions of a Clothes Hoarder: Cleaning Closet Help!

  • If it's been over a year since you last wore it, then GA-BYE! 

    As for all your race shirts, you could always have them made into a blanket... that way you have a cozy blanket and it's literally full of fond memories!

  • image Victoria6F:

    If it's been over a year since you last wore it, then GA-BYE! 

    As for all your race shirts, you could always have them made into a blanket... that way you have a cozy blanket and it's literally full of fond memories!

    This. Check out etsy.com, they are a few people on their who make t-shirt quilts, they use all your old ones and can add fabric etc. It's pretty cool - I'm going to do it with my HS shirts.

     

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  • I'll be doing this AGAIN soon.  When I did this over the Winter months I saved things for Summer and have not even gotten them out of the drawers yet and if I do pull something out it doesn't fit right and/or it's such an out dated style.  

    Pretty much if it is not in my regular rotation of laundry, fits even a little bit funny, is a few years old, etc it is just going into a bag for donation without a second thought.  But then again, the only thing I buy name brand are my Silver jeans and I wear those until there are really awkward holes! :-o

    When you can pick up a new top here and there for under $20 at Target, Marshalls, etc, why bother keeping clothes that have not been touched throughout the season (unless it was a article you JUST HAD TO HAVE and paid mucho-bucks on).

    Maybe invite a girlfriend over who will help you keep on track of getting rid of things.  And, if she sees something she likes that fits you can give it to her and get it out of your closet! 

    Hope that helps.

     

  • I would start with one area at a time....I've made the mistake of emptying everything and it can be overwhelming.  I have better results by doing a dresser, a closet, ect and finishing before moving on.  Good luck!
  • I agree, tackle one drawer at a time so you don't get overwhelmed.  If you haven't worn something in a long time, get rid of it!  You can list stuff on eBay, I've made some pretty good amounts of money by cleaning out my closet and selling stuff there.  If you're like me, I'm guessing some of the stuff you should part with is pretty much brand new.  Also, the quilt made out of your shirts is a great idea, I was going to suggest it before I read all the replies.

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  • I'll be doing this in a few weeks when we go to move.  I'm planning on donating anything that I haven't worn this summer and any sweaters that I didn't touch over last winter.  No point in moving them if they are just going to sit there.  Plus I know that I'm going to buy other things.  I do the same thing with my flip flops at the end of the summer.  They all go GOOD BYE because that is all I wear when I'm not at work and I always get new at the beginning of the summer (except for the ones that I pay more than $2.50 for from old navy...haha).  Gym shoes I keep 1-2 pairs.  Usually a crummy/workout and then a nicer pair.  I'm collecting some of the shirts that I want to keep and plan on making one of those tshirt blankets.  I love Etsy so I will definitely be using someone from there since I don't have a sewing machine to do one on my own.  Also - and this is because I'm anal - I keep all tank tops, tshirts, 3/4 sleeve, and long sleeved shirts together in the closet.  Usually the longest sleeves are toward the outside of the closet.  I also keep like colors together.  Again keeping darker colors toward the outside working in...how long does it stay like this?  Well when the season starts it is nice and then by the end of the season it's wherever it gets hung up that is where it is!  GL!

  • Just remember the 20/80 rule- we only wear %20 of our clothing %80 of the time.  Think about that while you sort.
  • Just wanted to add a trick we use to keep ours in check - I keep a basket in the closet and anytime we pull out something only to realize it doesn't fit right, is too worn, not something we'll ever wear, etc., into the basket it goes. Whenever it gets full I donate it all (unless something has holes, then it's trash/compost). When I started this I figured I'd be digging back through it for things I'd tossed in only to realize I loved, but I've yet to ever go back to it. l still glance through drawers for lost clothes way in the back when I think about it, but we've not had to do a huge sort since starting this.

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  • image Victoria6F:

    If it's been over a year since you last wore it, then GA-BYE! 

    As for all your race shirts, you could always have them made into a blanket... that way you have a cozy blanket and it's literally full of fond memories!

    This is what I was going to suggest as well!  Even if you don't use it, it's a nice way to keep them all together!

    But as for going through stuff....I just did this, actually, and I try to do it about twice a year.  My rule of thumb is that if I haven't worn it in the past year, then it needs to go.  There are few exceptions to that rule (i.e., if I had forgotten about it and didn't wear it...not because I didn't want to wear it) though. 

  • I was going to mention the quilt as well for the race shirts.

    Also, a piece of advice: once you put something in the "get rid of" or "donate" pile-- don't think about it anymore.  Don't go back through the pile. Just stick to your initial decision of putting it in that pile.  I did this once, and it decreased half it's size the second time around. 

  • image JRBSEH:
    image Victoria6F:

    If it's been over a year since you last wore it, then GA-BYE! 

    As for all your race shirts, you could always have them made into a blanket... that way you have a cozy blanket and it's literally full of fond memories!

    This. Check out etsy.com, they are a few people on their who make t-shirt quilts, they use all your old ones and can add fabric etc. It's pretty cool - I'm going to do it with my HS shirts.

     

    I was going to suggest this too.  If you know anyone who sews even a little bit, they could probably do this for you.  You'll just want to cut the same size squares out of your shirts, so it's just sewing in straight lines.  However, if you want something fancier, then I guess etsy would be a good place to look.

  • It sounds like you have a good attitude and are ready to get rid of some stuff, but if you have anxiety about geting rid of things, try this.  I put a give away bag in my closet and slowly clean out my closet whenever I decide something is not wearable anymore.  Then, a month or two later, if I have not reached for the clothes, I take them to the thrift store.  It makes me feel better that I have time to change my mind, but I have rarely taken anything back out of the bag. 

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  • image FieryNutMeg:

    One thing i'm unsure of is what to do with all the old race t-shirts. i love that i've got them from so many runs, but what do i *do* with them now? 

    Find yourself someone to make you a tshirt quilt, that is what hubs and I our doing with concert and tees from our dorm in college.  

  • Have a clothes swap with your friends, and their friends. Everyone brings clothes they don't need (the ones that just don't fit right or are too big/small). Everyone goes home with new clothes and the rest can be bagged up for charity.You can even have a rule that you can take as many clothes as you brought, or whatever depending on how many people come.

    I was going to suggest the quilt too!

  • I would enlist a friend- make keep, store, (the run shirts) toss and donate piles.

     

  • As someone who was a clothes hoarder for many years, I understand how hard this task can be. I also had to buy my own clothes and could never find the motivation to get rid of them.

    All pp had great suggestions. The t-shirt quilt is a great idea. It will clear out a few drawers and give you something permanent that is useful.

    My only successful suggestion from my experience is something I did a few weeks ago. It was the best thing I've ever done for my hoarding problem. I would fill totes full of clothes and store them in the basement. I couldn't make the next step to get rid of them or donate them because I felt I would "need" something or miss it later. We would have garage sales and I would sell some of the items but always ended up packing up and keeping the clothes that didn't sell. I had clothes and shoes from college that needed to leave my home permanently.

    Finally, just a few weeks ago, I filled 12 trash bags full of the clothes from the totes and DH immediately took them to a charity in our town. I couldn't change my mind - they were gone. It was a great feeling. The empty totes are stacked in the garage empty and every time I see them I feel like a 50 lb. weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

    I promise you won't miss the stuff you have packed up. Especially if you are hanging on to your t-shirts with memories.

  • Get a (honest) friend to help. That way, when you're waffling about a sweater you haven't worn in a million years, but that you MIGHT wear again, she can tell you you need to toss it. This also helps when you're trying to decide whether or not a fit is unflattering/the wrong size.
  • All the PP have such great suggestions that I am imspired to go though my clothes! 

    Another helpful suggestion:  Something I do for my sock/undies drawer....If I purchase a new pair of undies, I make myself toss one of the old ones.  One in, One out.  Same with the socks.  This helps me get rid of the ratty old stuff that I never wear anyway. 

    Good luck! 

  • If you can't remember the last time you wore it, or you have to think for more than 5 seconds on whether or not you want to keeo it then put it in the "go" pile. I just got married a few weeks ago and moved in with my DH a couple weeks before. We spent an entire day just going through my clothes. I'm 25 and also had stuff left from high school that I KNOW doesn't fit anymore. We took 3 bags of stuff to donate. Just be strong. GOOD LUCK!
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