letting go of clothes

we’re getting ready for a garage sale tomorrow and i have found that letting go of clothes has not been an easy process for me.  actually, it’s been the most difficult aspect of becoming minimalist thus far during our journey.  i spend a good amount of time deciding if i should keep something or not and during the process i think i’m doing a good job of letting go.  but then, i look back in my closet and wonder why i still have so many things in there that i don’t plan on wearing.

i don’t know if any of you have difficulty getting rid of old clothes or not, but i found an interesting conversation happening at a blog called the very small closet.  jennifer’s got a three-part post on learning to let go of clothes which i have found helpful.  she’s done a good job of helping me identify some of my emotions including:

Either way, her thoughts have helped me remember to live in the present!

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. Nicole says

    I agree… Clothes are very hard to get rid of. I did a great job of purging a lot of older clothes not too long ago at a clothing swap (and only took home 2 things for painting-wear), but ended up stocking up again the next sale at Banana Republic! The replacements are still fewer and nicer, but a lot is not necessary (how many wasp-waisted garden dresses does a girl need?). I need to purge again, if only to prepare for a trip to NYC, and the beautiful racks of Barney’s

    I think at a certain point… I just need a closet that is professionally organized. And the sizer of my entire bedroom. Then it will look minimalist because there is more space ;)

  2. Cheryl says

    I Keep My CLothes , set for work, set for everyday. winter, summer. They can be expensive to rebuy. I hang on to them due to the fact money is tight now and worried about not being able to buy them. I get rid of the ones with holes or stains.

    • di says

      My all-season, minimal wardrobe can be worn at work, for chores, school meetings or errands. It consists of pants and blouses.

    • says

      For sure! I mean, what if you decide to dress up as a punk rocker for halloween and you’ve thrown out your ripped yellow tights?

      This is the trouble I have…the “oh but I could use this for x…” And of course I hardly ever do.

      I tried to be ruthless with my last round of decluttering and got rid of a lamp that we weren’t using…then I had to buy a new one because it turns out I needed it after all. I hate when that happens.

    • di says

      There are plenty of alternatives. Select a few favorite items and recombine them to make several outfits. Keep a handy list of your outfits and refer to it when you need to get dressed quickly and be on your way.

  3. Travis says

    The clothes I’m most having trouble letting go are my old Paramedic uniforms and my deceased Uncles T-Shirts that I grabbed.

    The Uniforms remind me that I once “Rocked” and to get rid of them would be another nail in the coffin of my dream. Actually that reminds me. One job that I attended as an Ambo there we assisted a Paraplegic. In his room there were numerous Police Uniforms and paraphernalia with photo’s of him in action. We didn’t ask but I dare say he to had trouble letting go of dreams. Saying that we have different reasons for not being able to chase them :-(

    As for my Uncles T-shirts (that I grabbed). I may just start wearing them until they wear out.

    The rest of my clothes were easy to get rid of. Well, the clothes that I never wore were easy. The clothes I do wear I kept :-)

    • says

      Do you know anyone who sews? Perhaps you could have your old t-shirts and uniforms made into a blanket or wall hanging of some sort. My mother quilts and I’m going to give her my favorite of my son’s onesies to make into a quilt for him (well, for me, really).

    • di says

      I still have my Dad’s 2 favorite shirts in my closet as well as his scarf in my bureau drawer. That’s plenty…

  4. Naomi says

    I have two children, a boy and a girl. I stated thinking why is it that “nowadays” clothes are so gender specific. (Toys too, a la “girls lego?” ) I have decided to try for black versions of outdoor clothes, etc so I can hand them down to my daughter, I can always add a pink scarf to “pretty” it up….

  5. Stella says

    I cannot let go of my clothes because I think I will eventually wear them. I have drawers filled with things I want to keep – I think it is like a treasure hunt.

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