Friday, March 04, 2016

Five Things I Learned From Tidying Up My Clothes

Although our home is relatively clean (I keep it at a 7/10 level in case you were wondering), I struggle with holding onto objects because of their sentimental value. This holds true for my clothing as well. University T-shirts, race shirts, sports uniforms, my first pair of skinny jeans, a dress I wore for a great New Years Eve, the bikini from our honeymoon...the list goes on. There's also the practical side of me that thinks "I paid a lot of money for that item, I will wear it forever!" Well, I'm not sure if that's practical or wishful thinking, but I'm guilty of it.

Reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has helped me start the process of discarding and storing.  This week I went through all of my clothes and within three hours I had donated 1/4 of them and organized the rest in their proper locations.

What did I learn by spending the three hours organizing my clothes?

1.  It truly helps to ask "Does this spark joy?" That's the question that Marie Kondo, author of the book, asks. It sounds kind of cheesy but it allowed me to make quick decisions with each piece of clothing. I have made a few too many purchases where I give myself a pep talk, "Hey Louise, be fun! Add some colour! Try out a new style!" I have learned that if I have to give myself a pep talk, I will not like the clothing and it will end up in the donation pile. Note to self: Do not try to be fun.

2. You don't need 50 cotton race running shirts. I did save my race shirt from Kenya though because running a 10 km race in Nairobi is a once in a lifetime thing for me!

3. Store your clothes vertically!  Nothing will get stuck on the bottom of your drawer and you'll realize you have so many more options than you thought!

4.  Donate it quickly.  If you don't, you may start sneaking stuff back out of the pile!  Two items made it back into my drawers and one of the pants shouldn't have.

5. It's okay to keep your GAP denim overalls from 1998.  Friends, I paid $110 for these overalls in the 90's when I was a full-time university student. That's a textbook or two right there (do people still buy textbooks or is it all online now?) They will be perfect for any 90's party that I ever attend. I actually had two very serious relationships while these pants were in rotation, how crazy is that? So, sorry thrift store, not gonna get these!

I've realized that I have more than enough clothes and going through them all and seeing them laid out differently has given me ideas for more outfits. My plan is to go as long as I can without buying any clothing for anyone in the family.  I'll keep you posted on how I do!  How long could you go?


PS Anyone having a 90's party?! Pin here for later:

Five things I learned from tidying up my clothes and why it's worth it!


  1. I like a few new items each season. I don't wear that many different clothes, so everyday ones get worn looking and I enjoy a little change. Does anyone else have issues with tops getting little holes in the lower front - right about where they rub against the zippers of pants or the countertops in the kitchen?

    1. Yes!! I thought it was from wearing a belt but you're right, those little holes are frustrating! I'm planning on doing the 30 day challenge in April where you work your wardrobe around 30 items so we'll see how it goes!

  2. I love purging clothes! I may have gone too far last time (when we were moving), I don't really have much to wear in the summer... Overalls are bound to make a comeback and you'll be way ahead of the game :)

  3. I remember the overalls!

  4. I've been hearing a lot about this book... thinking I should hunt down a copy and give it a read. I definitely hear you with the buying things that you feel you should try and then never wearing them. Not usually worth it!

  5. Overalls! Loved them too back in the day! Just today I went through clothing, shoes AND accessories to donate some stuff. (& made Edwin do it too!) I always feel good after de-cluttering, but am also SUCH an emotional person about stuff. I remember where I wore things or what I might wear it to and it makes it that much more challenging to part with. I just try to tell myself they are just things... you know, the usual pep talk :)I'm getting better at it as I go along in life! I enjoyed this post!

  6. This is so great! Especially the overalls! :)

  7. You are amazing. 7/10 AND you fold your clothes.
    I'm a 2/10 and haven't folded in years. My kids were fascinated when their preschool teacher was teaching them to fold. They thought it was clothes art!

    I'm overdue for a clothes purge. To depressing. However, I'm SO PROUD that I had *TEN* free-on-craigslist posts this week and all are gone. Our workshop is now clear!

  8. overalls are definitely back in! GAP is carrying them again this season ;). i'm eyeing them!

  9. HA. That’s funny. I hadn’t realized this was an old post and was reading the comments. I read the 2/10 post where they hadn’t folded in years. I was going to comment that I wanted to be friends with her! It was me. Alas. I’ll stay friends in my messy home. I just got this book on audio from the library. Maybe I’ll move up to 3/10?