In this post we’ll discuss nine reasons why so many of us fear decluttering clothes. To successfully de clutter your wardrobe, it’s imperative to recognize many of the seemingly logical excuses we make are actually based on fear.
It’s harder to de clutter clothes, so we’ll also talk about mind set shifts and strategies you can practice to conquer your fears about getting rid of clothes you don’t wear.
This post may contain affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.
These are part of my essential de cluttering tips to help you enjoy a clutter free home and life whether you struggle with one of all of these issues, I know you can reach your goal of a de cluttered and amazing wardrobe.
There is some tough love in the post… Please understand that it comes from a place of wanting you to be happy and comfortable with your home.
Ready to stop feeling like a clothes hoarder and end the fear of de cluttering your clothes? Keep reading…
How to recognize that you fear de cluttering clothing.
The first obstacle many face when learning how to de clutter your wardrobe is thinking it’s necessary to keep everything. We may not recognize this fear, but that’s what it is.
We often phrase this fear in a way that gives us a logical – sounding reason to keep too may clothes.
But in the end, fear is just an excuse. Which is awesome because it means you can find even better reasons to get rid of clothing you don’t need.
Here are some of the fears I and many others have worked through, along with some tips to help you stop making excuses due to fear.
1 What if I de clutter too many clothes?
Are you afraid you’ll de clutter so much that you wont be able to assemble complete outfits?
The odds of that happening are so low that you really shouldn’t worry about it. If you managed to dress yourself daily now, and you don’t wear everything you own, then you have nothing to worry about.
Besides, after you declutter, you will still have at least a base wardrobe. Many people call this a capsule wardrobe and find it makes creating a variety of outfits easier than when trying to work with an overwhelming wardrobe.
- Store half of your current season clothes in covered bins.
- Put the bins somewhere you wont see them everyday. If you don’t have the space for bins, store them in zippered bags under your bed.
- Then, just see how it goes for two months. Set a reminder on your phone or in your planner to do a wardrobe review.
- Did you miss anything? Did you forget about those clothes you didn’t wear?
- If you didn’t miss anything, pack those bins in your vehicle and drop them off at a donation center. Don’t even open them, just let them go.
- Do this every season for a year.
2 I’ll be sad if my closet isn’t full.
This fear is so powerful. Triggered by our need to fill and desire to exceed the basic necessities of life, we start to equate a smaller wardrobe with an empty closet. We confuse it with lack, poverty, and failure.
Turn that thinking on its head:
- Rejoice because you can find all your clothes which means you are successful at organizing.
- Everything works together… or works on its own because it’s an amazing piece. This means you continue to provide well for your self.
- Your clothes have room to breathe, so they will be less wrinkled and require less preparation time before wearing. You care for yourself and your possessions admirably.
3 My clothes are my identity. Getting rid of them would be like losing part of myself.
No, a wardrobe is simply a collection of inanimate objects.
Keeping the best of your clothes is making a positive choice. And when you keep and wear only the clothes that make you feel amazing, it means you’re not afraid to be your very best self all the time.
Or – a related fear – you just know people would talk about you… how you used to dress so well, but obviously now you can’t afford a decent wardrobe.
Well, first of all, most people really wont notice. We’re all naturally less observant of what others wear then ourselves. So, stop letting that concern you.
Second, if you have friends like that, it may be time to expand your circle to include people who really care about you and don’t gossip. I know, not exactly the point here… but not all of our decluttering is about physical objects.
4 What if I have to go back to work.
Maybe you successfully work from home right now, but in the back of your mind lives the niggling worry that something will happen and you will have to get a “real” job again.
So you hold onto your old work clothes, because you want to be ready just in case.
Plus the idea of replacing those expensive work clothes makes you cringe.
Been there, felt that. This ones very personal. Guess what I kept in my closet for two years after I quit a job which I knew I would never return? Yep, work clothes that I had no other reason to wear.
Here are some things to consider.
- If you do decide to return to work outside the home, wearing newer clothes that are more stylish will give you a confidence boost.
- Your old work clothes may not be appropriate for a new work position.
- Most importantly, hanging on to those clothes is a limiting belief. You’re telling yourself that you don’t truly believe in your abilities or your decisions to work from home.
- Let go of the old clothes, let go of the doubt, and go all in on your belief in yourself.
- If you want to move forward in your business – and your life – you have to release things from the past. That includes the clothes that represent the old work you – you aren’t that person now. You’ve moved on.
Keep a few things from your previous professional work wardrobe that are comfortable to wear and make you feel confident and productive. Then, wear those clothes even when you’re working from home and nobody can see you.
Don’t worry about wrecking them. You weren’t wearing them anyway, so what would it matter. You just may boost your productivity and your business. If the clothes don’t help and you don’t love them, then its truly better to let those clothes go completly.
5 I have a hard time finding clothes that fit.
For many of us, shopping is difficult because stores carry limited sizes, and anything outside that selection is hard to find and often expensive. We feel like we have to keep everything even if it’s not particularly comfortable or we don’t really like it much.
A couple things to try.
- From your closet, pull out the things you like and fit us. The ones you wear all the time. See how many outfits you can make from those. It’s likely you really do have enough clothing you love and you can just let the other things go.
- If you have a difficult time finding clothes in brick and mortar stores, check online. If you have a Amazon Prime membership, you can often purchase clothing with free prime shipping. Also check the description because many companies also offer free return shipping when you buy through Amazon. It’s a good way to try on clothing with out as much frustration.
So don’t be afraid to get rid of those things that aren’t you… That aren’t comfortable… that don’t make you feel good when your wearing them. A good base wardrobe means it’s simpler to plan outfits and keep track of your stuff.
6. Shopping is overwhelming.
Oh, I hear you! Even when most stores carry your size, simply finding them can feel an immense effort.
Walking into a store and seeing so many options that you forget what you needed to purchase, searching through racks and racks of clothes just to find a few things that you like.
Then, finally you try them on only to discover they look weird. Or suddenly you realize they wont work with anything you already have.
You end up keeping all of your old unworn and unloved clothes simply because you already have them and it makes you feel like you don’t have to search for anything new.
Once again, online shopping is your friend. It might take a while to find a store that caters to your personal style with clothes that fit and make you feel amazing, but once you do, sign up for their email list and periodically browse their site.
It’s so much less overwhelming than shopping in person and you’ll often end up with clothes that are more unique than what everyone else is wearing.
In the mean time, slowly weed out the clothes you’ve hung onto and either never worn or that don’t work with your favorites. Keeping them isn’t helping you or preventing the need to occasionally have to replace your favorite items.
7. What if I gain or lose weight?
I often hear people say something like “my weight fluctuates so regularly that I have to keep all the things”
I can understand that. I’ve been there.
But I would suggest just keeping only one or two outfits in one size higher and lower than where you are now.
What ever size you’re in right now is probably the one you wear most often, so just go with it and build your wardrobe around that base.
Then consider… What can you do to stay in one size clothing? Some of that is personal health choices, some if it can feel out of control.
For now, work with your body. Keep clothes that have a little bit of give, some stretch, ect. Use your current accessories to help you feel more stylish in your outfits even if they don’t fit perfectly.
If you are a large size right now and your hoping that your going to reduce 5 sizes into things your still keeping from years ago, you really need to let all of those very tiny clothes go.
Realistically, it will take a while to lose enough weight to change that many sizes. Plus, something you can look forward to… clothing in those smaller sizes will be easier to find when the time comes.
If your afraid your going to gain 10 or 20 pounds because that’s been your history… what can you do to prevent that?
Dress for the person you are today. You’ll be happier because you wont have to face negative reminders every time you open your closet.
You might be surprised that it’s easier to stay one size if you don’t have so many “just in case pieces” on hand.
8. Everyone saves their special clothing.
No, many people don’t. That statement in your head is simply more flawed thinking.
Keeping all those old clothes for the memories is doing you no good at all. How often do you pull them out to help you remember events from your past?
As an example, here is how I learned that lesson.
I saved my wedding dress, high school graduation dress, and several other “special pieces” for many years through several moves. I don’t recall ever pulling those things out to look at, only packing them up to move.
Then we had an incident with one of out pets. My special clothes were ruined and discarded. I definitely shed some tears.
But, most importantly, I made a discovery… I didn’t actually need these clothes to remember those events. It kind of blew my mind, but it was also incredibly liberating.
Pull out some of the memory clothes you have been saving. Take a picture. cut a swatch of fabric, if you enjoy the texture, make a scrap book or quilt.
Keep the memories, let the clothing go.
9. What if I make a mistake when decluttering my clothes?
At the root of everything, this is our biggest fear. It encompasses everything I’ve already talked about in this post.
Some where deep inside, we’re sure that we’ll regret our decisions. Or tat we’ll accidently give away our all time favorite piece of clothing.
Trust yourself and trust the decluttering process.
People who have been right where you are now have been successfully decluttering their clothing every single day with out regrets or mistakes. Believe that you can do this, because you really can.
You can read more about decluttering your wardrobe with these 3 posts as well.