I am a self-described pack-rat. As a garage-sale junkie, finding a like-new Anne Taylor shirt for $3 is really an un-passable deal. The big bummer to all my great finds: I end up with more clothes than my drawers can handle. (I share a rather small, modest room with two of my sisters. We have a triple-bunk bed.) And, I am the only one who wears like five outfits all summer, despite having other options?
Americans like stuff. Whether it’s for a social status, emotional comfort, the inability to say no, or just a lack of self-control or good judgment “in the moment.”
That being said, I can’t tell you how good it feels to pack up a bunch of junk in trash bags to sell at our garage sale. Like a HUGE burden has been lifted from my shoulders. We plan to use the money to pay for my duel enrollment at a local college in the fall. I’m going to be a Senior next school year, and I’ll be preparing for college soon. Decluttering now makes the future a lot less hectic; which will be crazy-busy anyway. As we go through our stuff, here are some tips on purging your closet – specifically written for teens!
“Don’t buy things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like.” -Dave Ramsey
1. Get rid of the clothes you don’t wear.
This may seem cliche, but be completely honest with yourself when going through your stuff. If you’re in doubt, stuff it in a box and throw it in the attic for a year. If you miss it, keep it. If you forget about it, get rid of it. Because let’s face it – everyone has impulse buys that get stuffed in the back of the closet. If I hadn’t worn it in a year, I tossed it. If it was itchy, too worn, too baggy, too tight, ugly, ripped, had a big stain, or if I always gave some excuse not to wear it; it was gone. If it is really “yesterday’s style” and it’s just not me anymore, it went in the garage sale pile. If I felt awkward in it, it went.
If you don’t absolutely LOVE it, get rid of it. If you only “kinda-sorta” like it, purge it. It may be hard, but I can tell you that you will not regret it.
*Tip: if you want to create a capsule wardrobe for maximum minimalistic living, have only the “staple” colors for pants/skirts/bottoms – white, khaki, black, gray, and denim.
2. Get rid of clothes you don’t need, or have duplicates of.
If you bought those wacky pants for a recital three years ago and haven’t worn them since, it is definitely time for them to go. If you have two very similar white shirts, get rid of one.
3. Fold your clothes like this.
You’ll never have to dig again. And, you will save so much space. (Tried and true!) Tutorial here.
4. Keep folding clothes in said position and keep drawers neat!
I fold up 12-pack soda cases to sort my clothes. They definitely help keep my drawers organized.
5. Stick with a color scheme.
Sticking to a color scheme that fits your style can really help your wardrobe stay simple, yet versatile and colorful. A color schemed-wardrobe is easy to mix and match, and will make you feel more organized. Here’s a fantastic article and how-to guide on it.
6. Deep-clean your room.
Sweet up the dust, hair, and pick up all those loose bobby pins.
7. Go through your book, movie, and music collections.
Anything you don’t like, don’t need, or just don’t want: donate, garage sale or throw away depending on the condition.
8. Go through your lotions, nail polish and make-up.
Get rid of everything that is so jr-high, empty, or you just don’t wear or like anymore.
9. Go through your accessories – purses, hats, jewelry, scarves, shoes, etc.
If you don’t wear it, it goes. If you’re aiming for a capsule wardrobe, a patterned scarf or a bright purse are ways to brighten and add a pop of color to any look, without taking up much space in your closet.
10. Go through your desk, junk drawers and miscellaneous papers.
Go through all of your school paperwork from fifth grade. I found some gum wrappers, my eye glasses from elementary school, and purses that were given to me but I have never used. Icky. I also filled half a trash bag with a bunch of paper, magazines, and articles I had hoarded over the years for some weird reason and I didn’t need. (I recycled most of it) I have read doing this with a friend makes it easier – your friends don’t have the emotional attachment you have to little stuff.
11. Strategically organize accessories.
There are so many unique, space-saving ways to organize:
12. Make a vow not to buy things that were similar to your “get rid of” pile.
Emotional shopping and impulse buys can (and will) edit your budget. A good rule of thumb if you see something you like; wait a month. If you still want it just as badly as you did the first day, get it. With my downsized closet, I have also made an unofficial and general rule “If you buy a new shirt, you must get rid of one.” This has helped quite a bit. Shopping only once a season also helps. It really cuts down on frivolous items you’ll discard in a year.
Selling Your Stuff:
-A garage sale
-A local resale shop
Check out How to Buy and Sell Online Safely and Securely.
Donating Your Stuff:
For donating, I’d recommend donating to your local church/homeless/women’s shelter, or Salvation Army. Or, see if a friend wants them.
Trashing Your Stuff:
Some things are better just thrown away. Or perhaps recycled/upcycled.
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