Giving items a new lease of life – the upsides of decluttering

One of my main focuses for decluttering has been my wardrobe and last week I took a second pass at clearing out some more items. Those of you who have been following my C1000T project know that I cleared out around 100 items so far with some being sold and the rest donated to charity.
However, as summer starts to fade and I have a new job on the horizon, it’s time to reassess what I really want to keep and what can find a new home elsewhere. If I haven’t worn a summer outfit this year, I am unlikely to next year, so these were all removed from my wardrobe.
I separated out a bunch of clothes which I currently wear for work. I selected around 20 outfits which are fine for my job now but won’t be suitable for the new job I start at the end of September. I have put those in a separate section of my wardrobe and am making a conscious effort to wear these for the weeks I have left at work. I am looking forward to my final day when these can also be passed onto charity/recycling in a symbolic gesture of out with the old and in with the new.
Since my last decluttering session I have tried a new technique to assess what I really wear on a day to day basis. Everytime I put something back in the wardrobe, I place it on the right hand side. Over the months you can see which items work their way to the left side, meaning they are largely unworn. So, with a critical eye, I tackled those items which had been unworn for the last couple of months and got rid of another swathe of dresses. It helped me realise that I spend most of my time in office wear and work out gear and therefore helped me shape what I really needed to keep and what doesn’t really fit with the reality of my day to day life. Often when I buy clothes, I have a scenario of when I may wear an outfit (lunch with friends, a killer night out, pottering around a French antique market) and much of the purchasing decision is based on this emotion. However, the reality of my life doesn’t always match up to that romance (particularly not the French antique market!) and this process has helped me realise I need to buy clothes that match up to what I actually do, not what I think I would like to do.
Using this wake up call helped me streamline my wardrobe with 27 items being added to the charity pile and a further 20 earmarked for when I finish work. However, I was left with one issue, the massive pile of clothes that I now had to take to charity. It was so big that it was an off putting task! I wasn’t sure how to transport it and left it a couple of days to see what could be done with it.
As luck would have it, three friends visited over that period who I mentioned this clothes mountain to. All three had reasons to need new outfits (a wedding, weight loss and an amazing ability to upcycle!) so were more than happy to rummage through the pile and take what they wanted. I was able to find good homes for the items, save them money and see the direct benefit of passing things on. So, the stuff that was an issue to me is a positive to them, showing how the universe can work its magic.

Do you ever pass your clothes on to friends and family? Have you ever attended a clothes swishing event?

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3 thoughts on “Giving items a new lease of life – the upsides of decluttering

  1. I haven’t received “hand me downs” in a while – I think because once I left Sixth Form a lot of my friends were smaller than me. I pass some “hand me downs” on to a friend of mine who is at Upper School but she’s so much smaller than me that most things of mine will drown her. The rest go to charity shops so that they can find a new home somewhere else. Our Sidekick got a bag of “hand me downs” from my Mum’s Best Friend’s Son – he’d gone through his wardrobe clearing out the stuff that he no longer wears and some of the bits had only been worn a handful of times and so were practically just like new anyway.

    I am still living in my maternity jeans/trousers as nothing seems to fit me any more – I’m sort of in limbo at the moment and so the t-shirts that were all stretched out of shape when I was pregnant are still comfy and wearable now. I’m hoping that by Christmas I might be back on track to losing some more weigh and fitting in a smaller size of clothes but for now I’m still working on it (and need to stop eating junk!)

    With help from my Mum and some of the ladies at church we’ve ran two swishing events – it’s probably about time that we have another one but there’s a whole heap of change going on at church in the next few weeks so I’ll probably wait until September or October and think about it a bit more lol. What about having one at Scone Roses? What do you think?

  2. I can’t tell you how great it was to come away with two bags full of lovely things to wear that will actually fit me. The only curse of weight loss. Thank you! I’ve worn two of the outfits already…one to a wedding and one to a christening! X

  3. I frequently re use clothes for my children from my cousins then pass down those clothes to friends after. I don’t tend to pass my clothes on as they wear down to nothing but anything that is wearable gets passed on šŸ˜€

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