Fashionista Hoarders, gather ’round, it is time for an intervention

by littlefashionistaontheprairie

My biggest fear in life is becoming a Hoarder. I come from a long line of Hoarders (to the lesser extreme) and because of that I hate clutter and the lame ass excuses people give for having it… ‘Oh my mom gave me that newspaper clipping when I was 10, so I have to keep it”. Are you kitten me?

I remember as a kid seeing the amount of boxes in my mother’s and grand mother’s basements and thinking to myself “Why do they have all of this stuff? It’s just in boxes, sitting there not being used!”.

Another reason for me being so opposed to clutter and keeping things, probably has something to do with the fact that, as a kid, having to clean the basement was my parents cure for boredom. So not only did I have to hang out in the scary basement, I had to clean up all of THEIR junk! Come on Mom, how many macrame baskets do you need ?!

When I watch those hoarding shows on TV, I immediately get itchy and have to clean something (like that stack of useless paper that always seems to build up on the kitchen table…). I teeter on the verge of OCD, and I’m not ashamed. My closet is no exception to this… in fact, that is where I get the most satisfaction.

I think it is vital as a Fashionista that you rid your closet of anything that you haven’t worn in 6 months to 1 year. Ideally, 6 months max! However, especially as an Albertan, it is highly possible to not have worn an object of clothing due to the fact that it is winter for 10 months out of the year here. So I can let it slide.

NOTE: By rid, I mean donate (or sell, if you’re so inclined)… I’m not that wasteful! 

“But Fashionista, how can you just get rid of clothes like that?!” Simple, I get “Cleaners High”. There is no feeling like the one I get from clearing out a big space in my closet. Not only that, but I always feel better knowing that the clothes I am clearing out of my closet will make their way in to a new closet and be loved and worn.

If you struggle with closet clutter, I have five tips that will make cleaning out your closet, and keeping it clean, so much easier. I’ve helped numerous friends with this process and let me tell you, they always feel 100x better about their wardrobes afterwards. So don’t be scared!

  1.  (and maybe the most important for first timers), Don’t do it alone! Ask a friend, loved one or the homeless guy out back to be your voice of reason. They have zero sentimental connection to your clothing and can help you make sound decisions. For the person helping you out, make sure to put a time limit on your hoarder friends decision, if they take longer than 3 seconds to say yes, it means no. BE RUTHLESS!!!
  2. Make 3 piles. Keep, Donate and Maybe. But only allow yourself 10 items in the Maybe pile. After you have gone through your whole wardrobe, scan the Maybe pile and allow yourself to only keep 5 items.
  3. Some people don’t feel all that comfortable donating their clothes, and that is fine. Have your friends come over and pick through what they want, that way you know who is getting the clothes. Anything left over can then go to charity. Or, if you want to make some money, sell the items you’re getting rid of. There are so many websites (eBay, Craigslist etc…) and stores that you can utilize to get rid of your clutter and make a quick buck too!
  4. Don’t keep the Donate items in your house for too long. Those items are still clutter they’re just in a different area now.
  5. Once  your closet is clean, stick by this rule… For every new piece of clothing you buy in the future, you should get rid of one old item in your closet. If that seems a little extreme, make it a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. The point is, you shouldn’t be falling back into the same trap and accumulating a bunch of stuff you’re not going to wear yet again! STOP THE CYCLE!

Cleaning out your closet shouldn’t be painful. If anything, it should be an excuse to go out and get some more great pieces for your wardrobe, being sure to follow tip #5 though!

Happy cleaning Fashionistas!