Over the past few weeks, I’ve gradually been decluttering my apartment by cleaning out one room at a time. My goal is to cut out the extra stuff and get down to the items that add the most value to my life. Last weekend I tackled the one room that’s left…my bedroom!
(Take a look at my decluttering strategy and see the other rooms I decluttered here!)
My bedroom was definitely the room I dreaded cleaning the most. Why? My clothes! Taking on my bedroom involved cleaning out two dressers and one closet full of clothes. While I love building my wardrobe and playing around with style, I know I have way more clothes than I need. I’ve got countless tops that I never wear and several pieces with tags still on them! To top it off, I once purchased those special thin coat hangers just so that I could cram more clothes into my closet. Help!
Cleaning out my closet also included going through all of my shoes, bags/purses, a box full of university notes and textbooks, two boxes of momentos, and two file folders of papers. I also went through the two drawers in my bedside table: one was a terrifying junk drawer and the other one was stuffed with workout clothes.
Here’s how the decluttering went:
I got rid of over 200 items! And hundreds of papers & mementos…
Time Spent: Several evenings.
Biggest challenge: The toughest part was letting go of clothes that I purchased and never wore once. It was surprisingly easy to toss away clothes that I’d worn many times but knew I didn’t like. But when it came to items I’d never worn, I kept thinking, What if I need this top in the future? What if an occasion comes up when this dress would be perfect?
Dealing With Unworn Clothing
Letting go of these items was hard for two reasons. One, it meant confronting the fact that I’d completely wasted money on something I never even used. And two, it meant letting go of the image of myself in those clothes. I’m talking about those clothing items we all have that we wish we wore but we simply don’t. Like when you buy a trendy dress because you imagine yourself wearing it and looking glamorous. But then when an occasion does come up for that dress, you ditch it because it isn’t comfortable and isn’t quite your style.
It can be hard to let go of these items because you keep hoping a magical occasion will arise for you to wear them. But the truth is, keeping them in your closet is causing you the most pain. Because every time you see these unworn items you experience regret. You’re reminded of their uselessness and of the dent they caused in your wallet. Here’s my advice: don’t hang on to “just in case” items – donate them to someone who will love and use them.
Creating A Wardrobe I Love
The main motivation for simplifying my closet was the desire to create a wardrobe of only things that I love. I wanted to eliminate that wasted time I spend trying on a dozen outfits before leaving the house. I wanted to get rid of the stress of having to decide what to wear!
Because even though I’m continually buying clothes, I constantly find myself stressing over having nothing to wear. Nighty-nine percent of the time, I’ll end up putting on something totally simple like a favourite t-shirt and leggings.
This happens because I have certain outfits that I love and feel comfortable in. I typically rotate between these and have no real reason to wear anything else. The rest of my closet is a combination of clothing pieces that don’t fit properly, aren’t actually my style or aren’t comfortable. But I hang on to them just in case. Or because I imagine that one day I’ll be the type of person who wears these clothes.
So as I went through my closet, I resolved to let go of cute clothes I simply don’t wear. This often meant getting rid of clothing items that I think should be my style but for some reason aren’t being worn. No matter how much you think you like a top, the truth is if you’re not wearing it, you don’t really like it! In total, I cut 98 items out of my wardrobe. It’s kind of crazy to imagine that I had almost 100 clothing items in my collection that I don’t need!
I let go of: 23 sleeveless tops, 18 t-shirts, 12 long sleeve tops, 9 pairs of socks, 9 undergarments, 7 sweaters, 6 pants, 6 shorts, 6 dresses, 1 romper and 1 jacket.
After getting through my clothes, I went through my bags and purses and narrowed it down to the ones that I realistically love and wear. I got rid of the “this is cute” kind of purses and kept only the “but I actually wear this one” kind. Then I moved on to footwear. I finally got rid of a pair of heeled boots that I wish I wore but definitely can’t walk in.
Dealing With Keepsakes
Lastly came the most time-consuming and boring part of cleaning my bedroom – sorting through piles of papers, momentos, school notes and photographs that I had stashed in my closet. I was hanging on to a ton of keepsakes and as I went through them I realized that many of them didn’t even inspire good memories. They actually made me feel bad! So I said goodbye to a huge bag full of old leaflets, papers and notebooks that I no longer need. Since I never look at photo albums (except for digital ones), I also got rid of a ton of photographs.
I was keeping piles of old school papers thinking that “one day” I might go back to school and need them. But going through my horrendously boring notes reminded me that I really don’t ever want to go back to school. And if I did go back, my old notes probably wouldn’t be relevant anyway.
Before you hold on to school books, ask yourself why you’re keeping them and if you’ll actually refer to them in the future. I think I was hanging on to my school notes because I didn’t want to let go of all the hard work I had once put into them. But keeping them in a box in my closet wasn’t exactly putting them to good use!
Here are some before and afters of my closet:
After decluttering my bedroom, the space feels so much more free and calm. My closet is now organized so I know exactly where everything is. And now that I’ve tidied up my bedroom, I’ve completed my to-do list! Every room in my apartment has now been decluttered.
And yet…I’m nowhere near done. As I finished decluttering each room, I knew there was more I could do. So I’m keeping my promise to go back and clean every room a second time.
Check out this post where I tally up the total number of items gone after cleaning out each room twice. I also share my best decluttering tips that I learned from the whole process!
How much extra clothes do you have in your wardrobe?