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clothes & wardrobe decluttering: A clear space means a clear mind

Clear space, clear mind: How important is having a clear space to have a clear mind? Check out what the experts say about clothes & wardrobe decluttering

A clear space means a clear mind — right? When your ward­robe is burst­ing with a moun­tain of clothes that you haven’t worn in forever, no longer fit you, or are no longer in fash­ion — it could be bring­ing you down. It’s time to let go, declut­ter, and have a clear out.
But how do you decide which clothes to say good­bye to forever? We’ve put togeth­er a handy guide for you to help you out. 

Benefits of Decluttering

Apart from the phys­ic­al bene­fits of hav­ing a clear space to be able to find your things, declut­ter­ing also has thera­peut­ic health bene­fits too. Life coach Yvonne Fernando says that clear­ing your ward­robe and cup­board space has a pro­found impact on both your mind and body, and that it allows for clear­er think­ing. Hav­ing a tidy set­ting where you can eas­ily find what you need helps to relax the mind, reduces feel­ings of anxi­ety and stress, and allows for sus­tain­able thinking.

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Five tips to declutter

The ward­robe is a per­fect place to start your declut­ter­ing pro­cess. With our handy tips, you can have a clear­er space with a clear­er mind in just five easy steps.

Tip 1: Sort out items of clothing that you have not worn for an entire year

If you haven’t worn it for over a year, the chances are you’re nev­er going to wear it again. You’ve been sav­ing it for that spe­cial occa­sion” or what if” moment, but those clothes are sit­ting there unloved and without a pur­pose. It’s time to let them go, and free up some space. By doing so, you’ll free your mind as much from the clut­ter as you’ll free your ward­robe.
Open up the ward­robe and pull out all of the clothes you haven’t worn in the past year. All of those one-time out­fits you bought, wore once, and then pushed them to the back of the ward­robe nev­er to see the light of day again.
Put all of the sor­ted clothes to one side, away from the ward­robe. You don’t want your inner hoarder to be temp­ted into sneak­ing them back into the wardrobe!

Tip 2: Ask yourself — Is the piece of clothing timeless?

You may come across some clothes that you haven’t seen for a long time or that you for­got you had. Some out­fits may bring back funny memor­ies as you recall upon what happened when you last wore them.
Fash­ion comes and goes, and while some cloth­ing is time­less and seems to fit in with every new trend, some items do not. You may not want to get rid of some pieces of cloth­ing as you think you may wear it again, so ask your­self wheth­er or not the cloth­ing is time­less.
If the clothes are time­less and you’re sure you will wear them, then keep them. If they’re not, and you know that par­tic­u­lar fash­ion trend is def­in­itely not going to return, then it’s time to get rid of them. Add them to the give away pile. Don’t hold onto clothes that you know you won’t wear again. Free up space so you can bene­fit from free­ing up your mind too.

Tip 3: Organize Your Sorted out Clothes Into Categories — Sell, Donate, Give to Friends

Some of your clothes may be too good to simply throw in the trash, so why not see if someone else will get some wear out of them? Sort the clothes into piles.
Which items could you sell and make a bit of cash on? Which pieces of cloth­ing do you want to donate to a loc­al char­ity or even give to a home­less per­son? Are there any items that you think your friends may like that you can give to them instead?
Some cloth­ing may be a bit worn out, with rips or holes in them, so you’ll want to throw those out. To be a little more eco-friendly, try to throw out as little as pos­sible so that oth­ers can bene­fit from your unwanted clothes instead. A good tip is to cut up the clothes into squares and use them as rags for cleaning. 

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Tip 4: Sort out pieces that don't fit, really!

We all hold onto clothes that don’t fit us any­more. By doing so, we not only waste space that can be used for some­thing else but it can cause us men­tal stress too. We worry about clothes that no longer fit, espe­cially when they’re too small. 

Get­ting rid of clothes that don’t fit elim­in­ates such stresses, as we know every item of cloth­ing inside the ward­robe can be chosen as some­thing to wear for the day. The psy­cho­lo­gic­al bene­fits are great as we no longer worry about what fits and what does­n’t. You know that you can open up the ward­robe, choose any out­fit and it will look good.

Tip 5: Be honest with yourself — Are you really going to wear these pieces again?

How many items of cloth­ing have sen­ti­ment­al value to them? How many out­fits hold pre­cious memor­ies, and remind you of spe­cial events from your past?
While we all want to save spe­cial out­fits, we simply don’t have the space to do so! Pho­to­graphs are a great way of keep­ing hold of memor­ies, so look to those instead of hold­ing onto moun­tains of cloth­ing that are tak­ing up too much space.

Be hon­est with your­self. If you know you aren’t going to wear those items again, it’s time to get rid of them. Pull them out of the ward­robe and set them aside. Selling them or donat­ing the clothes allows oth­ers to make lots of new memor­ies from the same item as you once did.

Tidy your new space

Once you’ve sor­ted through your clothes and got rid of all the things you no longer wear, you should have more space in your ward­robe to be able to see everything that’s there. You can now sort through everything that you do have, and tidy your ward­robe into sec­tions which may make it easi­er for you to find things.
Pos­sible ideas include:

  • Col­or coordin­ate your clothes.
  • Match out­fits togeth­er and place them on the same hanger.
  • Sep­ar­ate par­tic­u­lar items, keep­ing all shirts to one side and pants to the other. 
  • Sep­ar­ate form­al clothes and cas­u­al clothes apart.
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Walk away and return

Once you’ve sor­ted out your new space, head to anoth­er room, have a drink, and a sit down. Go back to the ward­robe after­ward, and take a look at it with fresh eyes. This should help you to appre­ci­ate the new space and see the dif­fer­ence that declut­ter­ing has.
Hope­fully, you’ll be look­ing at a great new area that has struc­ture and organ­iz­a­tion and will make life a bit easi­er first thing in the morn­ing when search­ing for the per­fect look of the day. 

Mess causes stress

Choos­ing an out­fit in the morn­ing to set us up for the day is an import­ant task. If we’re stressed out by this task due to our messy ward­robe, we’re already start­ing our day off on a neg­at­ive.
It’s a fact that mess causes stress. It diverts our atten­tion, gives us feel­ings of anxi­ety, stops us from relax­ing, and affects our gen­er­al pro­ductiv­ity. Our brain is unable to fully switch off because it’s dis­trac­ted by the mess and clut­ter that’s around us. 

So if you’re won­der­ing why work­ing from home seems dif­fi­cult or get­ting to sleep at night takes a long time: take a look at your sur­round­ings. Is your liv­ing envir­on­ment calm­ing, or is it caus­ing you stress?

Final thoughts

Open up your ward­robe and take a look. Are you look­ing at some­thing struc­tured, or is it more like organ­ized chaos?
Sort through your clothes, and get rid of the things you no longer need. Do your bit for char­ity by donat­ing some pieces and even make a bit of cash by selling your unique retro items.
Free­ing up ward­robe space is a great way to clearly see everything that you do have, and a great excuse for a shop­ping trip. But most import­antly it’s great for your psy­cho­lo­gic­al health and well­being. You might find your sleep a lot bet­ter at night too.
Break free from the clut­ter and remem­ber: A clear space is a clear mind.

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