I am awesome at living on auto-pilot.
Sometimes it’s the good kind (emptying the dishwasher as soon as I get up in the morning), and sometimes . . . not so much.
Like when I’m standing in my closet and something soft and fuzzy falls on my head. I look up (after recovering from my small heart attack) to see that the teetering stack/pile of sweaters has finally tipped and fallen.
I think, “Where did I get all those sweaters?”
And I really don’t know the answer to my question.
Some were gifts, some were bargains, and some were hand-me-downs from well-meaning friends who lost or gained weight.
And then there are some that I’m pretty sure just appeared.
Really, I don’t understand how I collect so many sweaters. (Or sauce pans. Or children’s books. Or wooden spoons.)
So I look for natural bumps in my road.
Changing seasons are wonderful bumps. There’s nothing like walking out the door in short sleeves on the first chilly day of fall to help me break out of my auto-pilot reverie.
I love the motivation of a seasonal clothing changeover to help me declutter my closet.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t love it in a yay-oh-yay-another-excuse-to-ORGANIZE-something way. More of a how-in-the-world-did-I-end-up-with-all-these-sweaters way.
I have a few tricks I’ve come up with over the years that help me break through the angst that happens whenever it’s time to decide which sweaters stay and which ones go.
1. Only Keep What Fits . . . in the Drawer
This is such a simple concept, but it’s one that took me a long time to truly grasp.
I need limits. A drawer is a natural limit.
I fill the drawers with my favorites first. Once the drawer is full, my decision is made. It’s so much easier to part with the ones that won’t fit into the drawer because I have already prioritized them.
2. Only Keep What Fits . . . Me
I’m going to blame it on the years of pregnancies, but I tend to keep things that I’m pretty sure I might fit into again.
When I’m at a weight that doesn’t feel like me, it’s hard to part with an item of clothing in the size I think I should be. But heading into a new season means that even if (IF) I started working out and eating right today, I probably wouldn’t fit back into it before the weather changed again.
And if it has already been a year or two since I wore it . . . it likely won’t be in style next fall.
3. Only Keep What Fits . . . My Personality
I lived for many years as the Dream Friend for people who wanted to clean out their homes.
Don’t need that fishing pole? Give it to Dana. Replaced your curtains? Give the old ones to Dana.
Right. I saw the “beauty” and “potential” in every random item other people didn’t want.
But as their homes cleared out, mine became more and more cluttered. As I switch out clothing for the new season, I pay extra attention to each item that I didn’t personally buy.
Do I love it? Do I actually wear it?
I used to keep hand-me-downs out of guilt. My friend had entrusted me with something that she wanted to have a good home!
Except that she didn’t want it in her home, so it couldn’t have been that special. I only have room (and mental energy) for the things that I love and can use in my home.
Do you use the changing season as an opportunity to declutter your wardrobe?