10 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Style Now
Decluttering is not most people’s favorite pastime. But, over the years, we tend to accumulate lots of stuff which eventually makes decluttering a necessary fact of life. The good news is that it does not have to be a grand scale clean out. It can often be made easier than that.
The key is…
Don’t start with the hard stuff, especially when it comes to your wardrobe.
Make it easy!
I am not talking about clothes you aren’t wearing that you feel you should be wearing. I’m sure if you knew why they don’t work or learned how to wear them so they do the decision to keep them or get rid of them would be a breeze.
Let’s start with something much simpler.
Often keeping the project manageable is enough to inspire you to do more and, at the very least, it will make you feel like you have accomplished something…because you have.
No matter what, decluttering is always a good exercise physically, emotionally and energetically.
Without further ado, here are 10 easy ways to declutter in the next 10 days:
- Empty shoeboxes. We’ve all done it. We plan to keep the shoe box until we are sure we like the shoes and won’t be returning them. But then somehow they sit and gather dust taking up valuable closet space. Recycle the boxes.
- Orphaned earrings. If you peek into your jar of lonely single earrings and realize some have been there for years, it’s time to get rid of them! Chances are good that if you haven’t already found the mate, you never will.
- Old makeup – anything more than 2-3 years old (except lipsticks or pencils), especially old samples you never use. You will never miss them. Makeup does not have an indefinite shelf life so either use it or lose it.
- Old fashion magazines. I used to keep massive amounts of cooking magazines thinking that someday I would go through and cut out the recipes. While I did do that with a few (but still rarely made anything I had clipped), most just sat there in a pile unused. I finally realized that if I didn’t tear out the recipe immediately and make it fairly soon after that I would never do it, but the pile would continue to grow.
If you have done that with fashion magazines, now is the time to pass them along. If they aren’t too old some doctor or dentist waiting rooms could use some fun reading and might appreciate a small magazine donation. Or, they can be recycled. You might also want to assess whether you still want to subscribe to those magazines. It might be easier to catch up on your fashion reading while at the hair salon and let them deal with the growing pile.
- Clothes with set-in stains.I know I said we wouldn’t talk about clothes, but this one is easy. If a garment has a stain that won’t come out there is no reason to keep it. You can’t wear it (unless you have a couple of items you keep for when you paint the kitchen) and it is taking up space making you think you have more wearable clothes than you do. Donate it. Even with the stain, do not put it in the trash. There is a better chance that it will be recycled if you give it to a charity and no chance it will be recycled if it goes in a landfill.
- Wire hangers. These are handy for the dry cleaner to use but not a friend to clothes on a long-term basis. Clothes do not hang well on wire hangers and they have a tendency to leave those annoying hanger bumps in the shoulders of your garments. Recycle them at your dry cleaner.
Keep a bag in your closet and drop them in each time you bring something home from the cleaners. When it gets full drop it off with your dry cleaning.
- Mascara that is more than 6 months old. I mentioned makeup above, but mascara needs its own listing. Inside those mascara tubes sits a warm and damp breeding ground for bacteria. The last thing you want is a germy mascara wand going anywhere near your eyes. It doesn’t matter whether you have used the mascara only a handful of times or every day. If it’s more than 6 months old, get rid of it and purchase a new one or go without if you are really wearing it that infrequently.
- Handbags you never use or that are in poor repair. I have had to do this myself. A few years ago I realized I was collecting handbags I thought were beautiful. I had a lovely variety of sizes and colors, but, when I really looked at what I use, it was a tiny fraction of those I had collected. So, I put myself on a handbag diet and I started weeding out what I had accumulated. I donated or consigned them and now do not purchase something unless I’m sure I will use it. Considering I have been using the same winter handbag (still in perfect condition) for the past 5 years and still love it, it could be a while before I’m buying something new. Sitting in my closet just being admired is not reason enough to get a new one!
- Old nail polish, especially if you don’t do your own nails. I used to have a monthly ‘beauty box’ subscription. It was great. Once a month I would receive fun beauty items (usually sample sizes) to try. It was a wonderful way to learn about new products, but it was also a way to accumulate way more than I needed or wanted. How many hair texturizers or facial masks could I use? Nail polish seemed to be the hardest to get rid of. The colors were pretty and they usually sent a full-sized bottle. But, they were never colors I would wear.
I finally realized I could give them to my neighbor who enjoyed trying new colors. I also recently unsubscribed from the monthly box since I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. I still have samples I am using and I have purchased full sizes of some of the items I tried and liked, so it’s all good.
- Belts that come with dresses or tops. Most belts that come with a garment, with very few exceptions, are poorly made and not every attractive. I cannot tell you how many closets I have been in where there is a hanger full of those belts…the outfits long gone or paired with a better belt. Say good-bye! You will never miss them. And, this is especially true if the belt is one of those tiny half-inch wide belts. They are too small for most people.
Go through the list and do one of these every day for 10 days or every other day for 20 days. Make it a game. The sense of ease and freedom you feel will be well worth any small effort needed to undertake these 10 decluttering steps.