Can’t Bear to Part? This Decluttering Trick is Sure to Help!

Can’t Bear to Part? This Decluttering Trick is Sure to Help!

Can’t Bear to Part? This Decluttering Trick is Sure to Help!

Parting is such sweet sorrow. Luckily, there are ways to make it easier to say adieu to your clutter.


Last month, my husband and I decided to donate a third of his wardrobe. He received four new designer sweaters and three pairs designer jeans for Christmas, but his dresser and closet were stuffed with torn pants and tattered hand-me-downs. It became clear that it was time to downsize his wardrobe to fewer, yet quality items.


Tossing ripped corduroy pants, holey t-shirts, and a solo sock was the easy part. When it came to eleven red and blue flannel shirts, however, it was harder to pare down. Each long-sleeved, flannel shirt was in good condition, fit well, and was useful for fall and winter in the Midwest. But he didn’t need eleven long-sleeved, flannel shirts. In fact, I had never even seen him wear half of them! My husband is a very indecisive person, so he didn’t want to part with a single shirt.


So, here’s what we did:


  1. We separated the flannel shirts by color. We paired like with like.
  2. Then, putting two similar shirts next to each other, he chose which one he liked better. That shirt went onto the “keep” pile. The other shirt went into the “donate” pile.
  3. After the shirts were pared down to the last six, he decided to get rid of one last shirt. I asked, “Which five out of the six do you prefer?”
  4. He ended up with 6 out of 11 fitted, quality flannel shirts. And he is finally getting use out of all six!


We then continued this decluttering formula with the rest of his shirts, sweaters, pants, pajamas, and shoes. (Although, I think he is hiding some camp t-shirts from me somewhere; I will find them, and I will declutter them.)


After placing similar items next to each other, choose which ones you like better than the others. Then, narrow it down to your favorite one. Repeat.


It’s easier to declutter when you clump multiples together. When you realize that you only need one, and you can choose which one to keep, decluttering becomes a satisfying task.


Imagine: You have three black sweaters. You don’t need three black sweaters.


One sweater is sort of not-black. It’s also a little frayed at the ends. Easy: out of the three, this one is a goner. Buh-bye!


The second sweater was really expensive, but it makes you feel itchy.  It was expensive, so you feel like you should keep it since you paid a lot of money for it. You dread wearing it because you know you’ll feel uncomfortable all day long. So, it hangs in your closet as more of a trophy. Buh-bye! Get rid of it (or sell it). You hate it, so don’t keep it.


And, finally, there you have it: your one, beautiful, quality, favorite black sweater.


It makes sense, right?


When you feel uneasy parting with your stuff, put this decluttering strategy into place. Remember:


Place similar items together. Rank items against each other, and dwindle one by one. Keep dwindling until you feel satisfied with your “keep” pile.



Get rid of things that

— don’t fit

—  feel uncomfortable

—  don’t flatter you

—  you never wear

—  you have multiples of

—  are torn or outworn

—  don’t reflect your personal style


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