Decluttering and shopping

I try to keep a spick and span home – which is SO much easier now that I have oddles more space, in both square meters as well as storage space.  That being said, I know one day we might live in a smaller place, so I’m always critically reviewing what we have.  Here’s what I parted with on Friday:

Destined for trash - a dress with a damaged collar (and was cheap as), dead socks, a bra I wouldn't subject on anyone, and a mangy bath mat
Destined for trash – a dress with a damaged collar (and was cheap as), dead socks, a bra I wouldn’t subject on anyone, and a mangy bath mat
Tweezers than no longer tweeze, single earrings, what's left of reusing a backing from a photoframe and bent L's from my bed ledge moving house
Tweezers than no longer tweeze, single earrings, what’s left of reusing a backing from a photoframe and bent L’s from my bed ledge moving house
Found on the street - didn't fit my oven :( Took to metal recycling at Reverse Garbage
Found on the street – didn’t fit my oven 🙁 Took to metal recycling at Reverse Garbage
Exercise c**p.  The glasses and band from my Neon run, where I intentionally took no money, but someone bought me (groan).  The pedometers were freebies my parents got and thought I might want.
Exercise c**p. The glasses and band from my Neon run, where I intentionally took no money, but someone bought me (groan). The pedometers were freebies my parents got and thought I might want.


As I took the day off on Friday (I only ‘earn’ one a month now, rather than one a fortnight),  I spent most of the day shopping or window shopping.  I bought a canvas print I’d admired in the thrift shop the week before.  I also dropped some items off in the thrift store (and tossed some in the garbage – no one needs worn out clothing or grotty bathmats).  What else did I buy? A box for bras to ‘sit’ on my ottoman, where they tend to linger.  And a basket for a 40th gift 😉 And two running tops… and a headband for running.  Oh yes! I was on a role.

Not as blue - but I still love it!
Not as blue – but I still love it!

In light of my consumerist moments, I came home and really weeded through my wardrobe.  I drafted the most boring post listing all the tops I had, all the jackets etc etc.  And then, looking at it, I started culling.

The art I almost bought.  Seems Salvos was given a bulk collection of images, but I'd already bought the other one already.
The art I almost bought. Seems Salvos was given a bulk collection of images, but I’d already bought the other one already.

The upshot was 20 items for decluttering.  Two will be copied and reinvented.  Some will go to the trash.  Some will go to the op shop.  None are worth money, so I won’t try to sell anything.  This is in addition to about 10 items of clothing I’ve given away this year.  And there’s two pairs of running tights/leggings that are showing signs of their last legs.

In counter balance, I’ve bought 13 items in 2014, so that’s a nice counter balance.  Although, I don’t track my other stuff as carefully, though there is a spreadsheet for that of course.

I’m pretty sure the decluttering is partly for me to mentally justify any further purchases this year.  I really would like a teal top or two.  One outbound teal top has been replaced by a more casual teal and navy stripe top.  The incredibly thing is how many pieces of have given that I wear a uniform.  Though it’s starting to seem like those days are numbered, so perhaps my ‘re’ cluttering will be expensive work wear.

Do you declutter to feel ok about buying more clothing, or do you truly believe you need less?  How do you know when is ‘enough’ for work clothes, or basics (for example, I had 16 long sleeved t shirts for wearing under wooly/itchy stuff)?

12 Replies to “Decluttering and shopping”

  1. It used to be one week but since I'm sometimes away at weekends and don't get to wash stuff straightaway it has become two weeks. As in, for basics, vest tops to wear under work shirts, work shirts as well as underwear, my aim is to just have enough for two weeks so that even if I don't manage to do the washing on a weekend, I'm not under pressure for the second week and can still get to work looking presentable. I have a couple more than 10 shirts for work at the moment but three of them really need to go – more than that really but I'm thinking of dying a few to extend their life. I don't like clothes shopping and find it difficult to find stuff so when I find something I like I tend to buy it in all the colours and then keep wearing them for years. I have far too much stuff though, most of it doesn't fit me but when I lose weight I won't suddenly be richer so I continue to hang on to the suitcases of currently too small clothes so that I don't end up having to fork out for an entirely new wardrobe. I like the 333 project and want to aim towards that though (33 items for 3 months – website explaining it is here:

    1. OH yes I read a lot about Project 333, but yet to try it – I should perhaps challenge myself, even informally?

      Funny you mention suitcases of clothes, my out of season stuff lives in one of the two suitcases I have. Only the carry on size, but that's also a physical limit of how much 'stuff' I can have!

      Good luck with the skinner (but not richer) version of you – seems you've thought logically about your clothes and finances, so you don't get yourself in a spot of bother later on!

  2. For clothes, I mostly get rid of things that are worn out or damaged, and I only replace the basics. That gives me a little bit of leeway for a "less necessary" item now and then. As to how much is enough – I like to have about 5 pairs of trousers -mostly heavier weight but a few summer ones. A lot more tops (long and short sleeve T-shirts, button-up shirts, pullover sweaters, cardigans for layering, casual blazers). But the goal is to easily get through a work week, no matter what the weather, and only do laundry once on the weekend! Since my workplace is only semi-formal, I wear some of my work wardrobe for weekend events. Otherwise my weekend clothes are extremely casual (jeans, T-shirts, hoodies and sneakers). So far this year I am way over budget on clothes spending since I have been replacing coats, boots and shoes, which seem to have all failed at once!

    1. I agree, less pants/bottoms are more than OK, people more notice your top half.

      I try to do two loads per week: lights and darks. In winter, lights is usually the sheets + whatever else. The BF adds more to the pile than when I was alone.

      Shoes, boots and jackets are pricey, but they do last longer than most other basics, like t shirts or knickers, so they have a better 'cost per wear'. I also LOVE coats/jackets, so I could easily pick up more if I wasn't content with my idea of 'enough' in my collection of each. Though there are two that are of a poor quality (cheap), so if I find a suitable replacements, I'll get them!

  3. I think I do declutter clothes because I really do feel happier with less (I try to stick under a 50-item limit in my wardrobe.) Having a limit forces me to stay on top of laundry and be organised. It is mentally easier to keep track of things.

    But the downside is I do often wish I had more variety in my wardrobe. And things wear out more quickly because it's on such high rotation.

    Side note: what is with Tweezers that don't tweeze?! I have a pair that do and a pair that don't!

    1. Wow, I don't think I could do Laura's 32 or your 50, but perhaps I should TRY it. I do love my collection of jackets and coats in the winter (do they count?) I certainly don't need as much as I have with a uniform, I know that! I wear it most when I travel and can't wash as often.

      OMG – how'd a good pair of tweezers go to not tweezing, I'll never know, but it's SO annoying!

  4. Nice job, 20 is a lot in one go! I've been decluttering for the sole purpose of having less stuff. I do believe that it's good to practice the 1 in, 1 out rule, though. For the past two years, I have felt that I've had enough as far as clothing goes, so I haven't purchased much. It works with trying to keep my spending down, too.

    1. I think I think of it as 'one in one out' at least now I'm tracking what clothing is actually going out! I did have a clothes buying freeze as I saved big time for a house deposit, but by the end of it, my underwear was VERY sorry! Seems I buy knickers in fits and starts, and I could certainly look to some replenishments right now 🙂 Alas, I haven't counted the knickers I've tossed – they go in the bin without a second thought if they've troubled me all day.

  5. I could get away with much less than I currently own – probably half if I really tried. But I like the variety of wearing different colors to suit to my mood and only wearing a sweater 1-2x a month rather than every week. And as long as all my stuff fits easily on my side of the dresser and closet, and I wear the items I keep, I’m okay with my wardrobe size 🙂

    Love the art you bought and almost bought – nice size too!

    1. I think the same is true with me – I could get by with less.

      The key is that you can easily store it all. Alas, with more space now, I'm scared I'll expand my stuff to fit it!

      I loved the art – great deal for the size of them!

  6. I'm torn between loving new clothes – the newness, the being more up to date, the crispness of new clothes. And knowing I have enough and many of my existing clothes are fine – fashionable, not stretched or pilled or worn. But I just like getting new stuff.

    Even though I can dig an old item out that hasn't been worn recently or put an old piece with a new item for a new outfit and people will comment on the outfit and ask if it is new.

    I couldn't do 50 pieces.

    I have too many different looks. What I wear to lunch at Balmain, I wouldn't wear to work. Out for dinner? Something different again. Off the high tea? different again. In fact I tend not to wear my work clothes in other situations at all. Gives me a sense of separation from work, and also my work clothes are more officey. Then there's clothes for cold, cool, warm, stinking hot weather at work, and at play.

    That said, I am due for a few items to be decluttered. I do tend to hold onto items past their best before date.

    1. Oh yes, I had a school friend who thought that 'new clothes' smell was an Espirit special! Alas… it's not!

      I'd love to see these different looks for high tea, dinner, work and lunch in Balmain. Such versatility you have in your wardrobe (by it's extensiveness!)

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