When I was doing research for my post on decision fatigue, I came across an interesting article about reducing your closet to a 30-piece wardrobe. The author’s aim was to minimize her life and wardrobe by reducing her choices. This is the premise for reducing decision fatigue.

This was my inspiration as well. I wanted to make my life easier by getting rid of clothes that I don’t need nor wear. I am a huge proponent of simplifying life and saving my brain for areas that matter. Personally, my wardrobe does not matter that much to me.

This spring, I decided to take “Spring Cleaning” to a whole new level. I purged my closet.

I went from a closet with overflowing clothes filled mostly with items I do not wear, to a tidy, neatly organized closet with clothes I wear constantly.

My criteria for getting rid of clothes was rather simple. My clothes had to fit, and be versatile enough to wear a majority of the time. If an item of clothing did not fit both of these parameters, it was donated.

The criteria forced me to be objective. I avoided keeping clothes I was “on the fence” about keeping. Fulfilling one rule was not satisfactory for me.  

The fit

My clothes had to fit me well. I needed to feel flattered wearing my clothes, not self-conscious. Since I started weightlifting, my frame has transformed. My broad shoulders are getting broader, and my back is getting wider. That’s just my upper body.

For any button up shirts, both short and long-sleeved, I crossed my arms. If the shirt felt tight in the back or shoulders, I placed it in the donation pile. Then, I opened my arms, as if I was about to hug someone, to see how it felt. If the buttons at the chest were tight, I donated the shirt.

Thanks to weightlifting, my lower extremities have experienced the “Gainz” too. My large legs are transforming into tree-trunks, and my derriere is increasing in size. Within the last year, I’ve torn 3 pairs of pants at the seams by the butt. The gym is working.

As I get stronger, and grow larger, I need to resize my clothing.

For any shorts or pants – jeans, chinos, and dress pants, I performed normal functional movements with them on. I squatted down, I bent over at the waist, I sat down, and I walked around. I donated the pants that felt excessively tight in the thigh, crotch, or buttocks region.

Versatility

Before moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area, I resided in Boston. I spent 3 of the coldest years of my life in the Northeast. Within those 3 winters, I accumulated a winter wardrobe. I would wear multiple layers to stay warm, and those clothes added up.

Being in the Bay Area, it does not snow here, nor does it get anywhere close to freezing. Because of the moderate climate here in the Bay Area, I eliminated most of my winter clothes. Bye bye, wool socks and winter hats!

I consolidated my clothes to items that I can wear year-round. When winter time comes around, I will implement the layering technique again.

Donating

With the criteria in mind, I purged about half of my closet. I tamed my overgrown jungle of clothes.

It is now neatly organized area and houses versatile and nicely fitting items that I am comfortable wearing.

My goal for this donation was to directly impact those in need of clothes. Through some research, I established that “Dress for Success,” was the best fit. As you can see in the chart below, “Dress for success” hand sorts the donated items, and directly donates to homeless shelters.  I wanted to go with WOVIN, however they currently do not operate in my area. 

Here’s a chart of local SF Bay Area charities. Direct donation to homeless shelters was a crucial requirement for me. Source: Wovin

 

I fit all of the donated clothes into this large trash bag. Clothes are heavier than you think!

Conclusion

Let’s face it, we all wear clothes we think me look good in. We want to feel good about how we look. The clothes we select are meant to flatter us.

Additionally, we have a unique sense of style. We select clothes that fit our personality. Fashion is a vain aspect of life.

Unfortunately, sometimes we end up hoarding clothes. This may be due to sentimental value of clothes, or some other form of attachment.

Breaking that attachment will enable you to de-clutter, make a profit, or donate to the less fortunate.

 

Motivation for donation

On top of spring cleaning, I wanted to help others around my area.

There’s a sense of fulfillment that comes with helping other people. I want to be more philanthropic, and make a positive impact on the world. I’m hoping this will be the start!

Readers, what are ways you de-clutter your life? What are some philanthropic issues are you passionate about?