Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How long should you keep clothes you plan to fit into?

I get this question a lot!!!

How long should you keep clothes you plan to fit into?

Well, my answer is two-fold:

1. Do you have extra storage space?

If you do, then you can keep the clothes for a year or two. You need to limit the items to your favourites but I'll allow lots of leeway.

If you have no extra space and you already can't fit all your current clothes into your wardrobe, then I'd say choose maybe 5 - 6 special items and keep them for no longer than a year.

I have a friend who is really great at decluttering clothes. She goes through their clothes every 6 months and gets rid of anything they haven't worn that season. Her view is that next summer/ winter there'll be new fashions so why hang onto old stuff?!

2. How honest are you being with yourself?

If you've been putting on weight steadily due to age or lifestyle factors, then deep down you know you're fooling yourself into thinking you'll be able to fit into that size ___.

In this case, I suggest that you just bite the bullet and get rid of the clothes. It feels better when you donate it to a woman's shelter, trust me. Ask yourself, "who can use this today?"

However, if you were easily at a weight before getting pregnant and you've just had a baby, then by all means keep those old clothes while you exercise and get back to your pre-maternity weight.
That said, my sister is really slender (post-baby) and even she said when the baby was 6 months old that she's come to terms with not ever fitting into those really skinny tops again :)

So what do I do?

If I LOVE the clothes, I get the stuff out of my valuable real estate (my wardrobe) and put them in my guest bedroom with the date on the container/ large ziploc bag. By the time the next summer/ winter rolls around, if I can't fit into it, out it goes.

I know from my history that even if I can fit into it a year later, there are much cuter clothes out there which I'd rather have in my wardrobe :)

This system works for me. What works for you?


Louise said...

I am guilty of saving smaller clothes too long, but I give away the bigger sizes as soon as I can! You are so right, though, once I've lost the weight I want to go shopping for new, fun styles. So why keep the old pieces around?

I really like the idea of putting the date on the storage bag, too. It is amazing how quickly the years pass...

Carmen said...

I struggle lots with sentimentality. "This is what I wore to my best friend's my brother's graduation...on my first date with my now husband." I have to really force myself to examine clothes and purge 'em.

I normally go through my closet once and do a first purge...then a week or so later, I go thru my closet once again for a second purge. I always find that I have more will power on the second go-around for some reason!

Meshellyn said...

I have a difficult time with this area of my life! I know I have clothes that I wore 25 pounds ago, and probably are 6 or more years. Somehow I need to strike up the gumption to purge it out of my wardrobe, but I have a hard time. I've already started my Spring sort and need to toss quite a bit. Thanks for the thoughts and hopefully I can do a better job this year!

Marcia said...

Isn't it always easier to get rid of big stuff rather than the smaller things? :) Funny!

I do have my wedding dress, not because it's my wedding dress, but because my granny made it for me and she's passed away.

I LOVE the idea of the 2nd purge - I think I'm going to go right back and do a 2nd purge.

You know what's a great solution for sentimentality? Taking pictures! Seriously - I blogged last year about some shoes I kept for 12 years just because we bought them for me while on honeymoon :)

I'm keeping you accountable. Please come back and tell me how you do, as you go through the process. I celebrate ANY and all successes - really :)

Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

Recently I have been going through my clothes. I had several items that I just liked the way they looked on the hanger but they never looked good on me. So far I have purged 3 tubs of clothes. It feels GOOD!!

Marcia said...

WOW, Rhen! Well done - 3 tubs is a GREAT job :) Give yourself a big pat on the back!