Clothing declutter: why is it so hard to part with those jeans?

I’ll hold my hands up, I own jeans in every size from a size 6 to a size 20. And at some point in my life, all of these jean have fit me. At the moment, I’m around the 16 mark (verging on a 14 – hopefully soon!).

If I’m honest, I haven’t been anywhere near the 6-12s in the last 10 years. I hit my target weight with Scottish Slimmers on 31 August 2004 (in my size 6s). I’ve eaten my way steadily back up through all the sizes and well beyond my original ‘fat weight’.

You’d think, at some point in those 10 years, especially when I did some major decluttering in 2014, that the skinny jeans should have been thrown out.

More than just jeans

But, at some level, they represent me when I was last really happy. I was in a relationship. I had these cool Miss Sixty jeans. I had worked hard to lose the weight and I felt fantastic. If I throw them out that’s me saying: “I’ll never have that again”.

Lost my minimalist mojo

If I was being truly minimalist, they’d have been long gone. Looking at it the other way, they are a reminder of failing. I broke up with the guy, I undid all my hard work, they no longer bring me joy, put simply, they just don’t fit!

When I last posted here on 13 June 2016, I had made some inroads into further decluttering. I’d been harsher with my wardrobe. I was throwing out things that had tags on them (I had never done that before as it felt so wasteful).

Can I be honest again? *whispers* those skinny jeans still weren’t in the ‘to go’ pile. They actually aren’t even in my wardrobe. They are hidden in a case with a  bunch of other clothes from that same era. Out of sight, out of mind.

Getting my minimalism back and throwing out fat clothes

Back in June, I’d started a new weight loss journey, with Weight Watchers this time. And this had scuppered my plan to throw out the clothes I’d been so brutal with.

I’m back to reassure you all that my minimalist ways are still in place. Only this time I’m throwing out clothes that are too big. I have about six charity bags waiting to go. I’m trying to keep on top of this. If something starts to feel baggy, I’m not keeping it.

After all, I have plenty of unworn, smaller clothes to start wearing!

PS: the jeans and bag of smaller clothes are still here. I’m 2 stone down and there’s a way to go yet. My plan is that this time next year I will be wearing them!

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Shrinking Linda does not Equal Shrinking Wardrobe

I’ve been on another declutter mission. I finally gave myself a good talking to and decided to get rid of clothes that don’t fit me.

Keeping clothes that don’t fit

These are clothes that have never fit me.

These are clothes that will fit me in another life if I slim down a couple of dress sizes.

These are clothes that still have the tags on them.

These are clothes that tell me I’ve wasted a couple of hundred quid in TK Maxx.

So, it was with a heavy heart that I bagged all the stuff up. I ended up with five bags. I can’t be doing with ebay, it feels like such a faff to get the clothes on there for not much return. Everything was ready for charity (well one of those weigh and pay places). It has been sitting in my spare room for about a month waiting for Papa Ouzo to come and collect it all in his car.

And then I joined Weight Watchers

About a month ago I hit rock bottom and decided I need to get healthy. Months of eating bread and cheese (not because I’m destitute, just because I’m lazy) had left me feeling lethargic, bloated and unhappy. Add to that an unhealthy love of the wine and stout and you were faced with a very miserable Linda.

I noticed a Weight Watchers class five minutes from my house. It was at 6.15pm on a Thursday – so easy to get to after work. There were no excuses, so I signed up.

I am very happy to report that I’ve lost 11lbs in three weeks.  My class leader said that a loss of 10lbs usually maps to a dress size. I’d noticed a few tops feel a bit looser but nothing that dramatic.

This weekend I decided I’d try a few dresses and tops that I hadn’t worn for months as they were getting a bit snug. Guess what? They fit!

Undoing the declutter

And you can guess what happened next. You know those bags that were sitting in the spare room? I had a little root around. I had a little try on of some of the clothes. They fit. Well some of them do. There’s a dress in there that I really want to fit me now. Give me until the end of the summer and we’ll see where I’m at!

 

Spilling out of the back of this Nine West dress....
Spilling out of the back of this Nine West dress (but the colours are so pretty)….

One bag of clothes made its way back into my wardrobe. Oops.

Shrinking Linda does not equal shrinking wardrobe.

 

 

I could open my own branch of TK Maxx with what I’m giving away

Well I’m knackered. A day of decluttering really takes it out of you.

I’d been mentally preparing for this weekend. I’d planned to revisit my wardrobe – I had a massive clear out two years ago (over the Easter weekend) – but I was aware that I’d kept things that I shouldn’t have.

I started slowly with a lie in!

Horizontal declutter

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Make up spilling out of the box on the right

I decluttered some make up while still in bed. This is clearly the way forward. Stay in bed, throw away old mascara, have another lie down.

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Bag of old make up to be thrown out!

Folding Kondo style

I haven’t actually read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up, but I have read articles about it.

Once I got myself up and showered, I decided to tackle my drawers. This is where I keep my underwear, nightwear and socks/tights. My approach to storage is broadly to toss the clothes into the drawer designated for them. It sort of works. It’s just a bit messy.

I don’t know why but I decided to see if there was a guide to Marie Kondo’s folding technique. I’d read about this before and decided it would be a total waste of time and not for me.  But today something sparked my interested. Armed with a nice summary provided by Goop, I started.

It’s so addictive! I can see all of the socks I own! My pants are no longer just a mass of black – they are neatly displayed in rows. I think I’ll keep this up!

A not very clear picture of my neatly stored tights.
A not very clear picture of my neatly stored tights.

Tackling the wardrobe

I got myself a bin bag and a bunch of old charity bags and started. I pulled all of my tops and jumpers and t-shirts off the shelves and onto my bed. There’s so much stuff. No wonder I couldn’t find anything! Most of it comes from TK Maxx – I bloody love that shop, this is why I’m in so much trouble.

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A pile of tops, t-shirts, cardigans and ponchos!

I managed to fill two charity bags with tops.

Next I tackled jeans and trousers. I’m really bad at buying new versions of things and keeping the old. So I got rid of the duplicates that had crept in.

Next up, dresses. I wear a lot of dresses. I should have counted them. I think I must have had around 40 in my wardrobe. Some are worn to death, some still have tags, some are out of style/old, some will never fit.

I tried. I really tried. I probably got rid of about 10 or so. But I’ve still got ones that don’t fit because one day they might.

Everything has its own hanger now. There’s no doubling up. And at least now I can see the new clothes I have – so maybe you’ll actually see me in it at some point!

Result…

I ended up with one rubbish bag and four charity bags filled with clothes.

There’s still more to go. It’s a good start though and there’s still the rest of the long weekend yet!

Let me know if you are on a downsizing journey – any hints and tips gratefully received!

I’m rewarding myself with a glass of wine now. Cheers!