I can imagine my husband commenting on the title of this post… I could help you have less clothing in five minutes… hehehe… And hey, if that’s how you want to minimize your clothing, go ahead! (And yay for you!)
But if you actually want to have less clothes in your closets and drawers, read on.
This January I’m focusing on simple, 5-minutes-or-less solutions to decluttering your home and life. So if you want to decrease your excess clothes in just five minutes, here’s what you need to do:
Pick a clothing category. For example, socks. Most folks have a ridiculous number of socks. And you know you have favorites, the ones you always wish were clean and matched neatly in your drawer. These are the ones that are usually on top of your huge sock pile. Underneath, you find “the others”… the ones you bought in a 12-pack because they were on sale but have the annoying habit of constantly slipping down around your ankles, the ones your Great Aunt Sally gave you with pictures of kittens in spacesuits on them (although, maybe those are your favorites! Rock on!), the ones that faded in the wash and just look embarrassing. And of course, the ones that are missing their mates… poor, lonely souls…
Dump them all into one big pile. Empty that sock drawer completely and lay the contents therein upon the floor. Then announce in a solemn, loud voice: “The day of sock reckoning has come.” (Or you can say that in your head… or make a sign… or whatever.)
Divide the faves from “the others” Now, imagine your hands hold a flaming sword of justice and ruthlessly divide those faves from the rest. There’s no sense keeping socks you don’t love to wear. Why would you? And really, when you think about it… how many pairs of socks do you need? If you do laundry weekly (which, come on, you know you should and your mama would be proud), 7-10 pairs of daily wear socks should do ‘ya. But of course, you need some additional socks for exercise, special footwear (like ballet flats or tall boots), and, if you live near me, cold Ohio winters, but I’d say no one except a professional foot model needs more than 20 pairs. In fact, I counted my socks just for this post and found I have 14 pairs.
Put the faves back, and donate the rest. Can you donate worn socks? Of course you can! To quote something I say regularly to clients: You can donate anything. Charities benefit from your generosity. So be generous. And if they don’t want what you donate, let them take care of disposing of it. Also, just an FYI: an environmentally-conscious client recently told me that Goodwill sells their unsellable clothing to a company that makes rags. So donate those socks with holes in the toes! It’s all good!
This strategy can be applied to any category of clothing of which you know you have excess: yoga pants, hoodies, scarves, tuxedo T-shirts, whatever. If you think you have too much, you do!
I put this challenge to the test with my husband. As I tried to shove a clean pair of socks into his already-stuffed drawer the other day, I knew it was time to bring down some sock reckoning wrath. In five minutes (yes, I timed him) he went from 55 pairs to 24 pairs. Pretty good for a guy whose approach to minimizing clothing is usually limited to the technique mentioned in the first paragraph.
The coolest part was, after he indulged me by doing the 5-minute sock challenge, he went on to minimize his number of skivvies and his massive bag ‘o hunting stuff. That’s the best part of giving yourself just five minutes to organize something… most likely you will end up doing more!
If you’re ready for this challenge, set a timer right now for five minutes… Ready? Set? Go!
Rose Lounsbury is the Dayton, Ohio area’s up-and-coming professional organizer. After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalist-minded professional organizing company. If you’d like Rose’s help with an organizing project at your home or office, please call her at 937-626-9030.