An Experiment in Clothes Closet Clutter

I was reading a blog post from “Be More With Less” where she talked about doing experiments on how to live with fewer things.  She said to look at these experiments as temporary.

This seemed to hit a cord with me.  The definition of experiment is: a test, trial, or an act or procedure for the purpose of discovering something unknown.

The unknown could be to see if you can live without the clutter.  Of course everyone’s definition of clutter is different.  Many times the fear of having nothing left after we clear out the clutter keeps us from taking actions. A temporary experiment with decluttering might just be the way to discover those fears are unfounded.

I decided to give it a try.  Somehow my clothes closet has grown smaller over the past several years. I thought it would be a good place to set up an experiment. I will be tackling only one section at a time to avoid that dreaded overwhelmed feeling.

I decided to take everything off the 3 foot rod where most of my tops are hanging.

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I piled them on the bed and then separated them by winter, summer, and all those T-shirts that have accumulated from special events or vacations.

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I packed away the winter clothes in under-the-bed boxes. I didn’t do any decluttering yet. I’ll deal with it this fall.

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I put all the extra hangers in another closet then put the summer clothes back in my closet. I did get rid of 6 summer tops but I know I need to declutter more.

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After hanging up the summer tops from on my bed I realized I had 13 more clean tops hanging in the laundry room. I hadn’t brought them upstairs yet (not in this picture). So needless to say my closet will still be crowded.

My next step is the “experiment”.  I pulled all the vacation/event T-shirts out of the closet (they are in the above picture) and hung them up in a closet in another room. I always think I’ll wear them to work out in the yard but I never do. I might even see if there are any other tops I can put in the other room.

I marked my desk planner to make a decision on Sept 7 when the summer is winding down. Maybe by then I can accept the fact that I can live without them and give them away.

Summer is the time we naturally “lighten up”. Take advantage of this time to experiment with different areas that are cluttered in your home.  Pack away books, trinkets, and other items on your shelves. Live with the uncluttered summer cottage look for several months. Then decide if you miss all those things.

Remember, the experiments are temporary. You’re preforming the experiment to see if you can live without so many things that clutter up your home. You aren’t required to get rid of anything just yet. Of course if there are things you can get rid of now then go for it! That will be less to deal with later.

If you have ever preformed an experiment like I described above I would love to hear about it.

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice

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  • Solgoon2

    I conducted an experiment similarly but when I put the remaining clothes back in the closet, I “reversed” the hangers. In other words, I hung the hangers backwards from the way I normally hand them. In this way, when I used a shirt (they were all shirts – I’m male) I then hung it back after laundering in the normal way. At the end of the season, I could see which shirts I had not worn for the whole season and quit them, decluttering by closet.

    • JLScissors

      Thanks for the tip. That is a great way to see what has been worn and what hasn’t. I did that with my husband’s causal shirts a few years ago. It helped him let go of a few of them. I think it’s time to do it again!

  • http://www.closetsnbeyond.com/ closets Bergen

    Trying different arrangement styles to see which one your prefer most is a good idea. In this way, it would be easier for you to find the item of clothing that you wish to wear for the day.