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 can be learning to live without clutter. Of course everyone’s definition of clutter is different. Most of the time it’s 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.
Experiment – Step 1
I decided to give it a try. Somehow my clothes closet has grown smaller over the past several years. I figured that is a good place to set up an experiment. Tackling one section at a time should help to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
I started by taking everything off the 3 foot rod where most of my tops are hanging.
When I piled them on the bed I separated them by winter, summer, and all those T-shirts that have accumulated from special events or vacations.
I packed away the winter clothes in under-the-bed boxes. Since it’s summer, I’ll deal with those clothes this fall.
After all the extra hangers were put in another closet, I hung the summer clothes back in my closet. I easily got rid of six summer tops, but I know I need to declutter more.
After putting the summer tops back in the closet I realized I had 13 more clean tops hanging in the laundry room. They are not in the photo above so needless to say my closet will still be crowded.
Experiment – Step 2
In this step comes the real “experiment”. All the vacation/event T-shirts (the ones laying on the bed in the above picture) were hung up in a closet in another room. I always think I’ll wear them to work out in the yard but I never do.
The next thing is to mark a calendar or desk planner for a date in September. Summer will be winding down so that will be a good time to make a decision on whether to keep those T-shirts or not. Maybe by then I’ll discover 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 many things that clutter up your home. You don’t have to get rid of anything just yet.
Of course if there are things you’re ready to let go of now, then go for it! That will be less to deal with later.
If you’ve preformed an experiment like I described above I would love to hear about it.
To a lighter load along the way.
3 thoughts on “An Experiment in Clothes Closet Clutter”
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.
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!
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.
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