Phase 1: The Blackhole Known as my Closet

When I was younger my sister and I used to joke around about the laundry being a blackhole.  Every now and then an item would just go missing.  We would frantically look for it but it would just be gone!  Considering these items were also ones that our mother wasn’t so fond of, we had a sneaking suspicion she may have had something to do with their disappearance!

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With this task ahead of me, I kind of wish she lived here to install this magical blackhole again.  Because nowadays my blackhole is really just hidden beneath other layers.

But I think this process will be healthy – so here I begin the challenge of purging my closet.  From clothes to shoes to jackets to jewelry.  As you saw from my last post this is going to be a challenge!  The number 378 doesn’t even cover my jewelry 🙁 .

The goal is 126 items.

The point of doing the inventory is to make sure that I’m left with an actual wardrobe, and that I don’t just give up halfway through and just chuck out a whole bunch of useful items.  So I made a checklist for myself when making a decision on each item.

Hello Closet, Let’s Get to Know Each Other:

  1. What season will this be useful for?  As I need to make sure I’m still prepared for every season.
  2. Does this item have multiple uses? Sure I like that bright pink shirt but can it be worn on multiple occasions?
  3. Is it wrinkle free? I bought my first iron a year ago and have used it once.  If it needs to be ironed, it will remain in my closet and never used.
  4. Does it make me feel amazing? What’s the point in having something that doesn’t make me feel the best that I can be?  Sure we all have our go-to comfy baggy tops and pants for when we’re not so sure we can suck it in the whole night, but why not have items that still make us feel good?
  5. Will it last or be torn apart in the next laundry load? I’m not a separate-your-colours kind of girl.  Everything goes in the washer, on cold, no matter what it is.  Mesh top? No thank you.
  6. Have I worn it in the last year? If the answer is no, the next question is: Have I not worn it in the last year because I didn’t know it existed? If the answer is still no, goodbye.

With my boyfriend’s help we went through my entire closet, twice.  I haven’t made it to 126 items, but it gets easier and easier.  In between the purge attempts I try to wear whatever is left, to see his reaction and feel mine.  Then a decision is made.

Now where do they go?  Some items still have tags on them!  I combined some of the below with other items around the house that were easier to get rid of.

Steps to Getting Rid of your Clothes:

  1. Have a sale party, or two.  Invite all your girlfriends over, buy some wine, and let them rummage through your piles of clothes.  You would be surprised how many times you hear “Why are you getting rid of this???”.  Because it’s meant for you now buy it! Please and thank you.  
  2. Have a garage sale.  In my case it was a Condo Community Yard Sale.  I found our condo building’s Facebook group and suggested we have one.  I was overwhelmed with support.  I spoke with management, had the amenity fee waived for a community event, and we went to planning.  With a little time and effort (and no money spent) we ended up having 10 sellers, flyers for each condo printed and delivered, and all this without meeting a single person till sale day!
  3. Join Facebook Pages.  Make use of this!  I was skeptical at first but after my first few items went in just a few minutes I now have joined 3 different groups and have had a lot of success!
  4. Kijiji the rest.  Clothes are a tough one, but it’s worth a shot.  However, believe it or not, it was nowhere near as successful as Facebook.
  5. DONATE.  But be mindful.  With no Goodwill to drop things off to anymore it’s hard to know where to go.  Just do the research though, and make sure the items are getting to where you want them to go.

At the end of my first sale party I made $500!  This is way more than I would have made at any consignment store in the city, and having a few more dollars in my bank account made it feel all that much better.  Things are moving a lot slower now but every other day I’m selling something.

I also have kept a tally of what I’ve made, so that at the end of it all I have a total – and if that equals a flight somewhere – even better!

TIPS:

  1. Choose an area and get started.  You don’t have to do it all at once.  Do your chest of drawers today, closet next week.
  2. Designate an area in your place for your purged items.  It’ll push you to get rid of things faster when you have to look at it all day.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!  It was amazing how within a few weeks I had so many helpers.  I even had someone bring me a portable clothing rack to borrow!
  4. Don’t underestimate what other people value.  Just because you are done with something doesn’t mean other people won’t be interested.  I had over 100 keychains I collected and they were the most popular item!
  5. Be patient.  Sure you put in the effort to take a photo and write a description, but don’t expect your things to get bought up immediately.  Sit back and let the internet do it’s thing.

Add a comment if you have any other tips for me as I enter the other Phases in my Journey to Minimalism!

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