Dear Home Ec 101,
I need a strong person to help me resolve to get rid of old shoes, belts, purses and scarves, even though I don’t use any of them. Some of the scarves and bags are really nice ones (if a little bit old lady-ish) inherited from my m-i-l. Some I bought in England and have happy memories attached. Some are Euro comfort shoes from when I had plantar fasciitis from running on pavement. They weren’t cheap, and what if I develop it again?
See my problem? What can I do to get my closet back?
That can be hard to decide sometimes. I think you have to ask yourself questions when you’re determining whether to keep stuff or not. I have 3 main questions:
1. Does it have to be stored in my closet?
Often you can store things you might need later, or only once or twice a year, somewhere else. But your closet may be the best place. It’s just something you need to consider. If it would be better stored in the garage, basement, or attic, put it there.
2. Is it something I have some kind of emotional attachment to?
This one you have to be really careful with because you could probably form an emotional attachment with just about everything in your closet. I try to keep 5 items of emotional attachment or less in my closet. I have stuff like my high school letterman’s jacket and my grandma’s awesome purple dress that I’ll never fit into again, but love like crazy. Just keep a set amount of what you can keep depending on your closet size and you’ll be fine.
3. Which is worse, this item taking up space in my closet or the idea of never seeing it again?
It’s interesting, the same thing this year that you can’t bear to part with you may have no trouble at all getting rid of next year. I keep a box that are questionable items. Sometimes when I get really froggy I’ll toss the box out entirely without even looking in there. I’ve never lost anything that I truly regretted.
My Aunt Marjorie always said she only wanted to own enough stuff that she could put it all in a suitcase and just pick up and go whenever she wanted to. She consequently had one of the most uncluttered houses ever. Naturally, she owned more than a suitcase full of items, but thinking of that kept her uncluttery. I try to think of that, too.
Submit your household questions to email@example.com