Choose fewer clothes

You've made a choice: remove one item from your life.

Now, keep choosing.

A good place to start is with clothes. This is what Marie Kondo and Joshua Becker, author of the Becoming Minimalist blog, recommend.

Schedule at least an hour to sort through things.

First, get all of your clothes and dump them in a pile, maybe on your bed.

Yes, all of them! That might sound daunting. It did for me when I started choosing less. But Becker, in his book, “The More of Less," had a good point that resonated with me: if it's daunting, it might be an indication that there’s too much to begin with, which gives you further reason to choose to take on the challenge.

Next, grab a roll of garbage bags.

Then, make space for three piles: keep, donate, trash. You can make a fourth pile for sell, but, in my opinion, it’s easier on your time and mind to just plan to donate or trash old clothes than to try to sell them.

Now, go through the big clothes pile, pick up each piece of clothing and make a quick choice about keeping, donating, or trashing it. Then, put the item in its chosen pile and move to the next piece of clothing.

If it helps, consider breaking up the big pile into smaller piles by clothing type. Shirts, pants, coats, etc. Tackle those piles individually.

Or, you can start with stuff you know you’ve wanted to get rid of for awhile. That will warm you up for the harder choices.

For those harder choices, think: have I worn this in the past few months? Does it fit me now? Maybe even give it a good sniff — that might make your decision easier.

A hard clothing choice I made recently was one about my Russell Wilson Seahawks jersey. This was a tough one to part with because it was fun to wear when watching games with friends and because it was a gift from my girlfriend. But, I was only wearing it a few times a year and felt it might be better loved by another Seahawks fan. So, away it went (and yes, my girlfriend supported my choice).

When you’re done choosing which clothes go into keep, donate, and trash piles, bag up the donate and trash stuff and think of a plan to get those things out of your house ASAP.

Then, put the clothes in the keep pile back into your drawers and closets. Hopefully, this is easy now that you have a lot more space to put them back!

And every time you open that drawer or closet, you get to see clothes you have like because you chose them.

Congratulations on choosing fewer clothes! Go do something else now. Your work for the day is done.

This post is adapted from a weekday newsletter I wrote in April 2018, Choose Less.