I’ve written about Reusing Old Clothes and Shoes before, but this week I wanted to think about how to deal with your clothes collection in general. In addition to costing a lot, buying lots of clothes and having more than you need can mean that you’re effectively using a lot of the world’s resources on what you wear every day. I always think that by buying an item you’re saying to the company, “I’m okay with you using non-organic cotton/too much packaging/synthetic materials” etc, so it’s worth thinking about what messages you’re sending out with your purchases!
I’ve been looking at all my clothes for a while and thinking about which ones I wear most often and which sit at the back of the drawer or never make it out of the wardrobe. There are some things that I’ve donated without a second thought, but there are lots of thing left that are ‘maybe I’ll wear this one day’ items.
Since I’ve become interested in Minimalism, I’ve read a lot about Project 333. If you haven’t heard of it before, this project essentially involves you picking 33 items and wearing only those for 3 months. Here are the basics of the project from website Project 333:
- When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
- What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
- What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)
- How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
- What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.
I keep thinking about it, and to be honest I feel at the moment that this might be a step too far for me – although it’s been very successful for many other people!
But I do still want to work out which items I can get rid of without missing them. A method which I’m currently following is turning all the hangers in your wardrobe the wrong way round. Every time you wear an item of clothing, turn that hanger back the right way. This way you can see which items you wear and which you don’t. I would recommend reviewing this at the end of a season or after a few months, as then you’ll be able to know that you haven’t worn that jumper for the entire winter, for example, and therefore you’re unlikely to wear it again.
Of course, there’s no point in reducing the number of clothes you have if you just keep buying more to replace them! As I mentioned in my post Minimalism, I’ve been keeping a ‘wish list’ of items I want but don’t need, in order to try and cut down on impulse purchases. It’s worth applying this to clothes too – it really makes you aware of how much you buy needlessly!
Have you tried Project 333 or something similar? What do you think is the best method for cutting down on your clothes collection?