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7 Timeless Tips for Decluttering your Clothes & Discovering your Next Style

When you shift into a new life chapter, it’s generally a good time for decluttering your clothes! How you spend your time determines what you will reach for in your closet. So if you have too much stuff from a prior chapter, like I used to, no wonder it feels like you don’t have anything to wear!

With my 7 timeless tips, you can evaluate what’s in your wardrobe and refresh accordingly. This isn’t necessarily about how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes. Uncluttering takes time! And I always save room for a few items for sentimental reasons or infrequent occasions. 

But having the bulk of your wardrobe aligned with where you’re at now makes sense. And who doesn’t want to appreciate and use everything in their closet? I know I do! So let’s get to my tips!

decluttering your clothes
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Today's post is all about decluttering your clothes so you can curate a timeless midlife style!

declutter your clothes
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Tip #1: Don't buy anything until you're done decluttering your clothes

 

If this sounds like an extreme decluttering approach, it’s not. What truly makes sense is to wait until you’re completely done with decluttering your wardrobe. But I didn’t want to scare you off!

Yet doesn’t it make sense to clear out what doesn’t work before you add more in? Whether you have room for more right now or not, out with the old and only then, in with the new! One step at a time is my philosophy. 

Now maybe this feels uncomfortable because you’re anxious about not having the current season’s styles or missing out on sales. But if the trend is short lived, why worry? And rest assured: there will always be another sale. Retailers are pretty good that way!

reflect on your life style
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Tip #2: Reflect on how you spend your time

 

When your employment status has changed in some way, perhaps you no longer need all that business attire. Even if you continue to work from home, is it now all about the Zoom appearance, i.e., attractive blouses? 

Perhaps the formal occasions are far and few between now. Conversely, you may plan to travel extensively in style so resort wear is in your future. Or heading to the country and living the simple life is your new goal … so hello, jeans and t-shirts!

However you intend to spend your time, decluttering your clothes should take this into consideration.  Perhaps you simply admire a certain style, but the reality is that you really don’t have the opportunities to wear those things any more. That’s a critical revelation! Sort and release accordingly.

rules for decluttering clothes
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Tip #3: Choose your color palette while decluttering your clothes

 

Everyone has their “go to” hues! Certain colors just make us feel happy, powerful, or confident. Even if you like all the colors, having a theme with just two or maybe three base colors will be the ticket to mixing, matching, and maximizing your wardrobe. You can always bring in the rest of the rainbow with your accessories!

how to declutter your clothes closet
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Tip #4:  Perform "speed rounds" as you're decluttering your clothes

 

The process of decluttering your clothes does not have to be an all-day or all-weekend affair. That’s a sure-fire way to get decision fatigue … and then get stuck. 

Instead, spend as little as 20-30 minutes at a time. Start with pulling out the no-brainers: what you never wear, what isn’t a favorite, or what is worn out. Don’t overthink it! Go with your first instinct. Just grab and stash it in a bag.

In fact, label your bags as “donate” or “sell” if you plan to do both. That way, the donate bag only gets touched once. Then there’s no second guessing your decisions! 

turn the hangers
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Tip #5: Turn the hangers for what you actually wear

 

This is a tried and true trick to gain a visual on what actually makes it out of your closet! Viewing our clothes closet every day feels like the contents are part of our lives. But the hangers tell a different story when some are facing one way and others facing another! 

Now a different season may very well be the reason that you don’t reach for a sweater if it’s the middle of summer. But you’ll still be able to see what you really favor with this approach. And ultimately, you may decide to organize your closet seasonally. Then you’ll truly be able to see what your options are at a glance, based on the prevailing weather.

box the on-the-fence stuff
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Tip #6: Box the on-the-fence stuff while decluttering your clothes

 

Feeling conflicted with releasing certain things? The longer you think about it, the harder it become to make a decluttering decision. My advice? Box it up!

Now if you’re regularly wearing it, that’s a different story. Intuitively, you may know that it’s not quite the right cut or color for you. But hang on to it for now. It will likely depart in a future round of decluttering. Or when you start to in-fill with the best clothing for your current chapter.

All other on-the-fence items should be boxed or bagged. You’re hesitating with these rarely worn items for different reasons. Often it’s because that lifestyle is no longer your main event. Or it could be due to how much you paid for it. Whatever the reason, this will be a box of stuff to let go! There are post links to help with donating and selling at the end of this post so hang tight

determine what suits your shape
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Tip #7: Determine what suits your shape

 

It’s a fact: our body shape changes over time, no matter how dedicated we are to clean eating and physical activity! And so it follows that certain styles usually look better on a 20 year old body, a 30 year old body, and so on.

You see where this is going! I myself feel 10-15 years younger than I actually am. However, I’m mindful to curate a wardrobe that is more sophisticated than what I wore when I was 20.

Taking an honest yet loving look at your body will help guide what styles will accentuate your best features and de-emphasize your challenging areas. Sometimes, just going up a size will do the trick. Don’t be hung up on sizes!  All that matters is that the garment fits comfortably and attractively.

A few standard rules of thumb include:

  • Wear a darker color on what you want to minimize
  • Use brighter colors to draw the eye to what you want to feature
  • Balance out hips with broad shoulder lines
  • Choose an empire style top or dress to hint at a smaller waistline

Above all, make peace with your body shape! It’s gotten you this far in life, hasn’t it? Unless you’re fully committed with a plan for dropping some pounds, how long do you want to have clothing that’s too small hanging in your closet? Fill it with what fits, flatters and feels good now!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today was all about the best tips for decluttering your clothes as you enter a new phase of your life

 

  • Our focus and activities tend to change with each decade!
  • Ready to head into your new chapter looking fab and feeling good?
  • Start with these 7 tips to arrive in style!

Your turn:

  • What kind of clothing do you need to weed out of your closet?
  • What holds you back from letting certain items go?

Let’s chat … and thanks for stopping by!

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning: A Savvy Celebration of Life (Really!)

Swedish Death Cleaning Clears Space for a satisfying Second Half in Life!

Swedish Death Cleaning, or “Döstädning”,  has rapidly garnered interest all over the world! Yet it’s not a new Swedish phenomenon. And despite the ominous sounding name, it is not about cleaning or dusting after someone has died! 

Instead, it refers to a national steadfast approach of streamlining your own stuff when you reach the second half of your life. After all, what will become of the possessions we have accumulated over our lifetime? Who will deal with all our stuff?

So is it a movement that makes sense for us? Margareta Magnusson, renowned author of “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” thinks so! And what a gem of an author, who described herself as “somewhere between 80 and 100 years of age!”

To be clear, it is actually considered to be a joyful process! You retain things embedded with the best memories and release items associated with negative experiences. You sort through, making decisions with what stays and what goes. 

Today's post shares the 3 Swedish Death Cleaning steps Margareta recommends to enhance this popular process. 

the gentle art of Swedish death cleaning
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1. Announce Your Decluttering Intentions

Declaring your Swedish Death Cleaning plan creates accountability for you to follow through!

Just like boldly stating a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds, share your plans to begin your döstädning process. This alllows your family and friends to support you along the way.

And as you progress, your everyday life feels smoother and more efficient. This will also provide momentum to keep going strong.

Moreover, the resulting byproduct of a simpler and better organized life is not reserved for just those over 50. Folks of all ages are encouraged to adopt this decluttering practice!

After all, the sooner you take stock of what you’ve accumulated, the quicker you hone in on what matters now.

what is Swedish death cleaning
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2. Embrace Your Swedish Death Cleaning Phase

Understand that this is a slow, deliberate process.

It’s not a marathon! It should not be rushed.

In truth, the Swedish Death Cleaning process is really a revisiting of your life. You are examining what gave joy and what caused sorrow; what is meaningful and what is no longer relevant.

By taking your time while examining your possessions, you honor your past. You reflect on what has shaped you thus far. And you begin to formulate where you want to go in the future.

In a way, you can think about Swedish Death Cleaning as an ongoing personal retreat with therapeutic benefits!

Swedish death cleaning book
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3. Reward Yourself Frequently

Because this is not a race, your Swedish Death Cleaning sessions should be reasonably short.

Therefore, allot a specific amount of time. Focus on a particular small area, such as a drawer or a closet. Then immediately follow your session with a favorite activity. For example, every 60 minute clearing session might be followed with 30 minutes of reading or walking.

Ultimately, the point is to remain upbeat and energized after your sorting sessions. After all, you’re still in your prime years when you start the process. There is time to rewrite your narrative if you so decide.

In other words, you can change your direction! 

You can be more in control than ever with the legacy you leave to your loved ones. How empowering is that?!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Shared 3 Swedish Death Cleaning Aspects Which Clear the Way to Your Next Life Chapter!

Your turn!

  • Have you started examining your own possessions?
  • What do you want to happen with your stuff when you’re gone?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

Decluttering your life

Decluttering Your Life Is Essential for 3 Surprising Reasons!

The benefits of decluttering your life …. well, aren’t they obvious?

On the surface, yes: less stuff to deal with…boom!

But have you ever realized just how insidious clutter really is? It’s more than just having too much physical stuff in your home. In fact, it negatively impacts your life in many other ways, too! 

Once you understand how it slows you down, you’ll want to start releasing the things that no longer support where you’re at. And more importantly, you’ll want to begin releasing the stuff that holds you back from where you want to be!

So let’s take a look at how decluttering improves three areas of your life: your health, your relationships, and your productivity.

Decluttering Your Life
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This post delves Deep into why decluttering your life is a necessary practice for your total Well Being!

declutter your life checklist
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1. Decluttering Your Life | The Effect on Your Health

There are numerous studies that have examined the impact of clutter on our health and the verdict is in: it causes stress!

No shock there, right? I mean, all we have to do is look around our homes. When we see the excess stuff, who doesn’t feel their anxiety rise?

Now don’t get me wrong: of course our homes look a bit “lived in” as we go about our daily lives. Hardly anyone I know has a completely pristine, perfectly organized home 24-7.

But it’s the cabinets, drawers, and closets filled with what we don’t use or need that really turn the pressure on.

In fact, if we take this a step further, there are actually 3 sub-aspects to how clutter stress can play havoc with our health.

- The Physical Impact of Clutter

Firstly, elevated stress leads to high levels of cortisol. Of course, we all experience occasional flashes of stress during the day, some days more than others. But when it’s a prolonged state, it can lead to high blood pressure, increased fat accumulation, loss of calcium from bones, and elevated blood sugar.

Oh my gosh, this sounds like a daunting recipe for aging. doesn’t it! So clearly, we benefit when we take a few minutes daily to remove household clutter from our homes.

- The Mental Impact of Clutter

Secondly, when we have way too many things coming at us, the stress hormones released harm our peace of mind. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and even reduced cognitive abilities.

Have you ever heard someone say (or said it yourself), “I need a mental health day!” Clutter is one major reason why!

- Emotional Impact of Clutter

Thirdly, long-term clutter causes sleep disruption and mood swings. Feelings of agitation, restlessness, and fatigue make our daily routine feel heavy. Our energy is not at its prime. Everything feels like such an effort to complete.

Yikes! Clearly, when our physical surroundings are cluttered, our brains feel that way, too!

declutter your life book
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2. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Relationships

Naturally, when we are feeling under siege, our relationships sputter and stagnate, as well. It’s difficult to focus on nurturing and strengthening our personal relationships when we ourselves are overwhelmed.

Joint activities and shared interests are challenging when we don’t know where things are. Divorce rates rise. Children or others living in the household pick up on the tension, too. To put it differently, clutter is like a virus that infects us and those we love!

Even our friendships can be impacted negatively when clutter gets out of hand. Folks are embarrassed about the quantity of stuff in their homes. They become resistant to having friends drop by. It’s harder to maintain close connections when our stuff gets in the way. 

And oh, our girlfriends are SO important! They support us, they advise us, they laugh and cry with us! They ARE love! Who would ever want clutter to interfere with the fellowship we crave and enjoy?

Who wants to prioritize things and stuff over the people and experiences? No one willingly … but it happens when our stuff holds us back.

 

declutter your life
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3. Decluttering Your Life |The Effect of Clutter on Your Productivity

Lastly, our productivity, or ability to move ahead smoothly and efficiently with our tasks and goals is compromised by clutter. It tugs at our attention when important papers, notes, and contacts are scattered across our tables, hidden amongst our emails, or buried in texting threads.

Oh sure, I’ve read that some of the most brilliant, famous minds like Albert Einstein or JK Rowling are among the most disorganized folks around! Yet I can’t help but think that they are in the minority of those who can be messy yet manage to concentrate fully on their craft.

We are given only so many hours in each day. How do we want to spend that time: hunting and searching for lost or misplaced items? Sifting through stuff we no longer need or use? Who want every task to take longer than necessary because our things get in the way … anyone?

If you think about it, when we spend our time and energy wading through clutter of all kinds, it slows us down and prevents us from realizing a fair return on our efforts. Who has time for that?

 

The Wrap with Mary V

The Wrap: This post shared 3 key areas where decluttering your life will provide a phenomenal return!

Ready to start removing clutter from your life?

Not sure when you’ll find the time? Try fitting in a decluttering session right before or right after another habit you already perform.

This is called “habit stacking“. The association of the two activities helps with making decluttering a part of your regular routine.

Even blocking out as little as 15 minutes a day will add up to noticeable results!

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 Related Topics and Resources to Explore 

Decluttering Strategies to Clear Out 5 Small Spaces

A New Season Calls for a Change!

Listen: The Science Behind Clutter’s Impact!

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Your turn!

 

  • What is your biggest obstacle to getting rid of clutter?
  • Do you live with someone who can’t let things go?

Share what’s on your mind … And thanks for stopping by!

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