Clutter costs money simply in the acquisition of it, and that’s the way I often think about it. Stop acquiring things you don’t need (or even, upon reflection, want) and you’ll stop wasting so much money. However, just hanging on to clutter costs money as well. In more obvious ways, like the cost of storing all the clutter – be it a storage unit or simply a bigger home. But also in less obvious ways, and that’s what I’ve been combating in my own house in earnest lately. The abundance of clutter simply hides the actual useful things I have, and makes it so that I think I need things I actually already have.
When we moved to our house about a year and a half ago, I had the best of intentions for taming our clutter. I was going to go through everything, get rid of what we didn’t need, and only pack what was really useful to us. But the reality of moving while taking care of a 2 year old and a newborn caught up with me, and in fact, much of what I packed and moved was literally dumping drawers into boxes and carting them here. When I unpacked, I did do some major decluttering but I also didn’t think too hard about it, and kept a lot of things I really didn’t need to, especially in my clothes closet. My clothes closet is what I’ve been tackling this weekend.
Much of what was in my closet was there for sentimental reasons. Not just the typical idea of things that didn’t fit anymore but I hung on to anyway (although there was a little of that) but things I keep for sentimental reasons but don’t wear any more, mostly because they’re in bad condition yet I haven’t thrown them away. This is not to say that I think nothing should be kept for sentimental reasons, but a closet full of sentiment hides the clothes I can actually wear.
So this weekend, I completely emptied my closet of clothes, and actually sorted it all. I kept a few things I know I probably won’t wear, like the first concert t-shirt I ever bought, but all the ripped, torn, and stained items went away. And what I found was although I seem to wear the same 4 or 5 shirts every week because I thought I didn’t have any others, I actually have 8 or 9 other shirts I could be wearing, but were hidden by the massive clutter of ripped up superbowl shirts and clothes I’ve spilled things down the front of and never got completely out.
Now I don’t need to go shopping for some new short sleeved shirts. And I can actually see everything in my closet. If only I could do such a good job sorting my childrens’ closets…