Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Clothes You’re Saving for “Some Day”

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom

Cindy

Let’s see a show of hands: Who has a box (or more) of clothes saved for the day when you lose 10, 20, or 50 pounds? Or, perhaps worse, who is clogging their closet with these reminders of days gone by?

Let’s get serious here, people.

  • Do you have a plan that you are implementing to lose weight?
  • When was the last time you wore this size (these sizes)?
  • Do you know what’s in this box (these boxes)? Can you actually name even 3 or 4 of the items?

Here’s my challenge for you.

First of all, what are you doing to lose weight? If the answer is nothing, or something vague like “trying to cut back on alcohol,” think realistically about whether that’s going to be the lifestyle change that you need to reduce.

Next, if the clothes are hanging in your closet, the same closet that you use for your clothes that actually fit you, it’s time to move them out. Pull them all out and box them up, but before you do, think seriously: Do I really love this outfit? Did it ever fit me well? Did I wear it frequently? Am I realistically going to want to wear it again in the future? If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, don’t box it away, take it directly to the thrift store.

If the clothes are in the attic, hiding under the bed, or tucked away elsewhere, now’s the time to pay them a visit. What sizes are there? When did you last wear that size? Do you like what you’re looking at? Would you wear it again? Do you even recognize this item? Sort through and only keep the clothes that you genuinely would like to wear again. The rest need to go to the thrift store, pronto.

Before you put your now sorted – but still unwearable – clothes back into storage, ask yourself again: What am I doing to lose weight so that I can wear these clothes again in the future? If you’re still determined to hang onto them, mark your boxes with today’s date and these words “This box was last opened on XX/XX/XXXX.” Now you can put your “to be stored until later” clothes back into their long-term storage location. When you revisit them next, you’ll now how long they’ve been put away and think again about whether they deserve the space you’re devoting to them.

Today’s Mini Mission

Scan your home for an item that has become so much a part of the scenery that you haven’t even realised it isn’t useful to you anymore.

Eco Tip for the Day

Do not throw out your toxic household wastes, such as paint, paint thinner and car fluids, in the garbage or down the drain. Check with your local facilities for proper disposal and avoid these products in the future. (Tip curtesy of Greenpeace USA)

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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Comments

  1. Ah! This is one I don’t have to deal with for me but Mom could do a little weeding. I’ll have to see if I can get her to give it a go.

  2. I don’t have “some day” clothes in terms of weight (I’m happy with my current size and weight). All my clothes fit. The “some day” clothes I have are business clothes for if I “some day” get an office job where I need to pretend to be professional. Sadly, these are also my “interview” clothes so I can’t get rid of them or just store them away. I really hope I get a job where I can wear jeans and t-shirts (or even a uniform shirt). LOL. My dream job is blue collar but I’m most qualified for office work. ::sigh::

    • The Other Lynn :

      I’m with you. My “some day” clothes are the best of the best from my wardrobe when I had a job outside my home. I have been paring them down over the years, but I can’t afford to completely get rid of them. I do get those boxes out a few times a year for some occasion or another, but I’ll be happy when I don’t have the boxes staring at my anymore!

  3. Cindy – once again a post written for me! Before I caught the declutter bug, I had stored in the ceiling storage plastic storage bins with different sizes written on them. Last Winter I pulled them all down and went thru them, many were getting a bit dated and as I did yo-yo diet thru the previous 5 years, however, if I got down to X size again, the clothes would turn out to be the wrong season. In the end 99% went to a new goodwill store that was opening up and gratefully received. It would have been better to liberate those clothes much earlier so that someone could wear them!

    Over our Summer I have decluttered my lifestyle for eating habits, changed my kitchen management and lost a lot of weight. Down three dress sizes. So happy. I have been asked do I now regret getting rid of those clothes? No. I feel they were part of the ‘letting go of the past’ that I had to do to move forward.

    • That is truly terrific being down three dress sizes! Congratulations to you! Without having those clothes hanging around, you can move forward in a positive direction and not have those past items as a constant reminder.

      • Jen – thank you – I have found that I don’t even really want any of my bigger clothes around anymore, it sounds corny but its not who I am any more. Most have been donated, sold or given away which left my wardrobe very very lean as I didn’t want to spend money on Summer clothes as Summer usually runs out early March here in New Zealand – just my luck we have had the longest, hottest, driest Summer on record. My Project 333 wardrobe got down to a 8 pieces (including 3 Winter items), but I’ve have recently gotten a few Autumn pieces, but taking a very conservative approach. I am sooooo fussy these days. I had one longish top remade into a dress and I have one other big dress which I bought in Nov 12 which I’d like to get remade next Summer but apart from that, I didn’t want my old stuff around, even stored. Thank goodness for work uniform!!!!!

        I do worry about yo-yo dieting but I’d rather feel the waistband get tight and know I have to ‘do’ something about it than know there is a whole wardrobe department waiting for me to progress thru.

        • That is great, Moni. Sounds like not only have you experienced a physical transformation but your mindset has changed too, by knowing that you are not that person anymore. For some people that is the biggest obstacle, that they see themselves still as the person they were even after they have lost weight. Keep up the good work!

          • Jen – the mindset between letting go of weight and letting of stuff are similar – emotional triggers, comfort eating/spending, etc etc. By the way I have been told by a friend to always say “letting go of weight” because when you say “lose” your brain will want to look for it as it is missing, but letting go is a choice. I guess its like we talk about letting go of stuff. I don’t know if it works but I was prepared to go along with anything!

    • Congratulations on the weight loss! That’s wonderful.

  4. Maybe we should all buy “one size fits all” clothing so we won’t have to go up and down in sizes. (Just kidding!) Sometimes we just have to face the fact that our clothes that fit before we started having kids and nursing just may not fit in the chest any more. We change through time and so do our bodies. Maybe hanging onto old clothes that don’t fit is like Uncle Rico, in Napoleon Dynamite, who just can’t move on from his high school football days.

  5. I have decluttered a lot of these items over the past year, but even yesterday I was contemplating a few things in the clothing department, so you must have been reading my mind, Cindy. I wish that I always went with my first instinct when it comes to decluttering clothing or other things, but I usually give myself a day or so to think on it. Not for everything, but for the things that are harder decisions for me to make. Except for a few coats in my coat closet, I have one half of our dresser for t-shirts and shorts and socks/underclothing. I used to have two dressers which took up a lot of room, so now my husband and I share one. I also have a closet with my other clothing and shoes in it. Nothing in boxes though. Many of my items wear out because I keep them for a long time, so they get decluttered when they are no longer wearable. I do need to do a thorough decluttering of my sock and underclothing drawer as it does not take long for items in there to become a cluttered mess. Great reminder today, no need of hanging on to what we are waiting to be able to use and wear, better to pass it on.

  6. May I use Colleen’s pantry strategy with clothes ? Let the shops store your clothes . Only have on hand what you wear. Discard worn out items at the end of the season. Colleen’s other strategy with clothing is purchase price divided by times worn equals value . I like Spendwisemom s reference to Uncle Rico , that was a great movie!
    What was that brilliant quote from last week? Better not having something you might need one day than store stuff you never need.
    Cheers

  7. I don’t own anything that doesn’t fit size-wise (which is quite easy, as I’ve had the same size for about 12 years, which is more or less my entire teen-to-adult life), in the beginning of my decluttering I got rid of the clothes I don’t feel comfortable in (as the end-twenties-me doesn’t necessarily like tight or short clothing as much as my early-twenties-me), but still I feel I own just too much clothing in general, as wearing out things tends to take longer than I’d expect. I also get handed-down clothing all the time, or at least it feels like it. So basically my want to “wear it out” and the sheer amount of clothes in my wardrobe clash – also I feel I need less and less clothes…

    • I envy you being the same size for many years. I go up and down. I have one pair of jeans I keep as a gauge. I get rid of the larger pants each time I go down. I get jeans cheaply so it’s not a big expense.

  8. Calico ginger :

    Great post today – my problem is “aspirational” clothes – stuff I keep for going out in etc. Ha! I never go anywhere and even if I did, I wouldn’t feel comfortable or like “me” in some of things I have bought and kept and never worn for years. Some of the responses to Francesca’s dilemma (last week’s posts) resonated with me – why am I keeping these different (clothing) personas (personae)? I am really quite happy being me. Much more thought needs to go into my purchases I think…

    • Calico Ginger, I have the same problem. I finally got rid of my special occasion clothes except for one sparkly top. And I haven’t worn that top in years either. I think that the next time I need something dressy for a special occasion, I’ll buy it second hand. Then I won’t feel bad when I only wear it once before decluttering it.

  9. Check me out at http://closetblitz.blogspot.com to see a whole blog dedicated to daily removal of clothing. Hear my frustration at the waste and marvel in my crabbiness with my stupid behaviour. Gaze in wonderment at the vast array of confused styles leaving the building daily…

    • Calico ginger :

      Dear Francesca, I visited your blog but I was not sure how to comment there – please don’t be too unkind to yourself. Whatever is at the bottom of your issues with shopping is more likely to come to the surface if you just take it slowly and accept that the mistakes have been made and now you will learn from them. I think it’s great that you have a lot of energy for the task at hand at the moment, but I speak from experience when I say that the sheer volume of stuff to deal with can sometimes overwhelm a person and make them feel miserable. Remember to take “holidays” from the job to care for yourself and rest.

      • Oh no I would have loved you to have commented. Wise words though, as I have done this all before with my household items and gone backwards. The house now is completely under control all except for the closet. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi Francesca,
      I first saw your Tasmanian Minimalist site when you commented here on a few things. I just loved the way you dealt with all your household stuff. I was the same. I found a lot of humour in my thoughts as I went through ridding my house and life of ‘CLUTTERSTUFFJUNKCRAPRUBBISHCLOTHESBOOKSUSEFULLITEMSBUTUSELESSFORME’ I’ll probably always be tweaking but so far except for a few things still to be dealt with I am in a better place. I have lost track of how many times I have thought WTF!!! or WTH!!! or WHY????

      I just checked out your clothing one and I had to laugh, good for you sorting through everything and knowing you can let go. Maybe it is a teacher thing, I found I wore whacky and wonderful stuff when I worked at my local primary school. I loved all the fashion faux pas purchases I had made, years later I was able to use them on Book Week. hahaha. Love your work keep it up. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Great point about how easy it is to become acclimated to something completely useless, Cindy. Great post.

  11. Oh Yes! This post has my name all over it! My problem is that I have too much clothing in too many sizes. My body is changing every single time we have another baby. I am actively pursuing a weight loss program but still have not arrived in the ‘just next size smaller’ clothing….augh! I finally did declutter my very favorites from that pre-baby body, but still hold onto the can’t I just squeeze into these?????!!! So thus my difficulty.

    I guess maybe I just need to take a realistic look at myself, make some serious decisions and commitments, recognize that if I really do drop that much weight, I will have what I need when I need it—and until I need it, it is just taking up space and reminding me that I am still not where I want to be yet.

    OK I am going to focus on this aspect this month and see how it all works out. Thanks for listening!

  12. I have a dress that I’ve worn once, the only time I went to the Kentucky Derby, and it sits folded in a drawer. I have no idea if it still fits. I keep seeing it there and I suspect you all would be urging me to get rid of it. Perhaps. The fact is, if it is folded in a drawer, it isn’t going to be worn anytime soon!

  13. Where do I start? I almost blushed as I read that post.
    I had several too-small dresses in my wardrobe for years. I was keeping them partly because I intended to lose weight and partly for sentimental reasons/holding on to old identities. Eventually I took them out and put them in a drawer under the bed. They’ve been there for a further few years. Added to these are the clothes that have gotten too small for me since then and they’ve spread to a second drawer. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just one size of clothes but they are the: ‘when I was at my smallest;’ ‘when I was near my smallest:’ the ones that fit me SOMETIMES after I’ve lost a little weight before I put it back on again;’ ‘the ones I could wear when I’m on my own’ etc. It gets ridiculous. I’ve run out of descriptions for each pile. I’m like Calico Ginger in that I keep clothes for going out in but never go out and wouldn’t be comfortable in most of those clothes anyway. I spent more time wearing them in front of the mirror checking whether I’ve lost weight. I’ve had to accept that those style of dresses are not flattering on me and I’d have to be seven stones (98lbs) before I’d feel slim enough for them. I’m not huge but those make me feel and look bigger. The good news is that I did declutter two of those dresses quite recently. They were bought in 2002 and 2006. Every little helps. I will have another look.

  14. You got me on this one. I do have a box of clothes I want to fit into. Yes, I am doing something about my weight and yes I know what is in the box. Two summer tops that are classic and will look good in any decade, two pairs of jeans, and two pairs of brand new sweat pants that were mis-marked at the store but should fit me soon as they are only one size too small.

    • Lois – if you can almost fit them and you intend to wear them when you get down to size, then you should keep them. Perhaps you could weed out what has become too big as these items are incorporated back into your wardrobe. My friend always buys herself a “goal dress” the next size down and that is her reward for losing weight. I don’t do that because I’d rather buy something useful when I get to that weight, but it works for her. So maybe you could view these items as your “goal clothes”. My friend keeps the dress hanging up in full view in her room to keep herself on target – there’s usually a photo on the fridge too!

  15. earlier this evening I helped my boyfriend clean out some of the clothes I have not seen him wear in the five years we’ve been together. I think it was a help to him to realize that so many unworn things had been hanging around for so long. he isn’t driven to declutter as I am, but this was low hanging fruit. I urged him not to keep clothes for sentimental reasons or as souvenirs. yes, we did unearth an “I climbed the Great Wall of china” sweatshirt – of course it was red and several other been there, done that tshirts. he agreed that the clothes were not the memory. also I suggested that we find some photos to have around instead.

    I am certain I have picked up much of this thinking here. when we finished the session he said he felt much lighter. success.

    as for me, I have small closets and have to rotate up from the basement when seasons change. this is really helpful in the culling process. I try to pay attention to what didn’t get worn and send it out the door instead of packing it away.

    thanks again for the useful tips and suggestions for where to declutter.

  16. Hauled off some clothes in the fall that were probably in this category, bought (at thrift store) when we were contemplating moving to a less casual town–and were never worn. When I tried them on, they did not fit and were not really what I like. Wondered at the time why I had let them take up space so long. I do have some shirts that I need to alter–shorten the length and in some cases make into short sleeved, but I do like them, and just haven’t had time to sew. But have donated the few that were too small or too large. Since winter clothes are about the only ones that can really be stored, closet space is scarce with sort of 3 seasons used at one time. In our climate you may need shorts in the middle of winter (and the next day you might need corduroy slacks). And in the sweltering summer a light jacket may be needed somewhere that overdoes the air conditioning. Dress in layers is our motto.

  17. I have recently started decluttering, especially in the clothing area, and am still finding that I keep justifying keeping this fur coat that my mother gave me a few years ago. People would be amazed at the excuses I can find for keeping it. I may have to attend a winter time funeral one day or if the power goes out in the winter I can cover my youngest with it. 🙂 The coat is very nice, has a stylist and timeless cut, and looks amazing on me. I just find it very hard to let go. Perhaps I could wear it too church but then I wonder if it would just be too much and people would think I was putting on airs. What would be your advice on such an item?

    • Hi Brittany and welcome to 365 Less Things. I wouldn’t concern yourself over decluttering that coat. Since you have recently started decluttering then I am sure there are plenty of other, easier to let go, items that you can deal with right now. Leave the coat until you are ready to declutter it or decide that you are going to keep it. I still haven’t gotten rid of my wedding dress. It is something that is wasting space in my closet but I haven’t decided on the best disposal method. Actually it is more that my husband and I have different ideas about that. I’ll get there eventually but for now I am happy with how decluttered my home is and I will get to the dress eventually.

      • Thank you Colleen, of course, I think you are right. It feels good to be assured by you and know that you have the same issue with your wedding dress. It is a relief to think that I can just not think about it right now. As I was trying to seriously downsize and declutter my wardrobe, I felt like I needed to decide but I find that the more I do it, the more I want to do it more. For now, I will take your advice and wait to decide and while I am at it, I may just wear it this winter.

    • Bittany – wear the fur jacket. Why not? Who cares what people who don’t matter think? If you get a comment or compliment on the jacket, just say how much you LOVE this jacket and decided to wear it. Its a bit like having crystal glasswear that doesn’t get used or wedding china. The purpose for it is to be used.