My Clothing Dilemma ~ A Guest Post by Moni Gilbert

It goes against all my principles, but I am considering putting clothes, that no longer fit me, into storage. I know! Shock, horror, gasp!

It is all because of an argument going on in my head. There is one side of my brain which is yelling at me saying “What the heck? Did we not go through this last year? Did you not pull down from the ceiling storage, boxes and boxes of clothes in assorted sizes and assorted eras, and proceeded to get rid of them all? Did you not participate in Project 333 and swore never to go back? Did you not encourage other 365’ers facing a similar situation to let go of the past? What are you thinking, girl?”

And then the other side of my brain speaks up “But, you have only been on a new diet regime since December the 1st, you haven’t yet committed to any sort of fitness programme, most of these clothes were purchased in November, what if you need them again?”

The other voices pipes up “How could you even think that? Did you not write a guest post on “just in case” and did you not quote an author saying that kind of thinking indicates a lack of trust in your future?”

“Yes, but your weight has been a bit of a moving target over the last five years and you don’t actually know if you will get down to your goal weight. After all it is just a number you plucked out of nowhere. And its not like you keep a large wardrobe, you keep the number of items under 30 pieces and they would all fit nicely into one of those empty storage boxes and it would take up barely any room in the ceiling storage now that you’ve had a big clear out up there…..I know, why don’t you eliminate something else from up there, so this could take its place.”

“I already need to go down a size in clothing, but I am just trying to make things last until the end of Summer. I won’t fit my jeans and all my winter jerseys are likely to be too big too. You don’t have a problem with getting rid of those and buying new Autumn/Winter clothes, do you?”

“Of course not, I’m looking forward to that, but next Summer is a long time away. And shouldn’t you be thinking of sustainability? Carbon footprint? What if you end up having to re-purchase a whole Summer wardrobe in the same size?”

“What if I don’t? What if by next Summer I am even smaller? What if I don’t even like that style of clothing next summer? What if I don’t have the security blanket of an easy upsize? Would that in itself keep me on target? And what if I’m not the same person anymore? What if this is the new me?”

“Oh sweetie – if you want to think that, you can think that, I’m just trying to look out for your best interests. I just think you should wait and see what happens.”

So that is the debate going on in my head. It is easy to get rid of out-sized clothes that haven’t been worn in years but clothes that are less than 3 months old…….that I am struggling with. My diet buddy (who is not a minimalist nor a declutterer) says I should be replacing roomy items now and not trying to make them last until April. She is, however, a fashionista, whereas I feel I should be saving my pennies for my Autumn clothes.

So 365’ers – how would you settle this argument?

Today’s Mini Mission

If you have moved sometime in the last ten years but still have clothing or equipment that does not fit with and has therefore not been used in your new location it is more than time you decluttered it. This could be clothing, sporting equipment, gardening implements, snow shovel…

Eco Tip for the Day

Get the spatular and scrape every last trace of food out of your cooking bowls. It may not seem like much waste but waste is waste. There are people in the world who don’t get that much food in a day. (The photos are from when my children made lasagne while I was out.

2013-02-06

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

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


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Saturday Extra ~ A Guest post by Andréia The 10 year old outfit I never thought I would write a text about an outfit. Especially not the one in this photograph, because the only relevance it has in my life is that it was never […]
  • Under The Bed ~ Another guest post by Moni Gilbert As a child I was quietly confident that if there was actually a bogey man, he definitely couldn’t live under my bed or in my wardrobe. My mum liked a tidy house, but any storage space that […]
  • Cleaning out closets ~ By Linda Bailey Here is a guest post from July 2013 by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org that I thought was worth repeating for the lessons it contains. Enjoy! So I tend to bite off more than I can […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Moni, I don’t know how often you usually shop for clothes, that is, how often do you feel the need for a change? How quickly do you get bored by your clothes?
    And how much weight do you intend to loose? I know that if I’m just eating my normal way, I rather gain a size in winter and loose it in summer, though I wish for you that you make it to your weight goal without winter-drawbacks!
    If it was me, I think I would store them until next spring. You won’t wear them in winter anyway and then you can go trough them again when the weather is getting warmer and see if it fits or if it doesn’t – and even if you donate or sell those clothes, it will be easier to find a new owner for them in spring rather than in autumn. However, make sure to revisit them next spring and not leave them in your ceiling storage for years! 😉

    • Good advice Sanna.

    • Sanna – ideally I would like to go down another size again. Dayna, my older daughter has pointed out that not all the clothes in my wardrobe are Summer clothes. And of those Summer clothes at least half are 1-3 years old. She thinks I should be considering the older items first, which she has pointed out she hasn’t actually seen me wear this Summer. Out of the mouths of babes!

      How often do I feel like a change? Well it appears not as often as I thought I did. I shop from stores which I describe as inexpensive but fun. Of course, the quality isn’t the greatest but if that means the clothes wear out quicker, that’s fine by me. Some items will be from a more middle of the line price bracket, it is all based purely on whether the item suits my figure and I love the look of it. However, items like pencil skirts, winter coats and boots I spend more on as I want those items to last several years.

      I notice below that you keep your limit to around the 60 items – what kind of system do you have?

      • Whoops sorry Sanna – it was Lena who has 60 items – but I am always interested in how other people run their systems, so any good tips are always welcome.

        • Never mind, Moni!
          In fact, I have about 60 pieces of clothing as well. I’d like to have a little less, but rely mostly on natural progression on that. My main system is to go a little more “capsule” on that – which means rather neutral colours for some items, colourful ones for others. My bottoms are all rather neutral as well as cardigans – they’re not all the same colour though – my tops, scarves, hats etc. are rather fun colours. Makes it easier to combine things and I don’t need to shop as often – I really shopped very seldom since I started decluttering.

          Then again, living in Germany, my “summer wardrobe” is rather small compared to the “autumn-fall-spring” category, because really, I wear sweet dresses only for about 4 months a year, while the rest of the year it’s sweaters – with an additional 2-3 months that require long underwear underneath and an extra sweater on top. Oh my, I’d rather have it a teeny bit warmer over here. So maybe my idea of a “summer wardrobe” was a little more specific and more likely to be packed away for months anyways.

          • noooooo! I am probably the only german who is happy about cold temperatures. I hate summer so much, because every piece of fabric is already too much. and then all of my summer pieces are getting sweaty and smelly and I need to replace them quite quickly. In winter I have three layers, (shirt, zipper, jacket), and only if it gets down to minus 10, I need a fourth one…

  2. Well, I’d say – keep them. Maybe not all, only most favorite pieces, maybe all, as You say there are not a lot of them. You can always get rid of them, if You decide to do so, but in the mean time – would really this one box safely stored make You feel bad? If not – why not to say “bye, bye” to them in spring, when You will be sure of not needing them?

    I think this “just in case” has two sides – there is a huge difference between keeping something for certain amount of time and then letting go, when you see you don’t need it and keeping something for “just in case” (for extended period of time), uncounciously knowing you will never need/want it to use.
    I, myself, would keep at least some basic pieces.

  3. I would concur that keeping them is ok right now. Good luck with your weight loss goal!

    Not to stray from the subject, but can someone explain or direct me to what Project 333 is? Thanks!

    • http://theproject333.com/

      its a project that requires you to limit your wardrobe to a certain number of items. that is 33. I personally never did this, because I dont own more than 60 pieces for both summer and winter, so I consider myself a clothing minimalist anyway. But for people who suffer from a huge wardrobe this project has been a tremendous help. go and have a look at the website, its quite intriguing.

      • Thank you so much for the info – I appreciate it!

      • Lena – would you mind telling me about your 60 items, how you manage your system? Always keen to get new ideas.

        • lol Moni, there is no system. I just never had a big amount of clothing, because I dont care. I am a person that needs to be dragged into the shops. I am the one that stands outside waiting for others, because I dont have any sense of fashion whatsoever. But I can tell you what happened.
          I culled the first round of clothes 1,5 years ago, starting to declutter the obvious stuff. then I lost weight, so my wardrobe shrinked down to a minimum. Then I pledged for 2012 that I would not buy any new clothes, which I managed (except my kickboxing gear and a bra). I got two jeans from a flee-market. I got hand me downs from friends, I lost a bit more weight and then I was at the absolute minimum (in total 45 pieces!!). I wore those things now for almost a year – excessively (people were already mentioning my ONE jacket) and this january my mum convinced me to go shopping, because of the state they were in, and because she got bored of the “always the same” look. I also got tired of my clothes. So now I have new things, but still some shirts that are too big, and I am waiting for spring to try them on again and then realistically see if I wear them or not…

          • Lena – you’ve made me laugh. I have one daughter who loves shopping but is a very very picky shopper and my other daughter who I have to drag into a shop. Ironically the one I have to drag into the shop is the one that has the most clothes. We think that is because she accepts all hand me downs and often grabs the first thing she sees in the shops and doesn’t cull her wardrobe often enough ie items she has outgrown etc.

            I have learnt to show her stuff online first, if she needs, say, a jersey I’ll have the possibles lined up on the computer and once something catches her attention, then we have lift off.

          • Moni I am also like that. as soon as I figure out what I want, I spend hours reseraching online. and then I procrastinate about going to shops until its almost too late 😉 I still accept hand-me-downs, but I am getting more and more aware of my wearing habits. And decluttering is always on my mind. So there are fewer and fewer “dead” clothes in my wardrobe.
            one of my fantasies: getting a personal shopper, who knows my size, my colours, my style, who has good taste and who picks the things at the shops. I would only then have to try them on at home, accept or refuse and I would never have to see any shops from the inside again… that would be paradise for me.

    • Hi Michelle – Lena has sent you the link. I heard about Project 333 here on 365 Less Things and a couple of us took on the challenge. I agreed to it with a whole list of out-clauses, exemption clauses etc, in fact I think I initially only agreed to one month. Well I lasted the 3 months without any drama and just never returned. This isn’t to say that I count the items hanging in my wardrobe on a weekly basis or that if I saw something I really had to have I wouldn’t pass on it because I already had my 33. It just seems to sit nicely around thirty mark quite naturally. I have never struggled to find something to wear, in fact I would go so far as to say that I haven’t had that problem since I cut my wardrobe down to 33.

      In Colleen’s post on Tuesday she talked about how having fewer things means that your clothes are worn regularly and thus wear out quicker. This is true. The stores that I mainly buy from would be described as inexpensive but fun, so they’re not the highest of quality so this works in nicely. No everything is retired at the end of the season, some items are on their 3rd year, but I do keep about 1/3 in the up to date bracket. Some items in my wardrobe are more expensive ie staple items such as black pencil skirt, winter jacket etc etc.

      • Hi Moni – I am certainly going to consider this challenge. However, I collect vintage brooches and admitedly, I do need to go through them, but I will not be paring that collection down too far. Most of my clothes are fairly simple, so I like a brooch to dress up. I tend to wear the same outfits over and over until they wear out. I tried shopping outside my comfort zone a while back when I was watching “What Not To Wear” a lot and now I have some tops that I wore just a few times, but that I am not all that comfortable with. I did that with shoes too and took two almost new pairs to the donation bin because they killed my toes! So much for getting all stylish!!

        • Michelle – uncomfortable shoes are the worst things. My mum insists that shoes should be considered an investment and not an expense.

          • Spot on! My daughter and I call uncomfortable shoes, “hurt like hell shoes”. I have always told her that when your feet hurt, everything hurts. My grandfather who immigrated to the States from Greece when he was a young man, always said what your Mum says, that shoes are an investment in your overall health.

        • Hi Michelle,
          I so loved your comment about the ‘show’, I have watched it at times and cracked up to see the clients wearing things that obviously went against their grain. I believe after all the hoopla the ‘clients’ actually hated the suggestions except the parts about getting their hair done regularly and buying something that feels comfortable and makes them look and feel good. Some of the outfits looked just plain crazy and to be honest ‘YUK’ but the person looked great because they were smiling had more confidence and actually looked beautiful or handsome in their plain robes just because of their smile! Good way to save money, smile and no one will notice you are wearing boardies with wellies and a funky t-shirt hahahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. I have made a practice of deleting 2 items from my clothes each month and passing them on to Good Will and of course deleting something when I purchase new. This has helped me to make a decision to get rid of clothing that with time I realize I will never wear again due to size, style, or no longer appropriate. I now have a completely cleared closet for guests when they visit. My attempt this year is to make do with what I have, excluding underclothes and unexpected special occasions. So far, so good, no new clothes, accessories or unecessary things, of course the year is young. 🙂

  5. I had this same dilemma as I lost weight and went down through sizes from 22 to 2. I kept clothing for a while in a size and then when I confidently stayed at the new size and went to a lower size I consigned them and bought my new size at thrift and consignment stores. It was fascinating that I stayed in some sizes a long time and skipped other sizes altogether! I think it is important to feel like you look your best when loosing weight to keep you motivated. It also helps to confirm that this new way of living is permanent and not a quick weight loss diet that will be abandoned at a future date, since maintiaing the weight loss is the hard part. So I say consign them. Best of luck on your journey.

    • Congratulations Scrapabbey! Great success story!

    • Hi Scrapabbey, I am so glad you went the environmentally friendly route of buying secondhand during the transition times. The one thing that did disturb me out this was all the new clothes buying. Whether for size or for fashion reasons. I am constantly amazed at the good condition and lovely style of some of the clothes that come through the thrift store that I volunteer at. You can get a pretty nice wardrobe of clothes in there for a very very reasonable price.

    • Scrapabbey – Wow! That is awesome! You must feel and look so great!

      I had to find a conversion table for American sizes to NZ and Australian but that is still a mega change. My husband is all for me buying new clothes now – he says he can’t slay dragons for me, but he can foot the bill. I think it is very sweet of him but it is the start of the school year here, so I have in the back of my mind school fees, ballet fees etc. I also know that my winter boots worn out last winter after years of service so I will have to replace those at the start of Autumn (New Zealand is high rain fall, so boots are more of a Autumn to Spring item).

      I had to buy a new pair of knee length shorts for work, apparently I got the last pair of my particular half size in the country in any colour. Unless I want to pay an extra $40 to have them sent from Australia. As they were already a bit more than I would have expected for end of season, I’m reluctant to do that. So using the brand, style and size I have found another pair on Trademe (our ebay) and I’m “watching” some 3/4 jeans for when the temperature starts to drop. And of course they are a fraction of the price. I don’t buy a lot of clothes on trademe as I like to try on first but I had all the exact specs so it should turn out ok. We do have a good choice of 2nd hand stores and op shops in the area but they too are looking quite picked over as they are very popular amongst, well, everyone I know!

      Your comment about looking your best while losing weight, is what my fashionista friend was trying to tell me but as our wardrobe methods and expenditure are poles apart, so I missed the pertinent point. Thank you for pointing that out.

    • That is awesome! Congrats on your weight loss success!

  6. Whoo, Moni. A lot of conversations going on in your poor little head! My take would be this: if you’re in the habit of buying trendy clothes, they’ll be unfashionable next year no matter what size you are. If you buy classic clothes of quality materials, they are worth keeping if you truly like them and they’re one size bigger or smaller than your current size. I have used the decluttering process to get rid of stuff I KNOW will never fit me or suit me again but I have no qualms about keeping good clothes that are just a tad too snug. I also agree wholeheartedly that the time to get rid of clothes is at the beginning of the season, rather than the end of the season so you can store them and revisit them at an appropriate time. Good luck with the diet. I’ve just started dancing for fun and I hope to dance my way back into my favorite pants.

    • Ooooh, I like the sound of your dancing for fun. I hope you get to fit into your favorite pants.

    • Wendy B – are you taking dance classes or doing something like Zumba?

      • A group of us at the Senior Centre are muddling along trying to find what suits us. The Hip-hop video, complete with bare midriffs and tight spandex was a bit of a bust, and Zumba would be rather intimidating at this point. So we’re working at Country Line Dancing – neither complicated nor too strenuous. Might toss in some ethnic folk dance when the ladies have a bit more confidence. Anything to keep us active until the ice and snow are gone.

        • Sorry, it occurred to me afterward that you might want to know for your own exercise program but I figured having your kids in dance you’d already be tuned in. I have friends who go to Zumba and like it but I live in the country and don’t feel like driving all the way to town to exercise! Still, it really beats going to a gym. Camaraderie and self-expression and music as opposed to clanking machines has a lot more appeal to me.

          • Wendy B – I have the zumba dvd’s though I’m told a class is much better fun – I used to quite enjoy it until my husband would turn up as an audience – not sure if he was watching me or watching the instructors on the dvd!

    • Woo hoo,
      Take up tap dancing and you’ll be in your fave pants in no time. Actually you may even have to get rid of them and get smaller again. I trimmed up by 2 sizes when i started. Have fun dancing it is great whatever form you choose. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Dizzy – LOL – I have two daughters who tap dance, one is a competitive dancer, the other is in her Diploma year – they would just about wet themselves laughing if they were to see me attempting a shuffle pick up.

  7. I would keep some of your favorite ones and get rid of the rest. About 6 years ago, I lost 37 lbs because of some medication changes. I was taking prednisone and when I stopped taking it, gradually lost all the weight I gained while I was on it. I went from a size 18 to a size 12. I got rid of all my bigger sizes except for 2 pair of size 14’s because there was always the possibility I might have to go back to the old meds. Well, here it is, 2013 and guess what, I am back on prednisone and may be on it forever. I have gained 7 lbs and the size 12s are a little snug but I am working hard to stay on a good eating plan so I can continue with the size 12’s. But I am very glad that I kept the 14’s because I know there are days when I just won’t be able to fit the 12’s for a short time. I think a size larger or smaller is a good margin to keep in reserve. Moni, you don’t need to keep everything bigger or smaller, just enough to tide you over until you see what size you will end up. And it’s nice to have a safety net when you need to go someplace nice and those pants JUST WON”T FIT TODAY!. Don’t you just hate those 2 sided arguments in your head. Sometimes you just have to take a nap to shut them up. 🙂 Good luck with your decision.

  8. Ok, so here is my two cents worth:

    Just the fact that these clothes are causing you so much stress is reason in and of itself to send them on. Let go of the things that take up your time and energy every time you look at or think about them. 🙂 And, hey, if you lose a bunch of weight, great! And if you don’t, great!

    PS. I was holding on to smaller sizes for over 8 years. As soon as I got rid of everything and stopped worrying about it, I was able to refocus and drop 15 pounds. Nothing feels better that putting on clothes that fit a month ago and are now too big! Just sayin…

    • Kimberly – that is a good point to consider. I have had a suggestion to go through my clothes item by item (ironically the same method I am using to sort through my bookcase) and see if any items are due for culling based on their own individual basis. As I mentioned earlier my daughter has pointed out that some are actually older and haven’t been worn this Summer anyway, maybe I should let those go first.

      As I was driving to work this morning (I work for my hubby so its ok for me to be blogging during work hours) an old song came on the radio with the line “Free your mind and the rest will follow” – I will take that as a sign!

  9. I try to find a balance between keeping everything and tossing everything. Where there is a GOOD argument to be made for keeping something “just in case”, and you have a space to store it so it is not in the way, it is not a crime to keep it. I like the idea already mentioned that you keep those items (or perhaps just the best of them) until the start of the next season you’ll need them, and make your decision then. Good luck.

    • I agree on this one. keep the items if you have the space and time to do so. check them out in 6 month (maybe even a year) and then you can still decide.

      I am always a fan of easy decisions. if a decision is too hard for you, just postpone it. store the clothes and let future self deal with it later on. She will be smarter and more experienced and find a solution more easily 😉

  10. Confession: I love this blog but I am neither a minimalist nor a true 365-er. I continually re-evaluate my things and have enough excess to continue paring down. However my system is to decide how much space I can allocate to a given category and stick to it. My clothes fit in my closet and dresser. My books fit on the bookshelf. If something overflows, I have to re-evaluate.

    Since you seem to easily have room for the extra clothes, I would go with keep. You are really only delaying the decision until next summer. In the meantime, I am sure there are other items you will be letting go of.

    • I agree with Delores. And hanging onto something for a year isn’t going against your own rules if you have room AND there is a real chance you could use these items AND carbon footprint is considered AND you’ll have to outlay some money (and go shopping) to replace them. Actually it sounds like there is only vanity asking you to ditch the clothes this early in the game (sorry if that came accross as harsh).

      • That advice was very straight to the point Creative me. To be honest I think there is an element of vanity in the situation myself. And perhaps even peer pressure from the fashionista friend.

      • Creative me – a number of my current clothes have reached a point where they are falling off my shoulders or the neck line is now too big giving more of a view than I’d like! 🙂 And new work shorts became a priority last week as I nearly lost them while reaching up for something high. Fortunately no one was around when that happened.

        • OH, Moni, doesn’t that feel good though? I know where you are and it’s great to know you have made that big of a change in size. I have a pair of shorts I keep wearing that I could lose easily. I keep wearing them because they don’t have shorts out in the stores here yet and I will only wear a certain style. I’m hoping they show up in Wal-Mart before I really, really can’t wear these any more. I only wear them around the house. I need suspenders to keep them up. Grin.yg

          • Deb J – yep its a good problem, us short people seem to have a different set of wardrobe difficulties to the tall folk, don’t we?

          • Yes, being short really can be a problem. I can never buy something and wear it right off the rack. I buy petite size and still cut 6 inches off the legs, 4 inches off the arms (if long sleeved) and forget about buying a sweater or coat that fits. People laugh when I tell them that capri pants fit me like regular pants in length. Unfortunately, they tend to be too baggy because they are supposed to fit to just below the knee and not to the ankle. Grin.

    • Delores – I think your space allocation system is simple and by the sound of it works. Unfortunately I didn’t have any sort of boundaries and that’s how I ended up in mess and spending the last 18 months decluttering!

      After discussing comments with readers here, I am leaning to keeping the items which I feel I WOULD wear again should I still fit them and giving some scrutiny to what clothes won’t be useful leading into Autumn or didn’t actually see a lot of action over this Summer.

  11. If I had some really nice clothes that look good on me, I would save maybe 5-10 pieces at the most with the commitment that they would be gone if they didn’t fit me in 6 months. You could take the clothes to a consignment shop and use the money from them to buy new clothes that will fit you as another option. No one wants to re-buy things, but once you let go, maybe that is what you body also needs to let go of the extra weight. Maybe the act of releasing yourself from all the extra clothes of various sizes will also help to release motivation that you need to change your old habits. I don’t have very many clothes, so I don’t have that option. But, I like what I have and I wear what I have and I really don’t want a bunch of things around that remind me of where I was years ago. It is better to live in the present, great body or not and work with what you have knowing that things in life are constantly changing.

    • Spendwisemom – live is constantly changing. I have two teenage daughters and while they don’t have a problem with me shopping in some of the same shops as them, we have an agreement that just as some clothes are too “old” for them, some clothes are too “young” for me. This wouldn’t have been a consideration when they were little girls. So yes life changes constantly.

  12. I say “keep”. You seem to have the space, so if it doesn’t distract your goals, keep them. Personally, I HATE to shop for clothes. (yes, I’m a weird woman!) I tend to never have the clothes I might need because of that. At home, I make everything do forever until it’s rags. I’m also hard to fit. I had kept some blue jeans literally for years that were a tad too small around the waist, but they HAD been my favorite brand and fit. They were in a drawer I didn’t need/use. I have just had occasion to use them again in a much needed situation. My husband was in a bad accident and we have been in a hospital and rehab since Dec 3, 2012. I lost some weight and needed better blue jeans since I had been procrastinating buying new ones before the accident. I certainly didn’t have time or energy to shop for new ones. TA-DA. The old ones now fit after I lost 10 lbs! Maybe this was a bad example and hopefully this situation happens to no one else. But it boils down to the fact I had kept them because I had plenty of room for them and I had the option to use them again.

    • Wow Brenda, I hope your husband is OK. I sadly know only too well what you are going through sitting by someones bedside not knowing what their recovery will be. I don’t know how long you have been reading for but a little more than two years ago my son was involved in a cycling accident and received a severe brain injury among other breaks and scrapes. We have been so fortunate that he made an amazing recovery. I hope and pray for the same for your husband. I was lucky in so much as I had my husband beside me for support I guess it would have been very different if my husband had been the one injured.

      I am glad you found a little bit of joy in the situation when you put on those jeans and they fitted nicely. Wear them often just for the joy of it.

    • Brenda – first of all I hope your husband is on his way to a full recovery.

      My younger daughter also hates clothes shopping, ironically she has the most clothes in the house, go figure. I think it is because she accepts all hand me downs possible to avoiding shopping or when we do get her into a shop she tends to grab anything and everything to be done and dusted.

    • Brenda, I’m with you on this. I LOATHE clothes shopping. I wear mine to rags and keep my old slightly-smaller ones because I would hate to have to shop again when I lose my 10 pounds.
      I hope your hubby bounces right back. Mine’s eight days out of major back surgery and I think I’m going to have to tie him down now he can walk again. They can do amazing things these days. All the best to both of you. W

  13. First and foremost, like Kimberly mentioned, if it is causing you anguish, let them go. It sounds like you enjoy keeping up with the times, and replace clothing as the seasons come. With that in mind, and the fact that you will be losing weight, it will be a great reward to yourself to get new outfits.

    On the other hand, however, you mentioned that most of the items were no more than 3 months old, and you have the room to store them, then maybe you should keep them. Thirty pieces is not a lot in the overall scheme of things (plus you have limited yourself to one container that it all fits in), and if you really like them and can see yourself wearing them again, consider getting them tailored for your new size. Sorry, I know that I did not help, but perhaps gave you something more to consider. Having culled through many boxes and being left with only the one, it sounds like you have done really well and will not go beyond a certain limit again anyway. Keeping one size up and one size down, doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in yourself, it is just being realistic for most of us, as our bodies can fluctuate within the month. Also, if you feel that the clothes are a higher priority in your home than another item, keep them and get rid of something else, so that you are still making progress in decluttering goals that you may have set for yourself.

    • Myself, I tend to wear clothes for a long time, but if you do decide to get rid of them, perhaps you know someone who could use them. Whatever you decide, good luck with your weight loss.

      • Jen – I have had a text from a friend who reads this but doesn’t comment – she has pointed out that just as I am trawling thru trademe and op shops for something to tide me thru to Autumn, what if there is some woman out there doing the same thing looking for my previous size? I hadn’t considered that!

  14. This came via my inbox from Cheryl..
    My rule of thumb: I don’t get rid of clothing until I haven’t worn it for a year. November non-wear is only 4 months back….

    …and thanks! for your blog. It’s helping–little by little…

    Cheryl

    • Cheryl – that is a good policy. I can think of a couple of summer frocks which have stayed in my 33 items which haven’t been worn in over a year. Why I don’t know. So maybe those should go and leave my new stuff for now.

  15. Thanks all for compliments. I consigned and I built credit in the store, so with each new size I didn’t have to spend much “new” money at all—except for underthings (you can imagine the changes there from 250 lbs. to 115 lbs!) Because I did enjoy my new figure so much I overbought for a while from 2nd hand thrift and consignment shops. I have calmed down now (LOL) and am using this blog and others to purge my closet and home and also to stop buying things.

    • Scrapabbey – that sounds like a good system building credit with the consignment store, you almost have a library system going! We don’t have consignment stores here, or at least not in my city. Such a shame it sounds like a great idea.

    • Wow, Scrapabbey!!! Congratulations on your weight loss! I did notice it was a big loss on your first comment, but as I did not know how to convert sizes I was a little lost. But when you gave the actual numbers, I could convert and was amazed!!! Good for you!

  16. hi –

    i’m a little confused by the details of the what weight loss when… but i will share how i handled this situation.

    background:

    i’ve been slowly decluttering for years.

    my weight has gone up and down over the years. in the past, i always held onto both “fat” and “skinny clothes.”

    at 49, i started having really bad sciatica and was also pre-diabetic and my cholesterol was going on. i determined to lose weight and keep it off.

    this coincided with constan decluttering.

    overall, i lost about 30 pounds.

    i have since gained back about 8 pounds which, of course, i plan to lose!

    after a year, i got rid of the big sizes. i figured it was good motivation to stay at a lower weight.

    i basically now have only size of clothing. some is looser, some is tighter… but it’s all more or the less the same size.

    i know i have to fit into it.

    i gave myself that “wiggle room” of making sure i kept the weight off for a while… i guess when i had reached my lowest weight… it had been a year and i decided this was it. this was my “normal” and i was going to stick to that.

    even now, tho’ i’ve gained a bit back…. i feel like that lower weight is my “normal” and my clothes reflect that.

    good luck!

    cynthia

  17. Now that my internet is back up I can respond. Some great comments here for Moni. I lost 140 pounds a few years ago with about 10-15 more to go to get to my goal when all of a sudden I was given a medication that I will always have to take that really threw my system for a loop. I gained it all back. I was glad that I didn’t have any of the old clothes still hanging around because I had grown to hate them. Unfortunately, there had been a great sale on clothes for the size that I still had to lose down to. I hung on to those for about 4 years before finally giving them away–never worn, tags still on them. When we finally found a meal plan that is actually working, I decided that I was going to get rid of things as I lose out of them. I’m keeping my wardrobe very small so that I can get by and so it doesn’t cost much when I go to the thrift stores to get clothes. I also wear them until I have lost 2-3 sizes. I said all of this to say that for me I needed the stuff out of here so I could move on. It’s an incentive to not gain it back. I NEED that incentive because with my disabilities and stuff I have to always eat this way to stay as healthy as possible. It isn’t easy and having NO clothes waiting for me keeps me in line.

    • Deb J – I had wondered if not having anything to ‘grow’ into and using an increase in tightness of clothes would be a great warning system to keep me on track. I decided that given the tendancy to high cholestoral on one side of my family and a few incidences of diabetes on the other side of my family, I was potentially a cocktail for poor health if I let myself go any further. I also felt that if I could turn my house into a streamline easy maintenance place, why couldn’t I just use the same discipline and skills on myelf?

      This morning I found in my wardrobe a top that still had its tag on it. Yes it is one of my 33 and was bought in November. I’m not sure exactly why I haven’t worn it. It was hanging next to a dress of the same colour so possibly it blended in and has just been overlooked. Alas it is too big but if I’m painfully honest, I found that looking at it today I’m not very enthuisiastic about it at all.

      • Moni, first congratulate yourself on losing enough weight that this top you found is big. That’s a huge pat on the back for you. One thing I always say to myself is when in doubt wait. Of course, this is because I pray about everything and I know that doubt comes from the devil. So I wait and pray some more and I usually then get the answer. But this works well overall in that waiting a while usually makes you more sure about things. Just waiting long enough to write the post and wait for the answers was enough time for you to realize that you don’t really like this top. So out it goes. I know, know, know how hard it is to get rid of something with the tags still on. But, if you don’t like it you KNOW you will not wear it anyhow. Just chalk it up to experience and do better next time. It took me a long time to get to the point where I knew my style well enough to reject anything that wasn’t in my style — even if it was a good price. I’m trying to be more intentional about my clothes shopping just like with everything else. Ugh! All this thinking. Grin.

        • Deb J – I have philosophically decided it just wasn’t meant to be, but someone else will be delighted with it. Change what you can, accept what you can’t! I have committed far worse wastefulness in my time and had to give up on far more valuable items than this top, early in my decluttering days.

  18. Brilliant post Moni. I can so relate to the conversations going on in your head! My weight as been up and down down (and is back up, oops) but I’m with the chuck ’em out crew. Storage boxes in the loft sounds well dodgy to me, lol – there’s always lots of discussion in here re setting spacial limits and for me the loft space is an absolutely no go area (for me this is partly because of feng shui ideals and mostly cos my father kept so much in the loft that the ceilings cracked in our house when i was little). I would maybe just keep a couple of my favourites and shove them somewhere in the wardrobe and if they don’t fit there is there some where else in the main area of the house to keep them.
    Whatever you decide will be right for you, this is just my tuppenceworth 🙂 and I only get near project 333 if I can discount all my ‘toys and activity gear’. I always thought I kept my stuff in check until reading all the ideas on this blog, which I love, and am now much more realistic and realised I had far too much. Have done the chuck out (over time), and am now onto natural progression decluttering with clothes and shoes. And I have to confess, I do have a few clothes which are a bit tight again – I live in hope – but the clothes I keep do fit in my wardrobe. Ah see now I will have to go and reconsider after your post and my own and others responses………x

    • Fruitcake – before I started decluttering and when the ceiling storage was completely full, my husband used to worry that it would crack the ceiling or if there was an earthquake it would be a haszard. Of course, it wouldn’t have landed on anybody at the time as the garage was totally full and you could walk thru the garage. Its all changed now.

      333 – you’re allowed gym and exercise clothes and work uniform over and above your 33. Hope that helps.

    • Fruitcake – you mentioned Feng Shui and ceiling storage – can you fill me in on this ideal? I have a book on decluttering and feng shui, but I don’t think this aspect was mentioned, or maybe I overlooked it, but I am quite interested to know.

      • aha Moni,
        You also have septic stew squelching and swirling like sticky thick molasses above your head. Typically describes the sluggish mess that chi can’t flow through because it is a cluttered attic. Like sleeping above unecessary junk under your bed or in a basement.

        Let the Chi flow freely 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Moni, sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you – been away, then had visitors. And I see you have had a top explanation 🙂 thanks Dizzy
        My 2 favourite Feng Shui books are ‘Space Clearing with Feng Shui’ by Karen Kinston and ‘ Feng Shui for the Soul’ by Denise Linn.
        Denise says ‘the attic symbolises your higher aspirations… it can also symbolise things hanging over your head, or things that seem perpetually beyond your grasp…..’
        And as Dizzy says – yucky stale chi….

        • Fruitcakes – I have the book by Karen Kingston, I will re-read it. I suspect my brain latched on to what was priority to me at the time. Maybe I should be leaving my suitcases in the ceiling – a higher aspiration to travel sounds good. When I’ve got the current big project done and the temperature drops a bit, I’d like to pull everything down from the ceiling and make that the next project. There is only about a quarter of what used to be in there but I’m sure we can do better!

  19. Hi Moni,
    Remember your bread maker? Well, I am going to give you the same advice. Ditch the clothes.
    They are not that precious. Open yourself to the possibilities of having a stress free wardrobe .
    I would rather have a limited wardrobe of clothes I can wear , than a wardrobe of just in case clothes. Who cares if you have worn that outfit this week already. Maybe your closet should be able to store all you clothes in it? (Possible not if you need heavy winter clothes). By storing all the clothes in the one space you can keep track of them.
    Clothes are no different to food in the pantry, electrical goods in the kitchen, sports gear in the garage. I do realize that clothes are not like fruit and the same style is not always available each season, Otherwise we would still be in satin shirts with padded shoulders and knee length skirts!
    Stop trying to cover all bases, go with your ‘gut’ feeling Moni. 🙂 cheers

    • Wendy F – yes I do remember the bread maker! You are quite right, they are not precious, nor were they expensive.

      My wardrobe does hold everything, we don’t have drawers in our bedroom apart from our bedside drawers. The only items not in there at the moment are our wool jerseys but there is more than enough space for them.

      Oh lordy, yes I was an 80’s fashion victim. I even had the big teased up fringe and poodle perm.

  20. Please keep in mind that I am only working on the information you have given in your post. Please ignore any assumptions I may be making using only that information. Feel free to correct me if I stray from reality, I have no problem with that. I also haven’t read any of your responses to the comments that have come in so far, for extra info.
    Here is how I see this issue. There are several issues at play here…
    The possibility of body changes :- This is a real possibility especially since you are planning on adding exercise to your health routine. There is a good chance you will lose even more weight. I prefer not to think that you will slip back into old bad habits so I won’t even go there. Having the larger clothes available is however not good encouragement to not fall back on those bad habits. That, however, does not influence my opinion much.
    Appearance: There are a couple of elements to this part of the problem.
    1. You need to look well presented at work. This is a given, especially since you are at the forefront of your own business. However it would be easy to pick up some secondhand items to fill in the gaps if necessary. The thrift shops are full of them in very good condition.
    2. Is vanity too much at play.
    Does it really matter that your clothes are a little loose. If you are really feeling frumpy and it is affecting your usually happy demeanour then I wouldn’t recommend to persevere wearing them. But once again I would suggest filling the gap either way with a few secondhand items.
    3. Peer group pressure.
    True friends should not be judgemental. I would not allow friends to influence this decision. They likely have a whole different set of priorities and principles in such a matter.
    Waste (environmentally)
    You just know I am going to say “Be kind to the environment.” Did you really need new clothes in November? Or did you buy them simply for vanity’s sake. Either way sustainability would be high on my decision making process for sure.
    Cost
    It is obvious that there is cost involved in this. It is something to be considered that is for sure. This certainly would be a huge factor in my decision making. Not because I couldn’t afford it but because I wouldn’t want to afford it. I have just been through a similar situation with my husband. I encourage him to stick to his new good habits, not only because he is happier to be thinner, but also because it is too expensive to replace his wardrobe.
    Potential Clutter
    I understand after all the decluttering you have done that you don’t want to start storing stuff you may never use. That being said I think this situation calls for a compromise.

    With all that said I would advise you to persevere wearing what you have rather than buy smaller for this summer. So long as this doesn’t become ridiculous to sustain. I would also put the clothes into storage in the attic until next summer but no longer. If you are maintaining your new healthy eating and exercise behaviours at that point just let them go and buy what you need.

    • Colleen – 🙂 🙂 🙂
      I have lost 13 kilos or 28.66 pounds – I do love the sound of pounds better.
      Without re-opening Tuesdays topic again, I simply applied the principals of decluttering. Set a goal, picture the outcome, aim for a little bit each day, less in.
      I have no problem with second hand clothes, I have some extra work shorts and 3/4 jeans on their way from online auction as I was able to match the brand, size and measurements to my new ones.
      I had a quick look in one of the local second hand store but they were rather low on stock mainly due to the Christmas shut down and tertiary students stocking up before leaving for campus.

      Vanity – thy name is woman!
      Of course there is a wee bit of vanity involved! Some of my clothes are swimming, but a reader suggested dropping those off at goodwill as I pick up a basket on my way in the door. My favourite goodwill store is for Waipuna Hospice who do an awesome job for the community and are discerning in what they accept but have an excellent reputation. Sounds like a win-win option to deal with some of my guilt.

      Why did I buy clothes in November/December? Well we had a run of family functions with differing levels of formality required and one event was spread over two days. Six new items added to what I still have from the previous summer. My hubby was actually the instigator of those purchases as he wanted me to at least feel good in my appearance while I was munching on a salad at the wedding or sipping water at the cocktail party (which by the way I wore a $21 dress from Kmart).

      My friend – she means well and she has supported me in so many ways, threatening to wrestle me if she saw me even looking at the finger food at the wedding. And she’s the one who will be putting up with my slightly-above-turtle speed when the exercise regime kicks in.

      I think you are right – I have two conflicting sets of values, which ordinarily wouldn’t have crossed paths, but I changed the status quo. I really like the idea of donating some clothes – especially the summer clothes that date back further and the two autumn dresses that are two big for this Autumn – to goodwill and I will purchase a few pieces from goodwill at the same time. I will keep the new items in my 33 until Spring and decide their fate then.

      I think what I have also realised is that I don’t even need 33 items of clothing – wow that’s a scary thought.

      • Sounds like a great plan Moni. A little of this solution and a little of that solution and a whole lot of donating and buying secondhand. Couldn’t do better I don’t think. Well done!

        • Colleen – and to steal an idea from Cindy’s post – MAKE DO! If I end up having to do the groceries in a party frock, well at least I’ll look great!

  21. Hi Moni! Great post and what a lot of people talking in your head!!! I have had those conversations in my head a lot lately and usually, the “let’s keep it” has won. I told you all I had gotten rid of a lot of clothes, but they were the excess, the ones I did not like any more and was not wearing. I have a lot more excess to go. I am going to mirror other 365’rs advices here: keep some, and donate the rest. As much as we don’t believe it, we can keep our weight at a certain point, if we are healthy and not on some medication, as Deb J mentioned above. So you are losing weight because of a change of habits. Believe in it and in you. Keep a safety net, but even if you gain weight again you are going to want to wear old clothes, or those clothes. I kept clothes that were too small for me, a few years back. I never had anything nice to wear, because my wardrobe was full, but nothing fitted, they were all too snug. I looked horrible. It depressed me. Never again. I am working towards having only things I like and make me look good. I think that is what those conversations in your head are all about 😀 .

    • Oh, I forgot to say. Bigger clothes that are nice, can be adjusted by a seamstress and I did this to some trousers this year (yay me!). Snugger clothes are wasted…

    • Hi Andreia – thank you for your encouragement! A functioning wardrobe is a wonderful thing and I am looking forward to going shopping in Autumn as I will be starting from scratch. I will probably only start with a few items as new stuff hits the shops every couple of weeks and I am going to experiment a little with how much or how little I can actually get by on.

      Unfortunately, at the end of last winter my beloved boots were deemed no longer repairable, so new winter boots will also be a priority. NZ is a high rainfall country so they are more of an Autumn to end of Spring item. Unfortunately I will be buying those at full price but as I got 4 years out of the last pair, I will consider them an investment rather than an expense.

  22. Hi Moni,
    congratulations on the weight loss! I think you got tons of sound advice already. I just want to throw in the old “if you haven’t worn it in A YEAR …”. So maybe the favourites as well as the timeless basics can/should stay until the beginning of their appropriate season. In case you want to donate clothes I think the organizations are happy anyway if they get things at the beginning of a season instead of end of the season and don’t have to store them for half a year or longer. Thus said, I usually go through my seasonal things at the end AND the beginning of a season (fortunately most things can be worn year round in layers and I try to never take things out of the wardrobe to not lose control over the overall amounts. But really seasonal clothes get rotated to the back or the top so there is some switching with the seasons.) If I haven’t worn something the whole season (without good reason) it usually goes and if something doesn’t fit or feels good at the beginning of a season it’s out as well.

  23. I think I will try to sell them. That way you’re investing in yourself. Keeping them in my opinion will be a bit of tiny self-sabotage with your new diet and healthy lifestyle. We must trust ourselves a little.

    I wish you good luck with the diet, but I bet you don’t need it. 😉

  24. Always love to hear from you, Moni! So much goes into whether we keep clothes– I live in an area where summers ar close to 100F and winters in the single digits. (And there’s no consistency– one day will be 16 degrees, the next, 67! Seriously). Layers work for me (I think Sanna mentioned this), and I can use multi-season clothes this way.

    Colleen made a good point about dressing for work. I wear “business casual” that can easily be machine-washed. My “play clothes” are actually large girls’ sizes, and everything comes from the thrift shop. As an earlier person noted, I can always tailor the large sizes down…..

    Thank you, I really enjoy this discussion and website!

    • Robin – Hi! Where are you living? My area has lovely summers and compared to the rest of the country mild winters, though locals are aclimitised to beach weather. I’m heading into my favourite goodwill store later today so cross your fingers for me!

      • Hi again,

        I live just across the river from Washington DC in Virginia.

        How did you do at the Goodwill store?

  25. I just remembered something someone told me when I was at my heaviest. I had never been at this weight and was feeling pretty depressed about how I looked. “Dress the body you have. Don’t worry about the past or consider where you might be in the future.” If you dress your body so you look nice (I was working full time and needed to look good every day), you will feel good about yourself and present a positive attitude. Sometimes, you just can’t worry about weight (especially if you are taking meds that essentially take away your control for the time being), just look good. During this time, I bought skirts and vests and tops. The vests were long and made the skirt and top an outfit and I felt good wearing them. It was difficult to find jackets that I could afford so the vests took care of that. I recently gave them away because they were just too baggy but I wore them a long time even after I lost weight. I really liked the look and still wear vests now, just a different style. Anyway, my point is, dress the best you can for where you are now in your life and worry about skinnier/heavier should the time come. Good luck in your decision.

    • Maggie – that is brilliant advice. I need to dress in the here and now, especially as clothes I picked in November were picked with a different figure fault disguising strategy than what I would be aiming for now. As I am also short I have to consider other things when picking my clothes, the lengths of tops especially as we easily look ‘drowned’.

      As I was sorting out some clothes last night, I ummed and aahhhed over a particular top and decided to keep it in case I got desperate for something to wear. Well, if I am that desperate I’m really not going to be feeling very good about putting something big and baggy on am I?

  26. Lena – I’ll let you into a secret – I like winter just as much as I like Summer. Winter means crock pot cooking, flanelette sheets, going to sleep with the rain on the roof, wool jerseys and cozy blankets on the bed.

    • Both of you: I like really cold weather as well. I am not functioning well with the lack of light, and so I am very moody if it’s the dark season anyway and in addition cloudy and foggy. I like both spring and summer and very cold, sunny winters, but I get depressed in winters that are always around snow-melting temperatures. They’re dark, wet and just nasty.
      I even like rain when it’s coming with wind, when there’s a freshness in the air – but fog or drizzle is my fiend – and unfortunately, winter has far too much of it over here.

      • well said. Maybe I am a more depressed soul, I also like the nasty weather (foggy). Probably because then the weather fits the mood. I think its so hard if you feel dark inside and there is beautiful sunshine outside…. I also love windy and stormy weather, probably also because of my inside feelings. The first signs of spring are already here though. In front of my windows I can already see snowdrops…

  27. Moni and Deb J., Being short really weighed (no pun intended) into my decisions for clothes when I gained so much weight. That’s why skirts and vests worked so well. Even if they were a little longer I could turn the waist of the skirt over once and could shorten it without a lot of problem. The vests could be longer and didn’t look bad, either. Everything I buy has always had to be shortened although I have found recently found slacks at The Vermont Country store (brand Alfred Dunner) which are just the perfect length for me. 25 1/2 inches long in a petite size. This is the first time I can wear pants right off the rack. They have a great website if you are looking for slacks.

    • Maggie, thanks for the information about Vermont Country Store and the Alfred Dunner slacks. I will have to check this out.

  28. Moni, I haven’t been able to comment lately what with me busy busy with my business start-up classes, but I simply had to make the time for you & this topic/post. I quickly read thru the recent post by Colleen re: weight & clutter & surmised by the closed comments that that was a closed topic. I didn’t have time to read the comments but would guess there was at least one dissenter. Such a shame – so much good comes from these discussions.
    Which is why I had to get my two-cents in about it.
    In regards to your post & in the spirit of Colleen’s weight-related post suggestion I can speak first-handily on the topic because I let a slowly creeping dissatisfaction for my career & own self-worth begin to eat at my very essence & in turn I ate. Oh & I bought stuff. Lots of random stuff. Lots & lots of random stuff in an attempt to pacify myself & avoid facing my issues. Oh & I ate some more.
    I’ll spare everyone the long story, but the short story is that I ate & bought stuff to feel better about a career that no longer challenged me. I had been in a high-paced healthcare job for 20 plus yrs & it was getting the better of me. So I quit. Retired if you will.
    The 3 or so years prior to me quitting was when I just let myself go. Slowly I managed to gain about 60 lbs. of course nothing I owned fit…so I kept buying new stuff to fit the bigger me, which I would rapidly out-grow & need to buy the next size up, then the next, then the next, etc. I amassed a huge wardrobe (no puns intended).
    Once I decluttered my old career did I begin to address the other areas in my life that needed attention such as my own self-worth, self-esteem, the weight gain (& the associated health problems that stemmed from that) as well as the useless clutter I had bought.
    Long-story short (trying to at least) – I lost ALL the weight from simple daily walking & dietary changes. I feel like a million bucks! I’m simply over the moon happy with my accomplishments!
    So what about all those various sizes of clothes I amassed? If it didn’t fit the “current” me anymore, then I got rid of it. Sure I could have kept a size or 2 larger for ” just in case”. But there won’t be any “just in case”. I didn’t lose all that weight with intentions of finding it again. It’s gone & so are the “just in case” clothing sizes. Oh & so is pretty much all the random clutter.
    I know we can fluctuate up or down a few pounds as our endocrine/hormonal system has it’s way with us, but rarely is that more than a few pounds at best – that’s not enough to keep a larger size around cluttering up my lovely & peaceful decluttered home. Plus having excess for the sake of maybe, might need, ya never know, just in case, etc goes against everything I worked so hard to rid myself of. Ok I’ll hush now.

    • Great story, Jane! Colleen will probably pluck my ears out for what I am about to say, but I must: if people were more honest like you were in this comment and less defensive (and offensive to others), like we saw the other day, more people could benefit from a discussion of a problem that affects lots of us: clutter x weight. I am very glad that yours is a success story and hope that you keep feeling great about life and yourself.

      • I have no intention Andréia, my friend, of plucking your ears, eyes or tongue out for the matter for saying what you just said. I appreciate every word of it. And like I just said to Jane, I will get my message/advice out there.

      • I can say with 100% honesty that when I was in the midst of my weight gain-a-rama did I find every reference to weight issues in any media (tv, radio, blogs, podcasts, magazines, books, oral discussion, etc) to be a direct blow to me personally & I took it personally. I knew they were all talking about me & I took it harshly & in turn lashed out in retaliation. It was not a very lady-like thing to do & in hindsight it only made me look foolish & worse – bitter. Which was ultimately what I was feeling & had become – overweight & bitter.
        Of course those closest to me kept their distance best they could & learned to live with me but I couldn’t stand to be around me anymore & once I realized that then I knew I had to make a change for the better. At first I was super embarassed & super overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to “fix” myself & feared I would fail…but I quietly (with the occasional whine-fest) muddled thru all that & kept thinking like Churchill …..never never never never give up.
        Took me a solid 6 months to lose it all. But during that time I was losing the weight, I was gaining confidence, self-worth, happiness & found the old gleeful me again buried in all that. At the same time I was thinning out me, I was also thinning out the household clutter as well. So both me & my house went on a diet together & we both succeeded! Hehe

        • Hi Jane. Although we don’t notice, all of us are struggling with changes and obstacles we must face and overcome. Although you did say you were bitter, you did realize what you were doing to yourself and never gave up on your goal. I first started to declutter because I did realize I was doing something that was not good to my house, to my family and to myself. But it did take me a while. And I have not yet managed to get off me 30 pounds, I should already have lost. I am inspired by your story.

          • Andreia, I didn’t set the goal to declutter me & the house until I had taken ownership of my own actions & future.
            For me, decluttering one aspect of my life didn’t make any sense unless I decluttered ALL aspects of my life.

            I’m overjoyed that you are inspired by me! Having said that, for me, inspiration has never been a decent enough reason to motivate me to do much of anything that I don’t really truly want to do. What motivated me was simply being sick & tired of making excuses & blaming the world for all my woes.

      • I agree with Andrea and Jane I have had the same problem since I was a child. I had family problems that I had no controll over so I ate and that tendancy still happens today. If its a problem especially a family one that I have no control over or think I don’t then I start the old eating habit again knowing full well that I am only hurting myself with the ex weight.

        • I think this is a case of a behaviour trigger. I would suggest to come up with a new more helpful reaction to this trigger and substitute it for your usual reaction of eating. Perhaps when you feel this way you could substitute it with increased exercise, a decluttering frenzy, gardening anything except eating because in the long run you will feel better for having done something useful.

    • Fantastic Jane. Your story says exactly what I intended to convey in the blog post I did not write. Don’t worry it will get written, from another angle of course but the message will get out there. You have proved that, when one is not happy with the way they are feeling in their lives, be that job satisfaction, self esteem, the state of their home, health wise or even their appearance, small incremental changes can make a big difference. And the beauty of small incremental changes is the are easier to tolerate making it more likely that they will stick.
      Thank you so much for sharing your story.

      • Thank you too Colleen. I’m a firm believer that pretty much everything about our own lives are inter-related. This overlaps that.
        That is, try as we may, we simply cannot compartmentalize one aspect our ourselves from another.
        How could you seeing that everywhere you go, be it home, work, school, grocery shopping, etc – there YOU are.

        • Even though I am losing weight and feel good about myself I have to say that I constantly fight the urge to eat. I have a medication that causes this and it drives me nuts. At least I am off the one that caused me to gain wight without even eating. The thing that is really frustrating is not only does this medication make me want to eat all the time it also causes me to not really find most food interesting or appetizing. So here I want to eat but nothing looks good or satisfies. Ugh!

          • Deb, I never have had to take any medication with any regularity aside from an occasional headache reliever but when I feel vaguely hungry & yet nothing sounds good…it usually means that I’m dehydrated/thirsty.

          • Jane, I had heard that before so tried adding more water to my day. It didn’t help. then I talked to the doc and he says it is a combo of the meds I am on and one of my diseases. Great. He said it will come and go. So I am hoping it will go soon.

        • I like your comment Jane, it pretty much says it all. I want to add that, for me the big change was the final understanding that everything is about PROCESSES. there is nothing fixed in this world. I wasnt a very happy person for a long time, and I finally understood it. If I can change myself, I can change the way I live. If I need help for this change, then I should go and seek it. I dont need to live this way, I can change it, if I dont like it.
          Decluttering was for me the beginning in this: I understood that noone forces me to own that much crap. so I can get rid of it. its my choice. And getting rid of rubbish (you all know the easy stuff, broken, ugly, unnecessary, etc.) was so easy and the result so obvious. So after I started decluttering (this blog was a huge help in this), then I started weight watchers and kickboxing, in order to lose weight. And I managed to finally get psychological help for my long term issues. I am proud that I understood that I could CHANGE things. the interrelation of the different aspects for me is in exactly that: I can get control over myself and change things. and even if I dont like the result in the end (for example I dont like the echo) at least I know I tried and I can try and change again.

          • Lena, I understand your reasoning regarding making the steps towards change.
            For me, my thought pattern was if I don’t do anything different then I can expect nothing to improve. So I hauled my big keister outside & proceeded to walk. Not far but far enough. Then I did it again & again & again. Same with decluttering my home. I decluttered a little, then a little more, then more…again & again & again until I succeeded.

            When all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

    • Jane, good for you, and thank you for sharing your story. It helps me strengthen my commitment to healthier living and losing weight, knowing that it may take awhile, but the small daily changes will make a difference in the end – which is also what Colleen has been saying. Every day, we have choices about the small things, and the small things add up.

  29. Not a fan of winter. Unless the days are sunny and bright. Today is one of those grey, cloudy, rainy days. Not the cheeriest day but I’m looking out my window and thinking TGIF. I don’t mind the cold as long as there is no precipitation. But spring and fall are my favorite times of the year. Love the brightness of early morning and the crispness of the air. Robin, I, too, live just across the river from DC in Arlington, VA and work in Tyson’s Corner. Perhaps we are neighbors.
    Jane, Congratulations for getting your life turned around and back where you want it to be. Also, need to offer congrats to Moni and Deb J for their progress in weight loss and improvement of their life processes. You both are good role models for me.

    • I am not a fan of winter either. That’s why we finally decided to move to the sunny Phoenix Arizona area. We have little cold weather (my body loves that we don’t) and we have sunshine most days. I have a mild case of SAD (gloom makes me gloomy) so the sunshine really helps me stay in a good mood.

  30. I agree with most of the others-keep a small number until you are certain you won’t be that size again, or until you’re sure that you’ll never want those again. So for example, those two dresses you mentioned, then perhaps a pair of pants, a skirt, and two or three shirts. Enough to have a tiny wardrobe if you go back up so you don’t have to race out and buy things, but not so much that it’s hard to store. I do this with jeans all the time. Two in the size I currently best fit, one a size larger, and one a size smaller. I fluctuate a bit though.

  31. Hi Moni,
    Is there any chance you may start Menopause and the hot flashes or whatever will cause you to wear your summer gear throughout Winter heehee!! Just a thought!!

    Honestly, handle how you best see fit. In most cases, your brain knows there is stuff stored so your body will stay dormant because it knows there is a safety net. If you get rid of everything chances are you’ll lose so much ‘size’ nothing you stored will fit anyway!! I say size cos lets face it if you diet and excercise no doubt your body will change shape completely and still nothing you have kept will fit ‘right’. Just a thought. You have adapted your ‘brain’ to some really good thinking in all areas and I really believe you can ‘think’ your way through this one without crushing your spirit or undoing all your good work! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dizzy – I haven’t quite hit 40 yet, its getting close, but no I don’t think I can rustle up some ‘power surges’ for wearing summer wear in Winter. Good thinking though.

      My exercise regime has begun, I go slightly above turtle speed.

      • Moni, good for you girl, steady and regular with the exercise! Have you considered tap hahaha I love it and we have such a scream laughing, I actually think that the laughter is what keeps us all fit. I wish you well my dear, now go and chuck out everything you really truely don’t want to look at or wear again. Go on, just do it!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  32. Moni, your article spoke to me. I, too, as working on losing weight and have a lot of clothes in assorted sizes. Since I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe every time I reduce or egads! gain weight, I’ve opted to keep the clothing for now. As I go down in size and the clothing gets way too big, I’ve decided to store them in a box for one year. If in that time period I don’t need them, I’ll give them away.

    I lost weight 15 years ago and gave my clothes away immediately. It was a big mistake because I gained some weight back and had to spend more money on new clothing.

    Hope you let us know how you decide to resolve this dilemma.

    • Hi Monique – its an interesting dilemena to be in isn’t?

      I have had a lot of good advice and suggestions – I am going with a mixed approach solution as there wasn’t one right answer to this. I went thru my clothes and I knew the items which no longer looked any good on me – call me vain, but the purpose of clothes is to cover the body and to look nice (preferably). The items that are too baggy, are falling off my shoulders etc – especially if I’ve owned them 2+ years – have headed off to my favourite goodwill store. I’m not above going shopping there if I get desperate. I also believe that somewhere out there there is another woman who is having the same dilemna and would be happy to find clothes to fit at this end of the season. What if I need to upsize again? I don’t believe I would wear those particular items again regardless.

      One reader reminded me that it is very important to feel good about your appearance while you are on a weight loss journey, this fuels further success. Yes carbon foot print is important, yes wasting money is a no-no, but as soon as I try something on I know straight away if I feel nice in it or not. If I don’t, then I’m not going to wear it and those items are going into a seperate pile – in a week or two I will ask myself if I feel different now? Is there another reason I didn’t feel nice in it? Was it the colour, the style, the fabric etc etc – if it is a reason other than it was too baggy, well, it sounds like I would have let it go next summer anyway.

      There are a couple of dresses that I will keep for now, if they are still too big next Summer I will look at taking them in, as they were from my new clothes but more importantly I like them.

      So Monique, its been on an item by item basis. What is left is getting worn regularly and will probably be starting to look tired or showing signs of wear and tear by the end of Summer, but that is just another method of decluttering. To be honest, I haven’t seen anything in the shops that I really like, but if I did, I probably would get it as a wee reward.

  33. Deb J. Are you taking prednisone? It affects me the same way. I want something to eat but cannot find anything that hits the spot. Often times, like last night, I wanted something sweet with my hot tea after dinner and just could not find anything to satisfy me. And, I have to be careful or I will gain just by thinking about food.

    • Maggie, I was taking it but am off it now. Between that, my fibromyalgia, my chronic fatigue and my IBS it has not been a good couple of months. When I take something like the prednisone then it messes everything else up. At least this time I didn’t gain 60 pounds in 6 weeks like I did the last time. Thank God.

    • Hi Maggie, I don’t take any medications but out of life long habit I always want something sweet with my cup of tea. It is the time space when I am making the tea that is the danger zone. I have discovered that if I just ignore the craving, once I start drinking the tea I get over it. It is one of those triggers if resisted un-cocks itself.

Trackbacks

  1. […] you to Jane for her personal story of how she decluttered a career that had become dissatisfying, 60 pounds and a whole pile of […]