Above : The bag of shoes I left outside my main door last night.
Having always had a minimal wardrobe, contending with a deluge of “gifts” as a blogger brought up a new problem : how to get rid of all the pretty stuff that I wasn’t wearing any more. At first it seemed impossible. Who in their right mind would throw away or even give away all this stuff? But then, it is “stuff”. Someone gave it to me and now I can give it to someone else.
I thought about selling it but quickly found out that fashion items from most brands ( unless they are luxury brands ) have little to no resale value. The time I would be spending taking photos of these items and then the time I would be spending to list these items for sale on my blog or on the nascent platforms that are currently available in India, would be worth more than I would ever get for the items themselves. ( OLX is no good for low value fashion items – I’ve tried. )
After a couple of years, I’ve come to a simple solution. I look at my wardrobe periodically and try to wear everything I see. What usually happens is that I turn to the staples : jeans / shorts / casual dresses / easy footwear / etc. and sometimes a formal dress, a formal jacket. I try on a few options before a decide on the look for the day out and more often than not, I come to dig up items I realize I’m never going to wear. At the moment I have that realization, I take the item and throw it on a pile in my living room ( it’s not visible to guests who visit but is right next to the main entrance ). If the item stays there for 3 months, it’s out.
Then I look at my closet closely every six months ( can vary – sometimes 4 months, sometimes 8 months but 6 is a good benchmark ). If it is a piece of casual wear and I haven’t worn it in six months, it’s out. If it is a piece of formal wear and I haven’t worn it in 12 months, it is out. That rule applies to clothes and footwear because those seem to be the most I collect and don’t need. I have more than 30 pairs of shoes at last count ( I took out six pairs just last night and I STILL HAVE 30. Ugh. I remember when the maximum number of pairs I ever had was FOUR and I was HAPPY. )
Hand bags I don’t have many. Maybe 6-10 and I don’t feel the need to give them away or sell them.
When I have more than a handful of clothes collected, that need to be given away, I pick up the pile from the living room and it is laundry time. I wash them, iron them, fold them, put them in a decent paper bag and leave them outside my main door. Same for footwear. Just an open bag for anyone to pick stuff up from. In the last six years, not once have I found the bag at my front door in the morning – it’s always gone. I don’t know who takes it or what they do with it. I don’t care.
Clothes that are torn, I usually end up cutting up to use as rags around the house or to clean my car. Footwear that I’ve destroyed, I bin.
I find that if I think too much about the pile of stuff and the “right” way to discard it, I am likely to actually just keep it. So I don’t think about it. Out of the door, out of sight, out of mind. After a few days, I don’t even remember what I gave away. This is the best test to know that you’re doing it right. So far, so good.