Tips for Decluttering "Former Me" Clothes {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 17} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tips for Decluttering "Former Me" Clothes {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 17}

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tips for Decluttering "Former Me" Clothes {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 17}

Today in the decluttering sentimental items series we're decluttering "former me" clothing. Think about those items you've been holding onto, even though you KNOW you will never fit into them again. They might be from when you were younger or single or before you had kids or before "life" happened.

Why "former me" clothes are hard to let go of 

It can be tough to let go of items that represent an earlier time period of our lives.  Perhaps we wish we could go back to those times.  Maybe life was simpler then.  Relationships, marriage, kids, careers... they all change our lives... hopefully for the better.  But sometimes we want to hold onto things that remind us of our former selves.

With clothing in particular, we often have a hard time letting go of clothes that are too small for us, because we don't want to admit that we have grown a few sizes.  We think we're going to lose weight and be able to wear those clothes again so we hang onto them.  And for some people, that might happen.  But for most of us it won't.  So those "former me" clothes have become clutter.

Tips for letting go of "former me" clothing 

First, PLEASE listen to me. This is NOT a day to feel bad about yourself or to put yourself down. That's not helpful or productive.

This is a day to be honest with yourself. Whatever the reasons are that you are not as thin or small as you used to be, they are what they are, and they are OK. And YOU are OK. Today is a day to accept who you are now and move forward, rather than living in the past.

If your body is no longer the same shape as it was (either due to pregnancy, gaining & losing weight, or just getting older), let go of those "former me" clothes that don't fit quite right any more.  Only keep those that fit well and look great on you.  You'll feel so much better wearing them :)

If you've been planning or trying to lose weight for a long time, but haven't lost enough to fit into your "former me" clothes, let them go. When you do lose those pesky pounds, you can reward yourself with a few new outfits to celebrate.

Here are a few more tips:

  • If you're finding it hard to let go, think about how much more space you'll have in your closet or dresser if you let go of your "former me" clothes.  That will make it easier to get ready or to put away laundry, because you'll have more room in your closet or dresser.  
  • If you've been feeling guilty about gaining weight, think about how much better it will feel to look in your closet and see clothes that fit your body, instead of feeling guilty when you see the clothes that are too small.  Feeling guilty is probably not helping you lose weight anyway... it can even cause you to overeat due to the stress.  
  • Find a friend you can give some of your clothes to if that helps you let go of them.
  • Or donate them to a shelter or charity that helps people who really need clothing.  You'll feel better knowing your clothes will be worn by someone instead of hanging in your closet doing nothing.
  • If you have dressy clothes you no longer wear (perhaps you changed careers, retired, or you're a work-from-home or stay-at-home mom now and you don't need as many dressy clothes), you can donate them to Dress For Success (or similar charities) where they will be given to women who can't afford dressy clothes for interviews or new jobs.  Accessories, purses, and shoes are also welcome at charities like these.

The main point of today is to live for the present, and for the future, and not in the past. And to be honest with yourself so you can live freely.  You'll feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders if you let go of your "former me" clothing :)

Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display "former me" clothes 

I've talked about repurposing or displaying clothing in a few other posts in this series, so I won't repeat those tips here {if you haven't read them or need a refresher, the links are all at the end of this post}.

If you do plan to repurpose or display your "former me" clothing, I'd recommend just keeping a few items at the most.  If you keep too many things, you'll have too many reminders of your former self, rather than living for the present and the future.  And definitely don't display or repurpose clothing if it brings back negative memories.  Surround yourself with things that make you smile :)

Don't Start Your Decluttering Journey With Sentimental Items

Just a quick reminder that if you have "regular" (non-sentimental) clutter in your home, it's better to deal with that first and set aside your sentimental clutter until your home is less cluttered.  Decluttering your everyday items will likely make more of an impact on your daily life than sentimental decluttering will.  And sentimental items are generally more difficult to tackle so it's better to build up to them.

Whether you're decluttering sentimental items or general clutter, join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group!  You'll find lots of encouragement, motivation, and tips as we all declutter our homes and lives together.  You can find more details about the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge here too.

For More Decluttering Sentimental Items Tips

Want more tips?  Check these the 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series!

Or the Decluttering From A to Z series from last October!

If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

Your turn! 

What "former me" clothes can you let go of?  What makes it hard for you to let go of them? Is there a way you can use, display, or re-purpose your "former me" clothing?

As you declutter your "former me" clothes, take pictures and share them on social media using the hashtag #declutteringsentimentalitems so you can inspire all of us to declutter our sentimental items!

If you've said goodbye to your "former me" clothes, what helped you do that?  Where did you donate them?  Who did you give them to?  Or if you decided to keep a few treasures, how are you using them?  What tips can you share for those who are having trouble letting go of their "former me" clothing?

If you've got a picture of how you displayed or re-purposed "former me" clothes, please share it in the comments or on one of the series' social media posts.   I'd love to see how you are giving honour and respect to your sentimental items!

Happy organizing decluttering!

Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!