For better or for worse, men to most degrees are as not of big clothing hoarders as women.
(Yeah right about now is when the fight started!)
Why? Because when most of us shop for clothes, we buy our stuff for functionality first and style second. Let that sink in a moment before you disagree. Most guys don’t need 8 different pairs of black shoes for work right? Most guys on average own maybe 3 or 4 pairs of jeans, right? Most guys will not have 5 or 6 different blue shirts in their closest. Right? Maybe.
This is why it won’t happen if you are smart. It’s spring and it’s time for spring cleaning. Yes, the term is corny but if you actually stick to it you would be surprised how much progress you can make doing it not to mention you will be surprised at how much crap you have accumulated that needs to go.
If some of you are in a similar situation as mine, I live with a sweet lady who has 3 closets full of stuff ( and we aren’t going to count dressers!! ) Technically I have two. One which I use daily and the second one which we share to rotate our seasonal clothes as needed and you already know who has the larger percentage. But you know what? I am good with that because at least twice a year with this particular time of the year being one of them, it’s time to dive in and get rid of items I am not wearing anymore.
There are at least 4 tenets you can use to know what you need to lose and with a little time and effort you can scale down what you have and make room for newer items as you see fit.
1. If it don’t fit you must quit
This is an easy and simple rule and a no brainer. You will always run across a pair of pants that you knew at one time you liked that was perfect about a year or two ago but face it, things changed in that time. Some of us have gotten smaller and others a bit bigger and in a few rare cases even taller (not really, your pants shrunk so don’t even play yourself.) but it happens, trust me on this. Most of the time this happens because it became something you wore once or twice and forgot about. Simply try it on. If the sleeves or legs are too short, neck or waist are too tight then it’s time to let it go. Don’t even think about it or try to rationalize it. There is nothing on Earth short of you miraculously regaining the original shape you were in when you bought it that will allow you to fit back into said article of clothing. Which brings us to…
2. If it’s been a while it’s out of style
There are very few articles of clothing that you can buy that will remain icons regardless of when you got it. Levis 501 denim jeans are the perfect example of that but seriously why do you still have an 8 ball leather jacket on your coat rack? I don’t care that it’s leather or you think it’s a throwback! LET IT GO!
You still have that Bill Cosby looking, Coogi sweater that you said you paid $200 for 15 years ago? Unless Cosby wore it himself it’s not accruing any value! Even those Polo shirts with the big-assed horse running across your chest that you bought in 5 different colors 2 or 3 years ago needs to come out now. It’s ugly and you never played polo. Learn to wear the logo not let the logo wear you!
Some items are just not meant to be throwbacks, and some of us keep it (fooling ourselves) waiting for that day they will be ‘in’ again. Not to mention if that day does happen, most of us will be too old or too cynical to even be caught dead in some of that stuff!!
All of us have a habit of holding on to some clothing items from bygone times for numerous reasons but if it’s taking up valuable space in the closet combined with rule number 1, you have to set that ‘vintage’ pair of Guess acid wash jeans from 1986 and 3 sizes to small free. Don’t be a hoarder!
3. Too much of the same it’s a damned shame!
When I ran across this in my closet cleaning, I felt bad. I realized that I had 4 pairs of khakis that were the same color that I really didn’t need. What had happened was I bought a 2nd pair because the 1st pair had a weird ink stain that wouldn’t wash out, I bought a 3rd pair because the 2nd pair eventually didn’t fit and I bought a 4th pair recently because I couldn’t find the 3rd pair. Don’t ask because I don’t know. When I clean out my closet, one thing I try to do is organize it so I know where everything is to avoid what just happened. Sometimes it makes no sense to have more than 2 of a same or similar color item (unless it’s jeans or your uniform) unless it’s a difference of function but there still always too much of something is not always a good thing.
4. If it’s ragged, dirty or faded…
This should go without saying. Surprisingly a lot of us keep items that we put off on repairing or after a few washes it’s faded out or dingy looking. After a certain point in the life of an article of clothing, it’s no longer serviceable. One such item that has been the bane of my existence are black jeans. Short version is, I have tried everything but eventually they fade and not in a good way. I even call myself holding on to a few pairs as my ‘kick around the house’ jeans. Essentially, those pairs of pants you slum and bum in, do house work with and wash the car in. Guess what? Eventually that pile builds up too and you have to figure out what stays and goes. I have finally reached a point of on the first look if it meets the qualifications of what I headed this topic under, it’s gone.
These are just some suggestions on how to get rid of stuff that hides in your closet for months and years at at time and also a few other hints
– if all you have is one sock, that other will not be showing up anytime soon, but you may want to check her drawer for it or otherwise chalk it up as a loss and buy some new ones.
– if your boxers you pulled out this morning attended Communion services on Sunday (let’s see who gets this) trash them.
– If your 5 year old shoes costs more to repair than it does to buy new ones, that should be your hint.
– And yes, I know some of us love our jerseys, but come on man, if your Clinton Portis has the number 6 holding on for dear life while the number 2 departed at the same time he departed; when “Portis” reads “Por”, it’s no longer a throwback, it’s a throw away! Stop wearing them in public like it means something!
So guys, it doesn’t hurt to also do some spring cleaning and if we are good about it, we have less of it to do than our girlfriends and wives because, they hoard. And when you are all done, bag it up, donate it or take it to a consignment store, it doesn’t really hurt.