Have you heard of Japanese declutterer Marie Kondo? She wrote a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her thoughts on how to go about decluttering are a bit different from most of what I read on the subject. She says to forget about doing a little each day; make it one huge decluttering event!
It might take six months, but make it a once-in-a-lifetime purge and she says you'll never have to declutter again. That sounds good to me.
One thing she promotes that I've done is to gather together all your like items and go through them all at once. So, instead of sorting through a drawer of folded t-shirts one day and then looking through all the hanging shirts another day, get them all together first - and maybe add all your sweaters and jackets, too. I think this is really helpful for a few reasons:
* You can see how much you have. If it's a lot, you might feel sort of disgusted and that helps you to get rid of extra stuff! When you look at things one at time, you might feel more sentimental about when you bought it or where you wore it. It's easier to let go if you are feeling a negative emotion toward a big pile, rather than positive feelings toward each piece of clothing.
* It will be easy to see if you have multiples of the same item. If you have three similar shirts, you probably have a favorite that you reach for every time. The others likely just sit there, unused. When you see the multiples all at once, it can feel easier to get rid of the extras.
* You'll see mix-and-match and substitution opportunities. If you've classified some tops to fill a certain role, you may never consider wearing them in a different context. Seeing all the tops together could spark ideas about using a cardigan instead of a jacket with a certain outfit, or layering some different shirts together. And if a sweater can take the place of that jacket, do you still need the jacket?
Have you emptied out your whole closet to sort through all your clothes? Great! Now, did you also get out all the clothes from the attic, basement, hall closet, and under the bed? Will you give it a try? I will think about gathering all my like items as I declutter the rest of my house. And after I finish reading the book, I'll let you know what I think about Kondo's whole technique.