How To Tackle Clothing Clutter When You Have ADHD

How many clothes are in your closet that you have been saving for that “someday”? Someday I will wear that dress or someday I will fit into my old jeans. We all have those things that we have been holding onto for way to long. They are shoved in the back of the drawer or closet, taking up space and collecting dust until that “someday” comes around. But you know what? Life is to short to keep on waiting for the someday. So I am devoting this weeks post to giving you 8 easy steps to decluttering your clothes when you have ADHD.

Step 1– Wash all your dirty laundry in the house and leave no t-shirt crumpled in the bottom of your laundry basket.

Step 2- Pile each and every last article (now the clean ones) of clothing on the bed. If there is anything in the pile that you obviously won’t wear and have no problem taking out and donating, that goes next. Next to the pile put a large garbage bag next to the bed to place the items that you are going to donate. You want to not be able to see the clothes after you make your decision to donate. Use the bag, or you will second guess yourself on things as time goes on.)

Step 3- Things that are worn or have seen better days can be relegated to the trash or maybe the rag drawer. But cut them up – these things have sneaked back out into my closet before! (Seriously.)

Step 4 Remove the sentimental clothing but useless items from the pile. (If you have anything you’re hanging onto that you can flat out acknowledge that you will never wear again, but are keeping because it’s special, that’s what we’re talking about. If you have a very few sentimental items – maybe your wedding dress and a t-shirt you got at your first concert – it’s fine to keep those.

Step 5- Sort what’s left (things you don’t use regularly – for whatever reason – but aren’t emotionally attached to) into appropriate “specific event categories” – so I’d make a pile for “dressy”, for “beach holiday” and one pile for “everyday stuff I just don’t wear”. (Because I know me, and I know that’s what will be left when I finish with “stuff I wear all the time / stuff I can get rid of / stuff I have sentimental feelings about”. You might have other categories, like “camping clothes” or “gym clothes”.)

Step 6- Pare down each “specific event” category based on if you would wear an item today. So, from the dressy pile, if I was going to a wedding today, what would I choose to wear? Most people only need a few dressy outfits / one week of beach holiday outfits etc, in their closets. Get rid of anything that you wouldn’t be excited to wear. Put the things you are keeping back in the closet, and the rest in the donation box.

Step 7- At this point, all the clothes that you should have left is the everyday clothes you just don’t wear. This is where I have gone wrong in the past. I looked at my clothes and I said to myself that I would wear in the future and I put like 80% back in my closet. Unless you have a rock solid reason to keep this stuff (and I can’t even come up with one as an example), get rid of all of it. Hanging on to stuff I hardly wear is what is causing the bulk of my clothing clutter issues.  Following is a partial list of reasons that are NOT GOOD ENOUGH to put this stuff back in your closet. If you are keeping things for any of these reasons, just don’t.

-It was really expensive. (Then sell it!)

-I’m 5 lbs too heavy and I’ll fit it again.

-I use to wear it all the time and I’ll probably wear it again soon. (Not. The. Case.)

-I paid for it and I should wear it.

-I’m tired of it, but it’s perfectly useful.

-It’s gorgeous (but when I put it on I look a little…7  months pregnant).

-I love it (but don’t have the confidence to leave the house in it… so I don’t).

-It was a gift and the person who gifted it will be hurt if I get rid of it.

-I might really miss it. (Because if I haven’t worn something in 8 months, this makes sense – right?)

BUT if  the bulk of your clothing clutter problems are sentimental items, you still need to deal with that. If there’s lots of room in the closet and it’s 3 or 4 things, I think it’s fine to keep them. If you have 27 things you are sentimental about, you need to learn to let go.Think about taking photos of the clothes. I won’t go into all the ways I deal with emotional clutter here.

Step 8- Get Rid of Everything that is going now- This is the single most important step. If you keep that donation bag around, the clothes will creep back out of it. I don’t know how, but it’s happened to me over and over. Drive that bag right down to the charity shop