The Hanger Exercise: A Simple Way to Clean Out Your Closet

February 20, 2018

Categories: Minimalism

Many of us have a lot of clothes in our closet that we never wear. Giving some of our extra clothes away would be a win-win. We could simplify our life and clear out some extra space in our closet (win for us). And, we could give someone else the opportunity to get some value from our extra clothes who otherwise may not be able to afford them (win for others).

Struggling to Give Clothes Away

But maybe you’ve had the following experience: You look in your closet, and see something you haven’t worn in a while. But even though you haven’t used it in a while, you like it. And who knows, you might want to wear it at some point in the future. So you leave it in your closet, just in case. You might feel this way about most of your clothes, and they start to pile up in your closet, unworn.

The Hanger Exercise

Here’s a simple exercise that can help you figure out which clothes you wear regularly, and which clothes you can give away: Go through your closet and turn all your hangers in the opposite direction of how you normally hang your clothes. Then, when you take something out and wear it, put the hanger back in the normal direction.

After you do this for a while, the clothes you wear regularly will have their hangers facing the normal direction, and the clothes you never wear will have their hangers facing the opposite direction. These are the clothes you can give away.

How Long?

What’s a good time period to try this exercise before giving away the clothes on hangers facing the opposite direction? It’s a personal decision, but I think 6 months is a good amount of time. For many of us, a 6-month time period will hit both the warm and cold seasons where we live. That way, you won’t be giving away clothes simply because they are out of season.

Discussion: What do you think of the hanger exercise? What have you found to be helpful when trying to figure out what clothes to give away?


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