#18 – Women and Money Blog Series – Decluttering Your Wardrobe and Your Finances

Clothes and money are linked more than we think! Organising your wardrobe is almost as daunting a task as organising your finances! It can bring up feelings of fear and anxiety. The key to successful decluttering is to tackle these tasks in bite size chunks.

Why Declutter?

Decluttering your wardrobe and your money can help you make money. Not just from the obvious reselling of unwanted clothes but decluttering your mind. Clutter in your life can instil feelings of confusion, chaos and mess. The Japanese are huge savers and believe that financial stability is a key factor for wellbeing. They believe in using your ‘Kakebo’ to manage and control your money. The Kakebo is an accounting book to help bring calm into ordinary people’s chaotic financial lives.

The Kakebo

Kakebo Spending flowchart

If you are considering making a financial purchase, this flowchart will help you decide if it’s a wise choice or not.

We wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. Fact. You know that feeling. You wake up in the morning and put on your favourite items and the rest get left in the wardrobe gathering dust! A little like the Five Spices jar in the cupboard.

You want your wardrobe to be a shopping destination where everything you love is in your size, in stock and it fits! So here are my 6 top tips to creating a minimalist wardrobe full of clothes you actually wear, saving you money and providing a less cluttered money mindset.

Step 1 – Take Stock

Wardrobe – Take stock of what’s in your wardrobe. Empty all your drawers and wardrobes and lay all the items out on your bed – Now breathe!

Money – Take stock of all your direct debits and standing orders. Cancel any that you no longer need and create new ones to pay off minimum balances on credit-cards. Consider setting up a bill account with a fixed payment going in each month and any money left over goes into a personal account for spending and saving.

Step 2 – Try everything on

Before you return everything to your wardrobe, try everything on. Then put your clothes in designated piles as follows:

C – Charity

A – Alterations

K – Keep

E – Ebay

There are some amazing ways to resell clothes and make money. Try Twicely, EBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Money – Try on your money! Grab your statements and file them with different sections for different items. Or how about scanning them in and filing them digitally.

Step 3 – Turn your habits and hangers around

Wardrobe – When you rehang the items in your wardrobe, hang the hanger the wrong way around and if the hanger is still hanging this way buy the end of the year, get rid!

If you have not worn it in a year you probably wont wear it. Ask yourself – “If I saw it in the shops today, would I buy it?” (If you haven’t “let it go!”)

Money – Assess whether you need to turn your habits around

Picture from The Organised Housewife

Step 4 – ‘Hanging’ on to beliefs

Wardrobe – We can often hang on to old clothes for sentimental reasons. Whilst this is completely understandable if they belonged to a loved one or they remind you of an extra special occasion likeable wedding, this can create poor mindset.

If you’re holding onto things out of resentment, guilt or shame, it can mean that you are holding onto negative emotions caring more about what others think than what is important in life. Don’t hold onto clothes just because someone gave them to you.

Money – Getting rid of bad money habits can open up your mind to receiving money. Emotional clutter can build up from emotional over spending. This emotion can prevent us from making good positive decisions and can hold us back in business, life and relationships. If you order your finances in a mindful way, you start to gain back control and financial freedom.

Step 5- Co-ordinate

Try your clothes on with other items that they may co-ordinate with. You are looking for several coordinating items to create a decluttered wardrobe. Add a scarf or some jewellery to accessorize. Take a photo of the completed outfit. Remember Cher’s wardrobe in the film ‘Clueless’ – How cool would it be to sit and browse from your chosen outfits from anywhere like she could with her snazzy electronic wardrobe rail! You will have your own little portable wardrobe to look at when you are considering purchasing something and can’t remember what you have that may compliment it.

Money – Co-ordinate your spending to your values. Take a pen and write down in order of priority, what is most important to you. For example, family holidays and health and fitness. Does your spending co-ordinate with this?

Step 6 – Automate and Simplify

Wardrobe – Keep your wardrobe simple. Don’t overcrowd your hanging spaces or drawers. Use wooden hangers for maximum longevity as they won’t leave marks on your clothes.

Money – Simplify your finances. Keep things simple. You can do this by automating your savings. Set up a direct debit to a savings account or investment. This will mean you’ll have less financial decisions to make. Also focus on building up a financial cushion. This will help you sleep better at night. A good level is to have 3-6 months worth of income set aside in an instant access cash savings account.

Try out Chip. Securely connect this snazzy app to your bank account and chip will stash away money automatically. It’s amazing how quickly you can build up money so quickly without even realising.

Final Top Tips for Decluttering

Final Top Tips to declutter your finances:

  1. Unsubscribe from emails that cause you to spend more than you can afford
  2. Declutter and organise your financial paperwork
  3. Declutter your social media followers and friends
  4. Clear out your direct debits
  5. Organise your pension and investment statements
  6. Change your passwords to savings goals. Daily reminders of your goals create greater focus and happiness
  7. Go on a spending detox for 48 hours
  8. Renegotiate your mortgage rate
  9. Sell unwanted clothes or gift to charity
  10. Ditch receipts, scan them into a receipt app like ‘Receipthog’ and earn cash at the same time.

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