The One Year Rule


What’s your measure in deciding whether or not to keep that article of clothing or get rid of it?

I have moved house so many times that I needed something to aid in making this decision. Some wise person (not me) said that if you have not worn it in the past year, get rid of it. I have come to the conclusion that this person was right. Yes. There are exceptions to every rule. But this really is a good gauge to follow.

You do not have to be moving to apply this gauge at any time. Spring or Fall cleaning is a good time to do this. Cleaning out that closet? Have you worn everything in it in the past year? If not, bye bye.

Recently I have had to face the fact that I am not getting any smaller. That’s a nice way of saying I am not losing weight and probably will not lose weight any time soon. Yes. I have tried. No. I have no results to show for it. The purpose for bringing this up now? Get rid of those ‘skinny’ clothes you will never wear again! If by some miracle you actually do lose weight, well that’s a good opportunity to refresh your wardrobe and reward yourself. That’s my view and I’m sticking to it.

It may very well be that this rule can be applied to other things as well. Can you think of a good way to use the one year rule?

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Comments (14 )

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  1. Huh, one year? What about ball gowns and dresses for black tie?

    Honestly when it comes to throwing away clothes you should not throw away any good quality clothes. Have a lot of classical clothes from Valentino, Chanel, Donna Karan and such brands. Some of them are 15 years old but they will always look fantastic even 20 years from now because the quality is fantastic. The same goes for cashmere sweaters. They last forever if you wash them the right way.

    Anything cheap that you don't wear anymore, give it to some charity and they will make some money off it.

    Don't throw away clothes because you have gained weight. It will give you a good excuse to not do anything about your weight. Seriously the older we get the more important it is to exercise a lot and make sure we keep the weight we have always had. If not old age will not be a pleasant experience:-)

  2. JeriWB says:

    Aside from special occasion clothes, a lot of us would benefit from ransacking our closets. I don't buy a lot of clothes, so there's never much that needs to be thinned out. However, I can't say the same for house decorations. While not a subscriber to the one rule rule per se, I do regularly get rid of things that are worn out, but I also try to buy quality items over ones that will wear out quickly.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I have way too much decorations and should go through those. Good idea!

  3. findingourwaynow says:

    I'm with you on this one. One of the biggest challenge I have is holding on to things WAY to long. The one year rule helps me to let go when I am challenging myself to hold on or let go. 🙂

    • Geek Girl says:

      One of my worst tendencies is to hold on to things far too long. The one year rule helps me deal with this in a constructive way.

  4. Susan Oakes says:

    I keep the classics but have a tendency to throw things out too soon. Then of course when I look for the article of clothing later it has been thrown out.

  5. Dan Meyers says:

    Hmm, ya, I've never used the one rule but probably need to. We're potentially moving soon, so now would be the time to do it! The problem now is our closet is really big so we don't feel the need to get rid of anything…

    • Geek Girl says:

      Uh huh… so the size of the closet determines whether or not you keep something. Hmmm……

  6. Geek Girl says:

    When I said to get rid of clothes I did not mean to throw them away. I never throw clothes away. All my discards go to Goodwill. Vintage clothes are collections and do not come in to consideration. Discarding my 'skinny' clothes does not mean I have given up on my weight. I take my health very seriously so exercise is very much a permanent part of my life. I intend to enjoy my senior years. 🙂

  7. Geek Girl says:

    That very fear is what keeps me holding on to things way past time for them to go. 🙂

  8. namirusso says:

    My mom always taught me never to live in the past. Clothes, hair…men – not that I've had much of any of those – what you haven't seen in a year is just not worth keeping around. I agree – cheers!

  9. Geek Girl says:

    So nice to see you! I've missed you! 🙂

  10. Lubna says:

    Each Diwali season, there is a clothes collection drive by one of my fav NGOs and this itself ensures that I clean my cupboards. But I do end up giving away new clothes and stick to old comfortable ones even if these have become faded and worn. I have two T shirts now that are badly tattered, but oh, they are so very very comfortable.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I think that is wonderful. All my clothes go to Goodwill. I also understand that whole comfort thing. I have some clothes like that myself. 🙂