Strategies for Out to Pasture


You think it’s time to put some of your items Out to Pasture, but you’re just not sure, you’re hesitating. Let me first say it is so normal that you’re struggling! Think about it, Out to Pasture items usually falls into 2 categories:

  1. They used to be your go-to, your favourite, your old faithful, but they’ve been overworked. They are tattered, faded, and showing their age. 
  2. They were never used. Either you bought them for your aspirational self or they were a mistake from the beginning. 

Both of these categories have emotions attached. You either have LOTS of memories with this item OR you realize your life is different in reality than in your imagination. This is when it’s helpful to come back to the goal: we want to be in love with all the items in our closet. Let’s get rid of the ho-hum items so we can focus on the YES items. 

Out to Pasture items are cluttering up your space, distracting from your workhorses and show ponies, and overwhelming your decision-making. Without further ado, below I share some strategies for getting off the fence and onto making clear decisions about these items.

The Victory Lap

This method is to help you use and celebrate and enjoy this item one more time. Think of it as when you know you’re going to break up with someone so you savour one last date or the last drink before ending the night. It’s bittersweet, but it helps. The point of this is to consciously enjoy this item one last time. Perhaps you wear the outfit one last time and cook one last meal. This strategy comes with a warning because it can be dangerous, you can convince yourself you love the item and cannot possibly part with it. I like to think of it as a final way to honour the item. Take it on one last victory lap and then put it in the declutter bin. 

Time Will Tell Bin

I had been using this strategy for years, but Dawn, from the Minimal Mom has such a great name for it that I borrowed it. If I start to notice that I’m not reaching for an item, but I may not be ready to say goodbye, I put it in my Time Will Tell Bin. Here comes the beauty of the Time Will Tell Bin, it serves 2 purposes:

  1. It gives me separation from this item so I am not as attached when I go to declutter. I find a little space from this item helps to create clarity and decreases my attachment to it.
  2. It gives me confidence that I can go without this item. 

I regularly go through my Time Will Tell Bin at least every 3 months, and it’s amazing how much more confident and detached I am when I declutter. 

Force yourself to wear it

If you want to keep it, you have to wear it. I’m serious, set an intention of when you’re going to wear it and don’t let yourself talk yourself out of it. If you can’t wear it in the next 2 weeks, why are you keeping it? Often when we wear an item we realize why we don’t reach for it. It pulls, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not our style. Wear it, learn from it, then make a decision. This strategy is great when you’re starting to have doubts that you should keep the item.

After you’ve done these strategies, if you’re still struggling try asking yourself some helpful decluttering questions

Do you have any strategies to make decluttering easier? What has worked for you in the past?

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