Climate solutions,  Enviro-tips

Streamline your closet

Simplifying your stuff can start with the unused items in your clothes closet.

Why this is important

We simply have so much Stuff, to the point that more-more-more becomes routine. An important global warming solution is dematerialization – decreasing the amount of Stuff we consume, and getting used to far less Stuff.

Every item we purchase requires fossil fuels and generates global-warming emissions to process the raw materials and manufacture the item. Plus it deepens our biocapacity deficit. Reuse is the way of the new future.

What you can do

Go into your closet today, and turn all the hangars backward: hang each item from the back of the rod instead of from the front.

Over the next month, every time you select an item to wear, when you put it back, hang it the ordinary way from the front of the rod. Within a month, it will become obvious which items you use often, and which stuff you never use.

Now it’s much easier to simplify your stuff, because you never use it.

Let the unused stuff go to a new home — take it to a charity or consignment shop so someone else can use it.


Turn your shoes around so that the heels point out. Each time you wear a pair, switch it around so that the toes face out. (Alternatively, toss all your shoes into a hamper. Bring a pair out, as you wear it, and leave it out of the hamper.)

Within a month, you can take your unused shoes to new homes.

Repeat this streamlining twice a year, perhaps in the middle of your warm-weather season and in the middle of your cold-weather season.