This weekend I decided to do my monthly spring and fall ritual and tackle this:
No, this wasn't about cleaning up this mess (though clearly it needs it). It was about getting stuff OUT of the closet for good. Yup, it was time to mend, toss, and donate!
I know there are a lot of rule of thumbs about cleaning out closets, such as "get rid of anything you haven't worn in 6 months", but I don't think that these always work because clothes can be very emotional and you can have silly attachments to items. Plus, a lot can change weather-wise in 6 months. I haven't worn my sweaters in 6 months because it was summer!
However, I think purging a closet is so important. Not just for the extra space, but because it is much easier to find an outfit you LOVE if you are only choosing between 10 items. Especially if you LOVE all those 10 items because they are beautiful and flattering!
So here are my rules to cleaning out a closet, and I hope they can help you purge this fall as well. Because let's face it, it is nice to have space to store NEW clothes ;)
1. Go through your wardrobe in the spring and fall. Focus on the clothing your wore for the previous season. Did you never wear a shirt? It is probably because it isn't flattering or doesn't fit...so just toss it! Replace it with something you really love.
2. Pull out anything that needs mending and just get to it. I found a few of my white Tshirts were stained with my Anthralin treatment (WHY? HOW??) so they are all currently in the wash with a giant dose of bleach. If it doesn't come out, I will buy new ones.
3. Plan a swap party with your friends, or just allow them first dibs on the clothing before you donate it. I find this makes me feel a lot better about an item I used to love but maybe no longer fits.
4. If you are debating on an item and it is a cheaply made one, just toss it. Don't waste your energy on items that are not quality items. I tend to buy high quality for basic and cheaper items for fashionable trends. When the trend has ended, I just get rid of the item
5. If you are debating, try it on. There may be a reason that you don't often wear it. Maybe it is a skirt that rides up all day or a shirt with tight shoulders that make it hard to lift your arms. Even if the item looks great on you, if it isn't comfortable, you won't wear it. Give it to someone else.
6. Don't keep anything that isn't flattering
7. Don't keep items that don't fit. While of course you are confident that you will lose that 5lbs and it will fit again soon, wouldn't you rather buy a clothing to celebrate? Keep a few pre-weight-gain items that are either high quality or are your favourite. Give the rest away!
8. When buying new items for your now empty closet, be more selective this time! Only buy items that you LOVE. Don't buy something just because it is on sale. That is how you end up with an overstuffed wardrobe of items that you never wear.
9. Think about the clothing you need. I work in a professional office so I only wear jeans on the weekend. Therefore I only have 3-4 pairs. I also have some changes coming up at work where I will be in front of clients now instead of behind the scenes. So I am moving away from T-shirts and cardigans and will need more room for button ups.
10. Don't forget to also look at the wardrobe for the upcoming season! Try things on and write a list of things you need to complete your wardrobe. I like to go to the outlet malls in the spring and fall with a list of items I would like. I find shopping with a list means that I don't buy things that are not needed (I don't need 30 T-shirts because I can't think of a month where I only wear T shirts and need a new one every day). I prefer to just have a few items in each category that I love.
After my purge I ended up with a decent pile of clothing that I no longer cared to wear! Now I have room for a few new fall goodies :)