It’s rainy and 50 degrees here in Maryland after a week of perfect sunshine. The sunshine provided the perfect excuse to ignore the inside of my house and soak up some vitamin D ignoring the rather large list of chores to be done. But now that I’m forced inside it’s all coming back to bite me. Staring at a rather cluttered closet filled with half summer, half winter clothes, all of which, are unfolded I’m forced to deal with the age old problem of organizing one’s wardrobe. Clothes…can’t live with them DEFINITELY can live without them. Staring at a wall of clothing, I decided it was time to take on the ever brewing battle between my closet and I. To give some light on the situation… I hate closet organizing… I think there was a pile of clothes on the end of my bed for all four years of college (and probably my whole life) and to make it worse, my husband is just like me. Both incredibly nostalgic, we hang on to the weirdest clothes because somehow they still mean something to us. Never mind that I haven’t worn it for years and has yet to see the light of day, it still has value in my eyes! And we all know that the second I throw it out I will need it for something. But I had to put that all aside to begin to formulate exactly what I own and what is worth donating. I found it easiest to work in categories.
I started by working through what didn’t fit and was worn out. Sometimes, we like to hold onto jeans that are a bit too small or short in the hopes that we will lose weight or somehow cropped jeans will make a comeback but we have to be honest with ourselves. If you lose the weight you can always buy yourself a new pair of jeans and keeping them around isn’t helping you feel any better about yourself. By working through what fits and what doesn’t gives you a good start on parting with things you would otherwise like. I also went through things that were worn out. The stuff you wore all the time in college… time to part with it… the billions of sweatshirts you never wear and have letters peeling off… get rid of them.
I then moved on to what I didn’t like anymore, this was easy, because there was a lot of it. And who doesn’t like getting rid of stuff they hate? Remove the items that don’t have anything that matches them or don’t fit the type of style you want or have. Get rid of hand bags you never wear because you used it once for a particular outfit. Donate the crazy leggings you used for a college dance along with the impulse formal dress purchase.
After the easy stuff was done, I moved onto more challenging categories. So many of my t’shirts hold memories for me, track meets, volleyball games, sorority events… they’re treasures and shouldn’t be thrown away instead I put them away in a containers. All the shirts I don’t wear on a regular basis were placed in a seven dollar tub from target and places in my basement- the perfect place for them. Don’t feel like you have to dispose of memory keepsakes but you don’t need to have them filling your drawers.
Next, I participated in the hardest battle… excess clothing… Who really needs five grey v necks anyways? Go through and get rid of excess, to much of a good thing really is bad for you. Pick your favorites and let the others go to someone who needs it. After all, you probably bought it to replace the originals to begin with and I can guarantee you don’t wear all of them all the time.
Finally, I worked through my sock and underwear drawer. I got rid of mismatched socks and old stuff. It’s the easiest drawer to get out of hand, but the easiest to reorganize. Best way- get drawer dividers to help make organizing easy. Keep it from overflowing by always match socks to their co-partners.
All in all, I ended up with 4 bags of stuff to get rid of and there was probably more I could have parted with. The scariest part, I was surprised by how much I had left even after four bags. I think sometimes we are uncomfortable with having a half empty closet. As women, Its almost scary to even fathom repeating outfits or particular pieces twice in a week. By choosing to get rid of things, I was admitting to myself that I care way to much about what I look like and what people think of me. I’m not saying that clothes are bad! but holding on to things we don’t need simply so we don’t feel like we have no style is just silly. This overwhelming amount of clothes has made me think twice about buying new clothes. I’ve begun to change how I keep and shop for my wardrobe from now on. By following three simple rules I keep myself from mindless shopping and holding on to useless items for too long.
- Dress for yourself… Don’t let the influence of others impact why you style your clothes the way you do. Furthermore, don’t let the fear of not having enough clothes make you hold on to things. A bigger closet doesn’t always mean better styling options.
- If you’ll only wear it once, reconsider… I always try to cut down on the clothes I buy for a particular event. It’s fun to have something new for a party, but if you don’t wear it again it might not be the best purchase. Limit the number of ONE TIME clothes to cut back cluttered closets.
- Quality over quantity… Self explanatory but invest in good clothes that last and fit rather than cutting corners for the sake of getting more. It always pays off in the end.