Purposely Purging: Clothes

As I have mentioned in a prior posting, I love to organize everything.  I feel so much better when everything has a place and there is a system or reason for placement/organizing.  One of the first organizational projects I tackled was my closet.  I personally thought that clothing would be the easiest for me even though I love clothing, certain brands, fashions, etc.  However, I find that I can part easier with clothing than I can with books, anything in paper form, little collections of antiques, etc.

I had read a number of organizational books which all gave me a number of tips to follow and multiple ways I can organize, fold, and store my clothing.  I knew I needed to set aside a couple of hours to do this and that meant completely emptying the whole closet, literally.  I really didn’t think I had that much clothing until I saw it all on the floor in a giant pile.  That is part of the point, we all probably have way too much clothing.  Here are the steps I followed:

·        Four piles were formed: keep, garage sale, donations, throw-away

·        I picked up each item, studied it for stains, rips, missing buttons, etc.  If it did have any of these, I put it in a maybe pile, depending on if I thought it could be fixed or that If I used it enough to merit keeping it.

·        When I picked up each item, I thought to myself, “Do I really love this piece; do I like the way I look in it; do I like the way I feel when I wear it?” From those questions, you go with your immediate response and don’t go back (don’t go pull items out of the donate pile to the keep pile). 

·        Go thought all clothing: socks, bras, dress clothes, shoes, tops, swimsuits, coats, etc.

·        Another rule of thumb I stick too is that if I have not worn an item for more than 6 months, it goes.  If you really like the item and you like how it looks on you, then you will find a way to wear it within 6 months.

·        Big question: how many pairs of workout/lounge clothing do you really need?  There is a huge market for these clothing items but if you work someplace where you cannot wear these items on a daily basis but you like to slip them on for the weekend or a few nights a week, do you need 15 pairs of black yoga pants or 10 dry fit shirts?  Pair down clothing styles to what fits your life and work schedule.   I love these clothing items, I would wear workout clothing all day if I could but I can’t.  So it is unrealistic for me to keep dozens and dozens of workout clothing on hand.  Instead I have a couple pairs of yoga pants, half a dozen t-shirts, and half a dozen workout shorts.  I did own twice as much at one point and I still find myself wanting to purchase oversized Pink sweatshirts from time-to-time because they look so cozy! (Resists the urge!)

·        Discourage: try not move items after they are in piles and do not put them in tubs and store them somewhere.  That completely defeats the purpose.  The items need to go out of your house (not to garage or storage shed, but off your property). 

·        Figure out an organizational system and folding system that works for you.  I like to roll my clothing (pants, shorts, t-shirts) they take up less space and I can easily see what I have in the closet/drawer. 

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The slide show displays my closet prior, mid-process (dumping all the clothing on the floor) and then the after which you can see everything is folder (rolled), takes up a lot less space and looks a lot less cluttered.  This whole process took me 3 hours and I actually love looking into my closet now.  I can see what I have and everything is in its place.  I would rather have a closet with less items but items that I love and feel good wearing.  You can have super cute tops but if you don’t like how you look in it, then it needs to go.  This is where people get snagged or they think they will lose weight, or they will wear it next summer, etc.  The excuses go on and on. 

If you have clothes stored in multiple closets and/or locations (tubs of clothing under the bed, in the basement, attic, etc.) those need to come out of for his purging.

I wish you luck.  The more clothes, the longer the process but I promise that you will you feel much better and actually love to open or walk-into your closet after you are done!  Happy purging!!   

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