It was getting to the point where I couldn’t close my drawers. I couldn’t even get dressed in the morning. I had had enough.
It was time to follow in the footsteps of Eminem, and begin cleaning out my closet. Literally speaking- I’m not so sure how I feel about that metaphorically.
Ideally, editing your closet is something you should do regularly. I like having garbage bags or laundry hampers at hand to use for sorting, extra hangers, and a pen and paper for jotting any notes. Make sure you’re near a mirror!
Put on your favorite radio station or make a fashion show mix for your iPod. Pour yourself a glass of wine, dim the lights- why not invite a close gal pal for a second opinion?
Make sure you have a clean space on your floor or bed and get started! If you’re overwhelmed, start small– choose to empty one drawer, or start big by emptying all the things off your hangers. Then it’s just a matter of going through every piece of clothing you own. Don’t forget your laundry basket! (Just remember to put the dirty stuff back afterwards.)
I like to stick to one major rule: nothing goes back into your drawer or closet unless you are absolutely sure you want to keep it.
The stuff that doesn’t go back into your closet can be divided into two piles:
The discard pile should include things that you’ve outgrown, shrunk, and are stained, ripped or faded. (That includes any socks or underwear!) Check your clothes for funky odors. Retire anything you haven’t worn in a year or more. Try things on and be honest with yourself about what looks good. If the cut or color of something isn’t flattering, or doesn’t make you feel beautiful, it can find a better home elsewhere.
Sort as quickly as you possibly can to avoid lingering over decisions. When you’re done, stick the discard pile into bags to be donated- because that’s what you’re doing instead of throwing out your clothes. Right? RIGHT?
I also have a “pending” pile. It usually includes anything that I like that needs mending, as long as the repair is feasible and I’m willing to devote time to fixing it (or the money to pay someone else to). If I have multiples of one type of item, I usually throw them on the “pending pile” too so that I can come back to them for re-evaluation.
Really try to keep only the things you’d use, or you’ve promised yourself to use. If your wardrobe seems to be missing certain staples, or you find yourself letting go of basic wardrobe items that need replacing, jot them down.
At the end of my cleaning frenzy, I was left with five shopping bags of donations, and a list of the gaps in my wardrobe so the next time I go shopping, I know what to look for and where to cut myself off.
And I can close my drawers.
How did your last closet organization session go? Got any tips and tricks for us people who like to hoard a crazy amount of T-shirts like I do? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how you got your closet from bomb-site to bombshell. Want tips from our fashionistas for wardrobe basics that will help flush out even the most label-starved lady? My sister L writes a great fashion blog that has tons of practical tips on how to incorporate the fashionable into any wardrobe.