At the beginning of each Spring and Fall I clean out my closet. I keep my current season's clothes in the walk-in closet in our master bedroom and the off season wardrobe in the guest room closet. As someone (who must know me very well) recently said, "Marlene's problem isn't bargain shopping...she does that. Her problem is volume." Well said, well said. What can I say, I get bored wearing the same thing every week. I probably have 9 dresses in varying shades of blue hanging in there right now.
I started trying to take pictures of this delicate process and the shutter on my camera broke. You'll just have to use your imagination. While you are picturing me surrounded by sweaters and pants and boots, also picture a mischievous two year old climbing all over me and undoing all that I've done. For reference, he looks adorable in his dinosaur footy pajamas.
I've gotten pretty good at sorting through what to keep and what to give away (I donate it to a women's shelter). Once, a friend even asked me to write down my decision making process for her. Since you are so kindly reading this, I thought I would share it with you.
For the outgoing season:
1. Start with shoes-They are all over my floor and I couldn't get in the closet if I didn't start here. Look at the toes and heels of your shoes. Are they scuffed, broken, etc.? If they look ratty it's probably time to toss them. Did you wear them over the past season? If not, toss them! Are they hopelessly out of style because you have been hanging onto them for over a decade? TOSS THEM, Mom! Oh wait, sorry.
2. T-shirts and Basics-I usually toss all of my black and white t-shirts. If you have spent money for nice ones, just make sure that there aren't holes, threads, stains, etc. I always have at least 2 or three of each color in my wardrobe each season. These are easy and cheap to replace. You can get decent ones at Old Navy for around $10 and they will last one season, which is all you need! It seems that my blacks always fade and my whites get dingy. Rather than tossing them, you could keep them for working out, paint smocks for the kids, dust rags, whatever.
3. Pants/skirts-First and foremost, TRY THEM ON!!! Do they fit? If not, get rid of 'em. Nobody looks good in ill-fitting clothing, no matter how stylish it may be. Do the same inspection here-tears, fading, threads, stains. You get the idea. If you didn't wear them over the last season, you probably won't next year either.
4. Sweaters-very important! Check for picks and pills...sweaters can look bad really quickly. Especially if it's been a season favorite. Look closely at each one.
1. Does it still look as good to you as it did when you put it away? There are some things I put in the off-season closet that never make it back into the "current" closet. Don't be sentimental...it's clothing, not your grandmother's china. (unless it's that pair of Chanel shoes you SHOULD have gotten engaged in-keep those)
2. Try it on-I have had some major weight fluctuations since having kids. I can't guarantee that what fit me last year will still fit. Hey, if you get lucky it will be too big-that happened to me (once).
3. Has your life changed? I left my commercial real estate job for one in the jewelry business. I wore khaki or black pants and skirts nearly every weekday for almost 11 years. Now I wear jeans and cute tops or fun dresses. I kept 3 pairs of my old corporate pants and tossed the rest. I can't imagine ever wearing them again. No since in them taking up space that could be used for more jeans!
When the new season gets hung and folded, my closet looks just like J wishes it always would. It's all sorted by sleeve length and color and very neat. I can undo that in about 3 days. I did something last year that was almost life changing-I changed all of my hangers to those Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers. I literally threw away every single hanger that wasn't huggable. The pant hangers are so wide that I can hang two pairs of pants side by side on one. Talk about space saving!
I know this was alot of information without pretty pictures, but hopefully it will help you! Hey, if you are going through your closet and ever have a question about whether to keep something or toss it, send me a picture-I have lots of opinions!