A part of the reason I started this blog is because I would consider myself a shopaholic and wanted to find solutions to keeping my life simpler. I have bounced back and forth between impulse shopping every weekend and going on Goodwill sabbaticals. I have bought stuff just because it was on sale, and have spent a tremendous time trying to organize and reorganize crap I really never needed in the first place.
This past year I have really been convicted that this habit has got to change. I don’t want the stuff in my life controlling my time as it has for years, and I don’t want stuff around that I don’t use. Furthermore, I don’t want my daughter picking up the habit of keeping stuff around that doesn’t have a need just to fill some emotional void. If I truly believe my possessions and material goods are blessings, I should be more free to give away and be a good steward of what I own. It starts with having a place for my things, using them, and taking care of them. I can only do that when I have a manageable amount of items.
I would spend so much time cleaning my closet, putting summer clothes here or there, and it finally drove me to make some lasting changes. I really only wear some of the same items over and over again, and I know well which clothes I do and do not wear.
The other problem: please look at the size of my closet. I share a tiny closet with my husband. We each get half (although I often tread into his territory). So, I had to find a solution!
Over the years I had collected lots of cheap clothes from Goodwill sales. I had shirts that didn’t fit well, shoes I never wore. I kept old tanks and shirts from past school events that reminded me of old memories. I had all this “stuff” that I never used! Many of my shirts had old stains, had lost their fit, or had holes in them. Why was I keeping them?
I went crazy last weekend. I got rid of more than half of my closet. Many of the clothes in my closet I simply never wore. They took up space and gave me a headache to organize. I am really excited to be starting a new path to making better choices and not being an over-consumer. I recognize years of bad habits have unfortunately led to this point. I am grateful for my new convictions that have led me to make such a change in my life. And let me tell you- it feels so great to look at my closet and see it contained, clean, and organized.
Here is the process I used to de-clutter my closet and make it manageable again!
Invest in good hangers
I went to Target and bought a new set of hangers. They did cost me $19.99. It gave me about 35 slim, velvet hangers. I had another 10-15 velvet hangers. So I had exactly 50-55 hangers to work with in my closet. That was it. I needed to pick and choose what I wanted to keep, and this system really helped me narrow down my choice and cut the clutter.
Get ready to get rid of clothes
I got three bags and labeled them: Trash, Goodwill, and Consign. Anything ripped, stained, or in bad condition I simply threw away. Clothing in good condition but not current in season or a decent label I added to the Goodwill bag. I chose to put clothes in the consign bin in great shape and that were a good label that might resell. I was very ruthless about what I kept: only clothes I love and wear. I plan to make a bit off of old clothes I can sell or hopefully give some to friends.
Then came the fun part. I went to town! I went through every item in my closet and drawers. I tried on old clothes I hadn’t in a long time. Wouldn’t you know, I pretty much knew exactly what I would keep and what I would get rid of ahead of time. Most of the clothes I was unsure of and tried on I ended up giving away. I made a bin for old maternity clothes and put them elsewhere.
Find a place for everything
Once you have your wardrobe, place everything where it goes. I didn’t do anything fancy. I simply hung all my blouses, sweaters, dresses, and skirts (my set of hangers came with skirt clips- super fantastic). I neatly folded my small stack of t-shirts and tank tops and placed them in my closet shelf. I also folded and placed my shorts, workout pants, and jeans and placed them neatly in my closet shelf. I ordered a undergarment organizer for my undies and bras (it was under $15), and also sorted out old bras or worn underwear.
Last step that isn’t really a step in the process but it important: Stop Buying Clothes I Won’t Wear and Keep My Closet Tidy!
It feels great! Everyhing has a place. I am not going to add anything I don’t love to my wardrobe, and plan to do the “one out, one in” with what I have so my clothes don’t get out of control again. Sadly, Goodwill and thrift shopping for clothes is on a permanent hiatus. It just isn’t worth it anymore.
The only funny part is almost all of my tank tops were old and nasty. So I ended up having about two after my purge. I will probably need to get a few new ones, but hey, no big deal.
Do you ever find yourself buying clothes you don’t really love just because they are on sale? Am I the only one who has a hard time parting with old clothing “in case” I ever need it again, even though I have gone a few seasons without it? Do you purge your closet regularly? How do you organize? Have you ever done what I just did? Did you keep it up? Please let me know!