Keeping Your Closet In Check

“I have nothing to wear!” is a phrase frequently used by yours truly. It has inspired many an eye roll from hubby and as much as I’ve huffed and puffed about it, his eye rolls are justified.  My closet is a scary thing. It seems full, but it’s an illusion! I swear there are clothes in there from 1998 that haven’t fit me since 1999. I’m such a hoarder when it comes to clothing. I always tell myself, “Someday you’ll want to make those jeans into an awesome purse!” or “Someday you’ll want to cut the sleeves off that sweater and use them as legwarmers!” Unfortunately, these projects pile up and are then forgotten, much like the clothing in my horror of a closet.

You know it’s time to take action when: you’ve got 4 pairs of pants on 1 hanger, making room for something new would require the use of a crowbar, you can’t remember the last time you saw empty rack space, and 90% of your stuff hasn’t been worn in 5 years. I’m here to tell you that there is hope! The closet CAN be tamed! I decided to set some new standards that will help keep my closet organized and current without breaking the bank.

•    If it doesn’t fit, donate it or sell it. If it’s a piece you absolutely love and can’t picture living without, get it tailored. But before tossing it in the “to tailor” pile, be honest with yourself. Are you actually going to wear it again? I know it feels like you’re betraying that amazing polkadot blazer but believe me, the relationship is one sided.

•    If it’s a piece you know you won’t wear any time soon, donate it or sell it. Don’t force yourself to hold on to things you loved once upon a time.

•    If it’s stained and damaged, hold a memorial service and throw it away. I’m all for upcycling damaged clothing, but I’ve got so many projects piled up that I know I don’t have the time to complete. I can tell when adding something else to the mix is just unrealistic. There’s a fine line between being resourceful and being a hoarder (says the hoarder)! If you really want to add something to your “to upcycle” pile, do it! But move it from your closet to the craft area so it isn’t using up precious closet space.

•    Don’t add anything new to the closet until you’ve significantly cut down on the offending garments. If you sell some of your higher quality pieces, save the cash for a wardrobe update. Let the closet pay for itself! I started listing some of my stuff on Poshmark, an iPhone app for buying and selling clothes, shoes and accessories.  There are a lot of brand name items on there and the focus is fashion, so it’s easier to find serious buyers than if you’re listing on Craigslist or eBay. If you make an account, use my code (HPMIC) and we both get $5 Poshmark credit!

•    When it’s time to shop again, be VERY picky. Set a budget for yourself and use it wisely. Don’t buy into every trend. You’re starting fresh here, so only snag stuff you truly love and can see yourself wearing long-term.

Of course this isn’t an exact science, but I’ve been whipping my closet into decent shape with these tips so maybe they’ll work for you too! It’s so liberating to finally get rid of stuff I’ve been hoarding for so long. I’ve even had the pleasure of rediscovering some great pieces I forgot I had and would totally wear, which is a big money saver! I only wish I’d confronted my closet sooner. Oh the joys of seeing empty rack space again! All I know is the next time hubby rolls his eyes it won’t be about me having nothing to wear.

If you have any thrifty wardrobe tips or ideas for closet maintenance, please share!

8 responses

  1. Congratulations! Please come and do something about the t-shirts that have invaded my room to the point of not being able to find the closet that I seem to remember was there at one time!

  2. I can’t remember where I first learned this, but I think it’s a fairly popular trick. Go through and turn all of your hangers (with clothes on them, of course) backward from your preferred position. After you’ve worn an item and are ready to hang it back up, turn that hanger the “right” way. In a couple of months, you’ll be able to see which hangers have never made it back to the “right” position, and you’ll have a clear picture of what you’re not wearing. Makes it much easier to know what to donate! ❤

  3. i try to pack things up twice a year — summer clothes are now being put away and winter clothes taken out to air and/or be cleaned. it’s rather tedious but does free up closet space.
    i am now considering the donate or sell method because there are items in there that i haven’t touched since 2007!

  4. these seem impossible to do! I always convince myself that I’ll regret giving something away – like an ugly dress that I wore the day I met my bf. I have managed to get rid of some things in local clothing swaps though!

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