Friday, November 16, 2012

A Closet Purge-fest

It is getting closer and closer to a time of year I despise: winter! Freezing coldness + snow = not my cup of tea! But the fact is, I live in the North (and I’m proud of it) so I have to put up with a few months of the freezing cold white stuff. Such is life!

Winter brings a whole new wardrobe. Out with the old, on with the new, so to speak. I have a large tote full to the brim of winter wear...and once cool weather hits, out it comes! I unpack last year’s warm clothes, purge out everything I no longer want, and pack away most of my summer gear. See ya in July, flip flops!

It takes a bit of time, but I’m so glad I make it a priority to clean out, purge, and pack away. It helps keep my clothes pared down to what I really wear, and helps with storage and closet space! Here are the tips that work for me:

1. Evaluate what you like and will really wear. I’ve learned the hard way over the years, that no matter how cute or functional I think an item is, if I don’t feel secure in it, I won’t wear it. Now, I used to get picked on for labeling my clothes as secure or insecure, but that is really the best way to describe it! Haven’t you ever put together an outfit or put on a new item...and it fits, and its nice….you can’t put your finger on it, but something just doesn’t feel right. Insecurity, people! That's what it is! The garment just isn’t you...and if you are like me, you won’t wear it because of that insecure feeling. So don’t leave those insecure clothes around, its pretty pointless to take up precious space with something you don’t wear!

That being said,

2. Be ruthless. I’ve adopted the policy that, if I didn’t wear it over the last season, I’m not going to wear it during the next. A t-shirt that sat in the bottom of my drawer all summer is getting sent to the donation pile, no ifs, ands or buts. I still feel like I have a ton of clothes, but being strict with myself on this one point keeps them pared down to what I really wear.

Some things still slip through the cracks… for instance, this time around I found a pair of socks from my junior high days. Clearly, because I haven’t been into the Tazmanian Devil for at least 10 years.

Who knows why I still had those!

3. Remember you will get more clothes. Don’t keep something because you might need it someday. I used to do this all the time, but the fact is I’m always getting new-to-me clothes. Just recently a friend gave me a huge bag of clothes. My winter coat was a hand-me-down last year. If you are willing to take them, people are always giving away clothes. We are blessed to have great clothing thrift stores in our area where we can get brand new, name brand clothes for cheap, cheap, cheap! So if there is something I really need, I will either wait for it to be handed down to me, or look for it in a thrift store. There is no need to keep things I may or may not ever need.

My method for this whole process went something like this:

    Dig out tote of winter clothes
    Pull all summer wear out of dresser and closet
    Sort into piles: keep, donate, sell, chuck {more on donating/selling in a minute}

    Begin to take winter gear out of tote - put it away or add to donate pile, whichever is appropriate
    Make more room in drawers, because for Pete’s sake winter clothes take up a lot of room!
    Keep some summer wear out {I still wear t-shirts under sweaters and such, so I keep a few out for that type of thing.}
    Pack everything else away in tote. {including sandals, flip flops, and summery skirts.}
    Enjoy your nicely organized dresser and closet!

I normally donate everything I don’t want any more {unless it is ripped or stretched out} but this year I decided to try listing a few things on Kijiji. Only things that were in like-new condition: mostly things that had been given to me that I didn’t want. I’ve only listed a handful of items, and haven’t sold any yet, but if worse comes to worse I will just add them to the donation bag!

This process works well for me, now I'd love to hear what you do! Do you wear the same wardrobe year-round? How do you determine if you are going to get rid of an item? Have you tried selling second hand clothes before? What about those insecure items?

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