I had a closet full of clothes. Well, I still have a closet full of clothes, it's just not as full as it used to be. That's because I got rid of half my clothes.
It had gotten out of hand. The rod in the closet was packed, the shelves were overflowing and my dresser drawers wouldn't close. And the sad thing is, I didn't even wear most of it. I had t-shirts from college, dresses from the first few years of my career and maternity skirts that probably wouldn't be worn again. My closet was like a scrapbook. A cluttered, disorganized scrapbook that was just taking up space.
So I just decided to get rid of it all.
Here are some steps I took.
1. I evaluated my lifestyle and season of life.
I stay home with my children and plan on staying home as long as possible. I also work from home so I don't need as much "professional wear" as I used to. So I knew a lot of my business casual wear could really benefit someone who needed it more than I did. So I bagged up my work clothes and sent them to Goodwill.
But, the maternity wear was the first to go. I had a girlfriend who was pregnant at the time. She happens to be the same size as me and I know that cute plus size maternity wear is expensive and hard to find. I bagged up ALL my maternity clothes minus one pair of leggings (because they don't make that exact pair anymore and I think I just want to be buried in them) and sent it all to my friend.
But I still had a TON of clothes. So when I say half I mean clothes that were NONMATERNITY. So yeah, it was a lot.
2. I evaluated what I really wore.
I think I was doing what a lot of women do, I found myself wearing the same few outfits, again and again, ignoring the rest of my closet. I have some favorite pieces and some that are just functional for my life at this moment.
3. I developed a uniform.
Okay, so I know this sounds boring, but it's not. I have come up with outfits that are functional, comfortable and cute. It is usually a skirt/maxiskirt/pant with a tank top/tee and a cardigan. For more dressy events it is usually a dress and cardigan with a nice pair of flats. My clothes are usually very basic colors, navy, blue or gray and I dress it up with a colorful scarf or statement necklace.
I still have lots of cute blouses (four) and two denim jackets.
4. If I didn't love it, I tossed it.
I had clothes, usually, stuff people had given me, that I just hated. But I felt guilty getting rid of it because it was a gift. But that's not right. No one wants to give you a gift with a big dose of guilt attached to it.
Also, if I didn't LOVE the way I looked or felt in it I let it go. Someone else might really enjoy it, even if I didn't.
5. I got rid of unnecessary duplicates.
I had multiple pairs of khakis. Really? I hate khaki. Is there a fabric LESS flattering to the female rear-end? So those went, minus one pair, just in case. I had several pairs of black slacks, so I paired it down to just one.
However, I will say I still own three black dresses, three identical dresses in different colors and a myriad of black cardigans.
I am hoarding cardigans. I can't stop it. It's a disease.
I feel so much better about my closet now. I feel more pulled together, I feel less guilty about the amount of clothing I have, and I know that lots of women in my area were able to benefit by getting great clothes for a steal at Goodwill or our local mission store.
In total, I took about 15 bags of clothes (it's shameful that I had that much. I know! I know!).
I didn't do it all at once. It took several months (about five total) to get my closet the way I wanted it. I was constantly evaluating and reevaluating the space. I would take out a pile, go through it and then go through it again.
I would keep the "tossed" clothes for a couple days and then take them to the mission store or Goodwill. That way I could give myself time to think about each item.
I also tried to go for a capsule wardrobe, meaning almost everything I own matches everything else I own. I cannot tell you how easy it is to get dressed when 85% of your clothes coordinate.
What tips do you have for streamlining your wardrobe?