Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip--Purge Your Closet

Have you ever got to your closet, which you KNOW is too full, with all the intention of getting rid of at least half of what you own but when you get there, you find that you are incredibly and emotionally attached to your clothing?

So, you pull out a piece and think--"But I wore that to Daphne's bridal shower" or "Grandma Clair gave that to me" and even though you haven't worn those particular items of clothing since you were in college, you keep them?

Or maybe you get caught in this trap--"I used to wear this all the time.  I'm sure I'll wear it again soon."  Or perhaps, "I'll wear that when I lose weight."

I've done this--a lot actually.  I would never give away a single clothing item if I didn't have too.  But closet space (and my husband) mandate that I need to do a closet purge every now and then.

If you need to clean your closet, but keep getting derailed by clothing memories or hope for an article of clothing's future, here are a few tips to help you stay on track and clean out your closet.

1.  Before you even open the closet door, get some gentle music playing, a drink (I'm thinking tea; if your initial though was tequila I won't judge you), a mirror, a give away box, a memory box, a pen, and a set of stickers/labels.
2.  Close the bedroom door and get into nothing but your underwear and a robe.  Lock the door if you need to.
3.  Now, open the closet door.
4. Breathe.  Breathe again.  Keep reminding yourself to breathe.
5.  Start on the left hand side of the closet (or back if you have a walk in) and work to the right (or front).
6.  Pull out items one at a time.
7.  Now most clothing will fall into categories:
            ~I wear this a lot.
            ~I wear this sometimes.
            ~I haven't worn this since Clinton was President but I love it.
            ~This is sentimental for reasons X, Y, Z.
            ~This is something I like but it is too big/too small.
8.  Here are the rules.
  • If you wear it a lot, keep it for Pete's sake!
  • If you wear it sometimes, try it on to make sure you still like it.  Is there a reason you don't wear it more?  If so, get rid of it.  If not, get the pen and label the piece of clothing with the date.  If in six months you haven't worn the piece of clothing (and removed the label), give it away. (Yes, I'm serious.)
  • If you have something that you love but don't wear, put it in your memory box.  One day your kids will get a kick out of it.  Put the box in your storage area and if you ever need to wear that pink glittery top, you can still get it out.  In the mean time, it isn't taking up valuable closet space.
  • If you run into a piece of clothing that you are keeping for purely sentimental reasons: your wedding dress, the last sweater grandma made for you, the boots you were wearing the night  you met hubby ... keep them.  BUT put those items in storage.  And do try to ask yourself if  the item is sentimental or if you are being a pack-rat.  Wedding dress--fair.  The slinky dress you wore the night you got arrested? A funny story.  Keep the memory; ditch the dress.
  • Try on everything you haven't worn in the past two weeks..  If it is too big, do a happy dance and put it in the give away box.  If it is too small, put it in the give away box.  Love the body you have, NOT the body you want to have when you drop 20 pounds.  When you drop 20 pounds you can celebrate by buying a few new pieces of clothing.  In the mean time, ditch what doesn't fit.  Period.

Good luck purging your closet!
I love this closet but really, who only has 6 pairs of shoes!?!

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