Thursday, August 18, 2011

Streamlining the Wardrobe

I'm skipping the basement update this week because I did a number on my back and it's all out of whack.  A couple of trips to the chiropractor is starting to put me back on track but I'm not 100% yet and I didn't want to mess it up further by doing a lot of bending and lifting.

Even though my back is not cooperating I didn't want to lose momentum on my organizing progress I've been making so I switched to my wardrobe.  If you would ask me I would tell you that I don't have many clothes.  The problem is my closet is jammed, my drawers are jammed, my totes in the basement are jammed; for someone with "not a lot of clothes" I seemed to be tripping over a lot of clothes!

A large part of my problem is that I don't wear a lot of clothes that I have.  There are clothes that I like but they just are not comfortable, they may be to small or I may have gotten them as a gift  or found a good sale deal and I just don't want to get rid of them even though I don't wear them.  Having all these clothes laying around was preventing me from keeping my closet as organized as I would like and actually was stressing me out quite a bit.

To start this process I put all the clothes I was had  (except the totes in the basement that I already had gone as part of my organizing project down there) on the bed.  This meant emptying my closet and my drawers (with the exception of my unmentionable drawer - I haven't tackled that yet).  Next I looked at every item and made a decision to keep, donate or throw away.  I still need to go through my donate pile one more time because I am planning on donating my business clothes to a different organization than Goodwill but I'll talk about that more later.  The throw away pile is pretty small because unless it was in bad shape or underwear I donate it.

Initial Clothes Pile

When making my decision I asked myself the following questions;
  • Have I worn this article of clothing lately (taking into account seasonality)
  • Is it still in style
  • Do I like it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Is it comfortable to wear and do I feel good in it?
  • Is it ripped or stained?
  • How many similar pieces do I have?  This may seem like a foolish question but I have quite a few black shirts! 

 You would be surprised how many pieces of clothes I got rid of even though I liked them. If the collar of a shirt doesn't lay right, the length of a blouse is uncomfortable or the cuffs irritate you then most likely you won't wear the clothes or if you do you aren't comfortable in them. Instead of having these clothes take up space and stress me out I would rather get rid of them. My opinion is that it's better to have fewer articles of clothes that I love versus a lot of clothes that I don't like.

I've gotten through the sort process but I do still want to do some further organizing. A couple of months ago I read a blog where they had drawer sorters that looked pretty cool. Once I'm done with the basement I'm going to see what options are available for my drawers and closet.

 Clothes to Donate

Clothes to Keep

There were a few items that went into drawers that I didn't take a picture of.  I also still have a few more things that I couldn't make a decision about.  I'm thinking that if I don't love it enough to keep it initially it should go in my give away pile.

I like to donate my business clothes to a charity called Dress for Success.  Their mission "is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life."  I personally like to support non-profits that specifically help women to better their positions in life.  Providing a professional wardrobe to women who need the help is an excellent way to do this.

I'm planning on doing a posting on putting together a professional wardrobe within the next few weeks so I'll show you what I kept as well as how I mix and match to make the clothes go farther.

That's what I've been up to, what about you?

I'll be linking this up over at I'm an Organizing Junkie and Organize with Sandy

You might also like:
Basement Organization - Start
Basement Update
Building Your Village


  1. Great job! Kudos for donating to Dress for Success! Such a worthy cause! I did this recently too. It feels nice to know that everything I pull out to wear feels good AND looks good on me.

  2. Thanks! I really love Dress for Success, they are helping to give women the tools to become economically independent which is one of the first steps needed to break the cycle of poverty. Glad that you are a fellow supporter :)

    It is really amazing how good I feel is I'm wearing an outfit that is flattering and comfortable. Really affects the mood in a positive way.

  3. Great job! And it's nice to know that someone else can use the clothes you don't need any more. It makes it easier than if you just had to throw them away.
    It's funny how we hang on to clothes that just don't fit quite right, etc. After going through my closet several times organizing, I still have some of those. Now if I find that I'm wearing something that doesn't fit right, or I don't like for whatever reason, I make a mental note. Once it goes through the laundry, it goes straight to my donate pile.

  4. Well done! And good on you for keeping on with it all despite your back pain. I had a wardrobe intervention carried out at my place a few weeks ago by a very good friend of mine and now for the first time in my adult life I can wear anything that I have hanging in my wardrobe right now.

  5. Awesome. I went from and extremely large wardrobe to a small one a few years ago and an even smaller one a few months ago. The funny thing is, it doesn't seem any different as far as selection as I always wore the same favorite things over and over again anyway.
    The difference now is, no piles of laundry everywhere, no overstuffed drawers, no guilt (size or expense related) staring me in the face and no lost articles. They are all easy to find now. Also, I know when I NEED to shop and I keep up to date, because there is not a lot of fluff hanging in there misleading me. win. win.

  6. Great job! I need to clean out my clothes, but am having trouble because I'm on a diet right now. I'm stuck needing the larger sizes, but hoping to fit in the smaller sizes very soon... Kerrye

  7. Looks great! I just started the same project this week. I had forgotten about Dress for Success so thanks for the reminder.

  8. Anna - I agree it is funny how we hang on to stuff that isn't just right. I don't know if it's not wanting to admit we made a bad choice or what. Good for you for finding a method for you. I need to make sure that I don't fall into bad habits again.

  9. Teresa - Thanks. I want to your blog and checked out your 'intervention'. What a great friend who would be willing to do that for you. It's not easy telling someone something that they don't want to hear but how can we ever fix something if we don't know? Good job to you for letting her help you out.

  10. Meagan - I always find it amusing when we think we've done such a great job before only to find out there's always room to go further. Kudos to you for going even farther in your clothing quest. It does feel fantastic to get rid of so much stuff. Now I just need to have the husband and kids do this too :)