The very fact that you just looked at a wardrobe bursting with clothes and said to yourself "there is nothing here" proves that you are not thinking straight. Walk into a store with that kind of logic and you're almost guaranteed to walk out with a bunch of junk you don't need. Here's the truth: You don't need more clothing. You need less. And not so you can make room for all the new stuff you are going to buy afterwards. That's how you got into this mess in the first place. Instead, think of your closet as a vessel holding your ideal wardrobe, just waiting to be revealed. All you have to do is edit away the excess. So here are some purging guidelines. Look at your clothes with a brutally unforgiving eye. The tougher and more honest you are with yourself now, the easier things will be for you later. Here you go:
1. PIECES YOU'VE NEVER WORN
You wonder, where did that come from? The tags are still attached, and yet the shoulders are covered in dust....Enough said.
2. ANYTHING YOU HAVE MULTIPLES OF Underwear and T-shirts are one thing, but if you notice that you've got six of the same blouse, but in slightly different patterns, that should raise a red flag, especially if you tend to only wear two of them regularly. Lay them all out and think about exactly what it was that made you think these pieces were so different to begin with. Now that you look at them all together, do those differences really hold up? Are you sure? Pick your favourites from each group and hang them back in your closet. Clearly these are things you are really drawn to so having a backup isn't a bad idea.
3. ANYTHING that would fit IF YOU WERE...SKINNIER, FATTER, TALLER, SHORTER, WHATEVER.
Lay out all the stuff you own that no longer fits. Where exactly are the problems? Is it the buttons? The cut? The shoulders? Is it too long? Too short? Are these problems that always existed or are they issues that developed over time? Pay special attention to items that are particularly difficult for you to imagine giving up. Maybe it's a piece you spent a lot of money on. What is the specific issue that made this piece unwearable? It's also worth noting any fit issues that are the result of fluctuations in your weight. If your changing weight means you often find your pants either too big or too small, you might want to consider switching to something with more stretch or a different style of bottom altogether that can better adapt to your changing body.
4. SUPER COMFY CLOTHES YOU ONLY WEAR around the house
This is the kind of stuff your wouldn't be caught dead in outside the house - worn out sweatshirts, over-sized, stained T-shirts, saggy-bottomed yoga pants. Now, we know what you're thinking, "Who cares what I wear when I'm just hanging out at home?" You're right. 100%. But this isn't about anyone else. It's about you. Whether you want to admit it right now or not, what you wear has a profound effect on how you see yourself. If you've ever got dressed up and felt a rush of excitement and confidence, then you know what we're saying is true. Yeah, no one is going to see you in those dingy cotton pajama shorts but you, but isn't that enough? And as comfy as those shorts may be, can you really say that wearing them makes you feel good, or do they just reinforce for you that the day you wear them is a crappy day where you will see no one and do nothing? Now, we're not saying to throw out your lazy-day wardrobe. It's just that now you'll have one or three nice comfy sweatshirts that you can also wear out of the house, instead of a whole menagerie of broken down sad pieces.
5. PIECES YOU ONCE LOVED AND WORE ALL THE TIME, BUT NOW HATE No overstuffed closet would be complete without a few shameful fashion skeletons hidden in the back. It's time to confront your old bad style habits head on and learn from them. You once loved this stuff. Has it just gone out of style but you paid a lot for it, so in your closet it stays. Were you just copying a style you thought looked good on someone else? (harem pants?) Were you distracted by something tacky or bedazzled and you only now see for the horror it truly is? Let it go.
6. ANYTHING THAT IS STAINED OR DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR Are you hard on your shoes, always scuffing them? Do you snag all you sweaters? Are you particularly hard on your hand bags? Some clothes just aren't for everyone. Better to know your limitations before you buy something.
7. ANYTHING REMAINING THAT YOU JUST DON'T LIKE What is about these pieces that is turning you off, even though they don't fit into any of the other categories? More likely than not, you will find a lot of overlap. Now, look upon your new, edited wardrobe and try not to have a panic attack. We know, this is way less stuff than you had before. You may even feel like you have nothing towear, but we promise that you do. In fact, you can probably pull more good outfits out of the remaining pieces than you could have before because now every item in your closet is a legitimate winner. And if you're worried about people noticing that you've started wearing the same clothes over and over again, don't. No one will notice. You're not a celebrity. You can wear the same sweater 10 times a month if you want. If it looks good on you and you feel good in it, the only thing anyone is really going to notice is how good you look in red sweaters.
Now that you've edited out all the bad from your closet, the good should finally be able to show through. What is it about these clothes that you like? What do they have in common? Are there particular colors or styles that have taken over following your ruthless edit? These are the elements of your personal style, something you probably had difficulty articulating before. Now that you know what they are, you know what to look for the next time you go shopping.
And you should be able to stop yourself from making the same shopping mistakes that forced you to embark on this closet cleanse in the first place. Oh, the money you'll save and the stress you'll avoid. ~ Kim and Sandra
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