How I Got Rid of 80% of My Wardrobe

You may have seen my article about why I got rid of the majority of my wardrobe. But I thought it might be helpful for some if I explained how I was able to do that.

Looking at my closet when I chose to start this project I was a little intimidated. Peep the before picture below and you will understand why. Even when everything was put away it looked messy. That sentence right there speaks volumes. If you’ve organized or clean up a space in your house and it still looks messy — you’re trying to keep too much stuff in that space. That’s the problem I was having with my closet. There was too much and I had weeded it out several times. I felt so much anxiety walking in there, not a great way to start your day.

The Before — dun, dun, dunnnn

Now that we’ve relived it– let’s fix it.

The first thing I tell anyone organizing a space that is in need of a major overhaul — take EVERYTHING out. Yep, every single item. You need a completely blank slate to get that rush of joy, excitement and anticipation. You can visualize the possibilities. And most importantly, you can start analyzing your inventory.

Start by looking around and getting rid of anything that doesn’t belong in your closet. A box of this or that, coats that can be rehomed, etc.

Next, let’s move on to clothes. You should always make three piles– a keep, a maybe and a donate/get rid of. Start by sorting your clothes into these three piles. If something has a stain or a hole, get rid of it— no matter how much you love it. If something doesn’t fit, I’m sorry, but it needs to go. Keeping clothes that ‘don’t fit now, but you hope to lose weight and fit into them later’ is a bad idea for two reasons. #1: If you don’t lose the weight, you’ll have the reminder of your failure and that’s terrible for your self-esteem. #2: Regardless of whether or not you lose the weight, the clothes are taking up space and closet space is VALUABLE.

Once the clothes are sorted, analyze the piles. Do you have more than you hoped to in the keep pile? If so, go through the items one more time. Be a little harsh with yourself. By getting rid of excess clothes you are saving yourself laundry, time and added stress. No piece of clothing is worth that. Once you’ve gone through the keep pile again and weeded some more out, focus on the maybe pile. If the keep pile is small enough and you can add a couple pieces from the maybe pile over then go for it. If not, get rid of them. If you struggle saying goodbye to the maybe pile, tote it up and revisit the tote in a month. Any item you’re indifferent to after a month can be donated, any item you really missed can move into the closet IF you have the space for it.

Once you’ve finished the clothes, look at the shoes. Are there any that can’t be saved? Toss ’em. Are there some that you only plan to wear once or twice? Toss ’em, unless it’s a pair of black heels in which case, we can always make room (am I right). Make concessions here, too. If you’ve got 10 pairs of white tennis shoes, keep one.

Move on to your undergarments and socks. Socks that don’t have a match or that have a hole, toss ’em. If a bra doesn’t fit, toss it.

When organizing your closet, remember these things:

1. Only fill up 80% of your closet, do not fill it to the max. Your clothes need some breathing room.
2. Getting rid of items is saving you so much stress and anxiety.
3. If you use similar hangers, everything will look much more cohesive.
4. Take advantage of the space you have, whether it’s horizontal or vertical.
5. If you’ve got an item that can be rehomed, rehome it.
6. Your closet is the space you get ready every morning. It should inspire you, not frustrate you. Create a space for your clothes that you enjoy being in.
7. Analyze what you’re wearing every day, you may be shocked to find how frequent you wear certain items.
8. The space you’re organizing needs to make sense for whomever will be utilizing it.
9. If something new comes in, something old MUST come out.

I hope this article helps you tackle that daunting closet. Take it one piece at a time and you’ll have a closet you can be energized to get ready in. 🙂

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