Lose 30 pounds in a day! Most of us could do it. Maybe even more. All it takes is time, honesty, and a little ruthlessness. I helped two clients do it last month. In fact, they each had more than five garbage bags of clothes to donate when we were done. Oh, did I fail to mention I was referring to 30 pounds of clothes?
How many times do you enter your closet and think, “I don’t have anything to wear,” while the closet rod is sagging under the weight of all your clothes? I’m convinced that in those cases, we don’t need more, we need less. What if you were able to walk into your closet knowing you enjoy wearing everything—it fits you well, it’s the style you like, and it looks good on you?
You CAN have a closet like that! Check out today's Timely Tips for clothes purging and organizing ideas.
TIMELY TIPS - to get your closet in shape!
Schedule a time - Block out 3-6 hours depending on the size of your closet. Schedule breaks so you don’t have a melt-down before finishing. Plan a reward (other than shopping) to enjoy at the end of the day.
Catch up on your laundry before you start so you’re not missing anything in the process.
Purchase matching hangers. I prefer the slim-line velvet hanger for most tops. T-shirts and frequently worn sweatshirts work best on the slim-line plastic finish. The open-ended hangers for pants are great—so easy to use!
Make sure your closet has adequate light. If your bulbs are dim, it can lower your mood and make choosing what to wear in the morning more of a chore. If it’s not a walk-in closet, and didn’t come with a light, install a battery-operated stick-on light.
Plan categories for the clothing you keep. Sort by type (pants, shirts, jackets, dresses), use (work, casual, dressy, workout), color, or season. I prefer by type and color to make them easy to retrieve.
Clear the closet floor of other items such as shoes, purses, bags of purse contents, etc. Save the purging process of these for another day, but get them out of the way, so you can easily move in and out of the closet.
Make your bed to use as a staging area. Pull out all your clothes (off the closet rod, floor, chairs, etc.) and lay them in piles on the bed. Use a sheet on the floor for the overflow, if needed.
Pick up one item at a time. Be honest and ruthless. Most of us are equipped with excellent rationalizing skills that can sabotage the purging process. You’re on a treasure hunt for only the items you’ll be anxious to wear. If it’s something you love and wear regularly, it gets an automatic pass back to the closet.
Hang your keepers backwards. As you’re re-hanging your treasures, use the most accessible area of the closet for the clothes you use most. Hang them in your predetermined categories with the hangers facing backwards. After an item is worn, you may hang it the right way. This will help you identify clothing you thought you wanted, but never wear, because they’ll still be hanging backwards at the end of the season.
Beware of faulty reasoning. As you continue the purge, don't succumb to, "But it still has the tags on it!" Apparently, that means you aren’t wearing it. Even if it was expensive, it’s not adding value to your life by taking up space in your closet, and someone else could get good use out of it. Donate or consign it.
Not your size? Limit the number of items you keep in a size that you’re planning to wear again, but not fitting into presently. Place a few favorites of that size(s) in a bin and put them under the bed or on a shelf, so they’re not mixed with your current size.
Needs repair? Place items you love, but need repair, in a bag or bin. Give yourself one month to get it done. Whatever’s left at the end of the month, goes. Clothing, even items beyond repair, can be dropped off at H&M clothing store for repurposing/recycling.
Try them on! You’ll probably run into items that you’re just not sure about. Don’t just ponder them on the hanger, try them on. Then ask yourself, would you buy it again if you were trying it on in the store? Would you be happy to wear it the rest of the day, or out that evening? Remember, you’re on a treasure hunt.
Identify your preferences. Look at the items you’ve already returned to the closet. What makes them treasures—style, color, fit, easy maintenance? Identifying what you love about them will help as you filter through the rest of your clothing.
Bag and label the donate/sell piles. Send them to their final destination. Enjoy your predetermined reward, and relish in the joy of waking up to a wardrobe you love!
I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet. -Carrie Bradshaw