When she laughed so hard that she spit her tea out, I knew we were having fun. That was the measure I used when my 15-year-old daughter helped me clean out my closet for this week’s home organization project. Correction. I hired her to help me sort through every item in my closet with me and she was worth every penny. When I suggested she could have a business doing this work, her answer was, “It was easy for me to work with you because I know your style – or what should be your style. How would I know that about other people?” Good point.
Her call outs were honest and true. She and I share a closet – oh, the joys of old houses – but she hadn’t even seen half of what was stashed away in our shared closet space.
Here’s just a few of her gems….
“Those pants make it look like you don’t like your body.”
“You don’t go to enough weddings to justify keeping every suit.”
“What is with those shoulder pads?” (You guessed it – the ’80s!)
“Is that dress from the 1800’s?”
“No more black and white stripes.”
“You only need one black dress.”
“That is not a good color for you.”
“Get rid of those ‘mom’ jeans. When are you wearing those white skinny jeans I made you buy last August?”
It took well over an hour and when we were finished, I was getting rid of more than I was keeping. The clothes I’m to discard have been sitting in this chair for a couple of weeks. They’re waiting for me to drag them to a consignment store – or two.
The best part? She made me a list of 4 items I needed to buy to make my wardrobe complete. 4 items – that’s it. There’s also a little pile of alterations – 5 or so shirts that need fixing or altering. We discussed what T-shirt sleeve length looks best and which I should no longer wear again. Ever.
- This week’s project. My closet.
- Small. It was a doable project and I had completely prepared myself by reading up on closets and fashion. My attachment to many of the clothing items was emotional. “Oh, I wore that when George (my friend and style fiend who we met up with last summer while in New York) and I worked together,” or “This is what I wore after our wedding.”
- Clear and clean. Nope – didn’t clean but I did recycle a bunch of hangers. I should clean now since there’s not much left in there.
- Get set. I’ve got a list of 3 or 4 stores I’m headed to consign and sell my clothes. I worked for Polo/Ralph Lauren for 9-years and have some really great items but many I haven’t worn in 20+years. Many items don’t fit and honestly, many items I don’t want to wear. One jacket had mold on it. I have no idea how that happened! Dress for Success will be on my list to visit, too.
- Stop buying. I love to shop for clothing – LOVE TO – but, this clean out has confirmed for me that women’s clothing doesn’t last as long as men’s even if we think it does. It may last quality wise but it looks dated before it looks vintage. I may buy my 4-items but that’s it. I even passed up a chance to pop into TJ Max earlier this week. Will power!!
- Less is more. I can’t stress this enough. Even with all of the items I’m getting rid of, there are plenty left for me to wear. I seriously have clothes for a month left up there! I have to keep reminding myself that I can only wear one item at a time and that’s it. The closet looks empty but it feels really good.
Even though I was absolutely dreading this project, it’s done and wasn’t nearly as bad as I had built it up to be. What will happen when I go to put on a skirt or jacket that’s no longer in my closet? That’s when I’ll need to remind myself about this purge. I’m not sure what next week’s project will be but I’ll come up with something!
Have you cleaned out your closet lately? Any regrets?
Go Gingham related links:
Gingham style: It’s got a definition
How to make a waistband smaller without pins!
How to turn jeans into capris – easier than you think!
How to make skinny jeans from wide leg jeans – make your own “jeggings”
Holiday attire that’s all used clothing – frugal and fancy to wear!