I was going to wait to do this until I was finished my spring cleaning, but it’s been a bit of a slow process around here. It seems the warm weather motivated y’all long ago, but we still have the furnace going most days around here.
I did begin the purging process in my room back in March. I don’t know about you, but whenever we travel, I am inspired to tidy–not necessarily clean, but purge and organize. I don’t like to come home to a messy house. I also find it hard to concentrate on packing when things are chaotic.
We had a wonderful visit for close to three weeks with supporting churches in the US in March (see here). I always begin by doing some weather-watching to see what I need to pack. In this case, I had to cover three seasons’ worth! It was winter weather here. The Carolinas were still quite cool; it even snowed a little one day in Charlotte! Louisiana was quite warm. Summery (for us) kinda weather. Whew…that meant I’d need to pack multi-functional, layering clothes if I was going to get away with just a carry-on suitcase. I’ll share some of my packing tricks in another post.
A bit of a bunny trail, there. In order to assess my clothing situation for such diverse packing, I needed to take stock. Some things were easy: items I wear frequently. My summery clothes needed a quick try-on (just in case…you know the way winter pounds sneak up). Because my closet is small, aaannnddd I share it with My Love, my [specifically] summer clothes (like shorts and some dresses, etc.) go into a storage tote. That meant dragging the bin up from the basement before its usual time. Thus began my clothing purge.
Do you have a process when you purge your closet? Here’s mine:
- Remove items from closet and/or dresser drawers
- throw ’em all on the bed like me…or…
- take each item out individually for consideration
- Evaluate each piece, one at a time
- go through the purging checklist
- be brutally honest
- try it on
- have an unbiased helper to decide (my df girl is perfect for this job…she tells me exactly what she thinks!)
- make sure you can pair it with at least one other item in your closet/dresser
- Determine final destination: toss, keep or donate
- have an ‘unsure’ pile if necessary, then go through the process one more time
- Return to closet or drawer in an organized fashion
- I like to organize by kind (ie long sleeve blouses, short sleeve blouses, dressy tanks, skirts, dresses, jackets and some cardigans in the closet and everything else grouped together and folded in dresser drawers)
- here’s a trick to further your purge:
☞ When returning items to your closet, turn the hangers to face you. As you wear the clothes, return them with the hanger facing inside. Next year, get rid of any item that is still facing you…you didn’t wear it for 365 days!
You can download this checklist here.
This was my process; it took a good two or three hours, start to finish. Here’s the disastrous “before”:
I ended up with a garbage bag of clothes and shoes to toss and a recycling bag with items to donate. My df girl took a couple of cardigans for herself (she often borrows my cardigans–makes me feel pretty hip 😛 ) and some for the consignment store. She takes clothes fairly regularly (she purges often!) and has made some spending money this way.
As you can see, our room is pretty tiny. Our bed, two nightstands and two dressers leaves a path around the perimeter of the bed and little more. I cannot afford to keep unnecessary items! Unfortunately, this room often gets the bits and pieces from the day to keep the main rooms tidy. I’m trying to break that habit!
Weeding out the unnecessary stuff in your wardrobe–and your life–is freeing! My closet now makes me smile.
Are you ready to thin your wardrobe? Changing seasons are a great time to get to it!
Here are a few organizers from amazon.com to get you started:
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