Another of my New Years Resolutions was to complete a once-a-month closet evaluation. The purpose of this goal was to better focus my wardrobe needs and cut back on unnecessary purchases. Before I could work on enhancing by future wardrobe, I really needed to gain control of my current wardrobe. For the month of January, I worked on reorganizing and learning from my wardrobe. Here's an idea of what I was working with pre-January 1st:
I'm not too proud of those images and debated a bit about even showing them, but hey, I'm sure many of you have been there too. After working with this mess for a couple hours, here's what I came out on the other side with.
I learned a lot from the cleaning process and here are some reasons why it would help you all too:
Learn from what you throw out.
Whether it's that skimpy dress from college night outings, the lovable but ratty cardigan that you just can't part with, or the jeans you bought on mega sale but could never really fit in, learn from what you throw away.
In the case of the skimpy dress, don't hold on to an item just because you got a lot of use out of it way back in the day. Chances are your style has changed and improved and there's no reason why your closet should hold you back. As you throw out these items, make a mental note of how your style has changed and what kind of items you no longer like.
Now on to the cardigan. Oh, this parting was tougher. There are some items in your wardrobe that you just love too dearly and wear too much to give to Goodwill, but when you start to see snags forming and heels wearing away, you know it's time. I've already got bookmarks made for another light blue oxford and new nude pumps for the day when I say goodbye to these beloved staples. Find patterns in the items that mean the most to you and from that knowledge, hone in on your style and improve your shopping.
Finally, the jeans that never really fit. There are TOO many items in my closet that I thought fit me well in the dressing room only to make the realization that they look awful on me once I get home. Of course you can always take things back to the store, but if you're like me and you lose receipts like it's your job, that gets to be an expensive habit. I now know that I need to keep a mental note of this tendency when shopping.
Here is a small collection of some items I gave to Goodwill:
Organize your closet to suit your needs.
Every woman's life is different and so should the organization of your closet. For me, my life is organized in a work and non-work style. Because of this, I've got all my slacks, pencil skirts, blouses, and oxfords in one corner of the closet, and all my slouchy sweaters, skinny pants, and mini skirts in another. Other ideas for organization are to separate by color, pattern, or clothing item.
Unsure of an item?
This happens to me a lot. You pick up an article of clothing from your closet and while you know you've never worn it more than once or even once, there's just something holding you back from throwing it out. I do two things to help the decision making process; I think of at least two different outfits that I could wear this article of clothing with AND I wear one of them in the next two weeks. If you can't do either of those, then say sayonara! Here's an example:
Before you can decide on what else you need in your closet, knowing what you already have, have too much of, or have not enough of is necessary. For me, I have A LOT of stripes. What I was shocked at not having more of is oxfords, work pants, and casual t-shirts (of course the needs list is longer than the haves list).
All-in-all, it was quite the learning experience and I encourage you all to do something similar. Not only was the knowledge gained valuable but having a neat and well-organized closet has helped me to utilize more of my wardrobe and get dressed more efficiently. Any tips for organization? Please leave in the comments!
The next step in my New Years Resolution is to make a list of the articles of clothing that I need and ACTUALLY SHOP TO THAT LIST. Let's see how well that goes...