maydaymayday! not because it's the first of may, but because my room is an absolute disaster. i neeed closet organizing tips, yesterday. i'm not sure why avid shopper and pack rat are traits that always seem to go to gether. why can't i be a meticulous pack rat? i'm about to bring up my summer clothes from the basement, but i think i should weed through the old ones first. i scoured the seven internet seas for tips on wardrobe cleanup and organization. there was SO much i found on this i had to split it up. part one today, part two to come next week!

today i'm writing about trimming down the unused things from your wardrobe. i know there are lot of things in there that i haven't worn in forever. the average person only uses 20% of their wardrobe so there MUST be stuff that can go. i HATE throwing/giving clothes away. absolutely hate it. but it must be done! that above? is my before picture of my real room. AFTER i'd been cleaning for an hour >.<. i'm hoping the shame of seeing it up there will really push me to do this. as soon as my paper's written. okay, here we go.

you will need:
plenty of free time ( 2 hours min.),
music (if the right song is on, i'll forget i'm doing actual work)
garbage bags

a friend

take everything out of your closet, i'm told that's the only way to do this. note: it only really works if you start with a clean room. first and foremost. pick your twenty can't live with out items and move them right back in. these should be the versatile items, the tried and true ones. not frilly pieces i mean wardrobe staples like, an oxford blouse, favouite pair of jeans, or that go anywhere dress. now for what's left. i don't really buy the rule that says after you haven't used it a year you have to get rid of it. i have a section of "church clothes" or just fancy wear that i keep for special occasions and i don't really see anything wrong with that! i think you should determine what you're going to throw away by a number of criteria.

most importantly? fit. if it's too big or too small, if it's not flattering for your skin tone or body type just get rid of it. clothes, no matter what they look like should make you FEEL amazing first. it doesn't matter if its a fabulous piece or you paid a lot for it. don't let that guilt you in to keeping something that just doesn't work for you. also consider function and practicality, if it's a great pair of jeans you can't sit down in there's really no point in keeping them. the best way to see what else belongs in your wardrobe is to try it on. this is wear the music comes in. have fun with it!

consider style. remember that fashion changes but style doesn't. if you bought a piece of clothing that was "in" last year but isn't really you there's a smaller chance of you wearing it agian. are you going for particular look? i'd keep your style muses in mind. before you go into your closet, i'd research (and write down) the kinds of items that reflect that same look and seriously consider trimming the things that don't. remember that clothes, unlike cheese and fine wine, do NOT get better with age. in fact there's probably a smaller and smaller chance that you'll wear them as time goes on.

think about quantity. is this your fifth pair of medium wash skinny jeans, surely one of them can go? i know i have a DRAWER full of jeans, but i only really wear the same five pairs. consider an item's wearability. if that top only goes with ONE pair of pants that you own it's just taking up space, maybe it's time to let it go.

a friend would be realy helpful here cause they could (mostly objectively) tell you what looks good and what doesn't, what you'll actually wear and what you won't.

anyway, with all that in mind, i'd place the items that make the cut back into your closet and put the rest in a garbage bag to donate later. (see my suggestions for what to do with old clothes below)

if there are a few items you can't quite put back in your closet and can't bear to throw away quite yet (i know i will =P) try giving them a probation period. take all those "someday" items out of the closet and store them somewhere else. and in a year when you finally haven't touched them, you'll feel better about throwing them away.

and voila! a whittled wardrobe! here are a few followup notes under the cut!

-see the pieces that are left over and try and make some NEW outfits. soemone pointed out that you never really run out of clothes you only run out of ideas. go on shuffle. throw new things together and see how they work. be sure to take pictures or write them down!
-take note of the things you're giving away. if they all seem to be the same type of thing, make a note NOT to buy them again.
-do this every six months, almost like getting hair cut!
-and here's what to do with your discarded clothes: remember, what you don't need someone else might! your local goodwill is always good for donations. if you want to make money off it, you could always sell your clothes on ebay, sell them to a consignment shop or have a garage sale. OR if you have friends that are the same size and that smell good, try having a clothes swap party. everyone wins!

and next week, i'll give you some great tips on how to organize your whittled down closet! till then!


P.S. check this blog by denise fisher for more tips on how to get organized and what to do with the clothes you don't wear.