When we lived in our rental house I had a lot of clothing. Most of it moved with me from high school to college and then out on my own. My married closet was full with shirts, pants, dresses, and skirts. And yet somehow I wondered every morning “What to wear?”. Most of my closet housed the same type of clothes. I might have had ten basic tee shirts and five pairs of jeans, but in the end those all made one casual day outfit.
After I had Little W I started seriously weeding out my closet. Many things just did not fit right anymore. Many things were no longer appealing. Some things I knew I would never wear again. We started bagging up clothes once our move to a smaller place was set. I knew we had to get rid of the mass. We donated over 6 bags of clothes and I loved the look of our closet.
With the change of seasons I started another pile of summer clothing that just wasn’t going to cut it. We ended up filling 2 more bags of clothes. Now I have all my seasons covered and I feel like my closet is set. I went a step farther and organized it, placing the winter tops and skirts in the back and placing the most used articles up front: summer tops-lightweight skirts-dresses. (I keep undershirts, t-shirts, kapris and jean skirts in a chest-of-drawers.) My closet is full with things that I wear and I can get to them easily.
What were my guidelines to purging clothing?
Have I worn the article within the last 3 months? (If seasonal, Did I wear it last season?)
Do I look good in it? (No bunching, clinging, constant adjusting, or having to wear 10 under shirts to make it appropriate.)
Does it exemplify a spirit of modesty? (Not attracting eyes to private areas, overly tight, or ridiculously flashy. Does it cover what I personally want covered?)
Can I be a mom in it? (Safe to bend over or sit on the floor, can be tugged at the collar, and gives me free range of motion to run, jump, dance, and just play.)
If you find yourself saying “I don’t know…” to some of the questions about an article of clothing, try putting it back and give it another try later. If you do not wear it in 3 months, throw it out. If you try it on (or wear it) and you notice it being uncomfortable or unmanageable, throw it out. Don’t keep something just because it is cute. Give it away and go find something that it cute and fits all your criteria.
One tip I have heard is that for every article you place in your closet you should purge one that you no longer wear as frequently. I think both myself and my husband are at the point where we have purged to the bottom. I could use a few more nice tops and would not need to throw anything in the donate bag.
(My husband is someone who is hard on his clothing, especially socks and pants. He is constantly requiring new work pants/socks and flushing the torn ones out. He is easy going about cleaning out his clothes. Personally, I would not recommend doing this for your husband. He knows what he likes and what he wears, and I bet he would have no problem aiding you in the purging time with his side of the closet. My husband is glad to get rid of the clutter too.)
Clothing serves the purpose of covering us up. It doesn’t need to cause stress or overtake our lives. We can like the clothing we have and it can also serve it’s purpose well… and it doesn’t have to fill up every corner of every closet.