Friday, July 10, 2015

why you need to clean out your closet

I'm going to begin this post with a few confessions:

  1. I am a clothes hoarder.
  2. I attach bizarre emotional values to clothes that really don't matter. 
  3. I didn't read the entirety of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
I've danced around the idea of taking on the capsule wardrobe, minimalist closet, in the same way that Caroline from Unfancy does. But I found myself a strange sort of anxious about cutting my closet down to a specific number of pieces. California doesn't lend itself to specific chunks of weather which made breaking my closet into seasons feel more scary than helpful. I knew I wanted to go through my clothes, but didn't know how. 

Really, the book is helpful and interesting, but it's also got a major hold list at the library (because everyone loves organization right?). Then my mom mentioned she had read up on it on Pinterest and I decided to take a stab at doing the same thing. And I was overwhelmed with all the information there. After some serious reading, the KonMari Method seemed to boil down to a few simple, yet important things. 
  1. Take it all out. Everything out of your closet and drawers and cabinets. 
  2. Only put pieces back in that bring you joy. 
  3. Get rid of everything else. 
Now, the joy question can be tricky to work through, but here's a few ways I combined the Capsule Wardrobe and the KonMari Method together to help me decide on what's for keeps and what's for giveaway. 
  1. Does it compliment your figure? Are you trying to lose weight to fit into it? 
  2. Are you remembering happy or sad times when you wear that piece? (If it's sad, let it go.) 
  3. Is it practical for your lifestyle? 
Kondo would not necessarily agree with being practical -she says you can keep things that you love even if impractical-, but I only allowed myself three of those pieces. Everything else had to go. And, honestly, I was shocked at how many things I own, but don't use. 

I got rid of a very large trash bag of clothes and shoes and accessories (like jewelry and purses). It's sat in our spare bedroom for a month and I took out two items that I have reintroduced to my closet. I learned a lot about myself (beyond the three confessions above) in organizing my closet. Here's five things you deserve to know (and will learn) about your clothes: 

All of my shirts (minus a half dozen) are black, white, or grey. I had no clue that I hardly ever wear shirts that are outside of those neutrals. My shorts come in all kinds of colors as do my sweaters and jewelry, but my shirts don't. So when I'm itching to buy a yellow shirt from Target because I need it chances are I won't wear it and so it's best remaining on the racks for some other yellow shirt lover.

I don't feel like I own the most clothes ever, but I certainly own more than I need (or even routinely wear). So when I took everything out of my closet and put it back in, I had a few pieces that surprised me. I'd forgotten about them and the way I'd loved them so seriously a summer or two ago. I've already worn them in the last two weeks because who doesn't love to spend time with an old friend?

Before I started the organizing, I knew my closet didn't need anything and was, in fact, overfull. But I kept all of my things because I had spent money on them and so I might as well keep them. This is a bizarre logic. Imagine if you kept that high school boyfriend who was super cute but not practical because you had dated him for a year. Or you pumped money into a falling apart car because it was your first one and you couldn't imagine being apart.

I am a sucker for trends. Pinterest has the answer to many things -like what's MonKari Method? But it also exposes us to all the quick trends that aren't necessarily going to last any longer than a single season (or even two). I'm good with some of the trends (bright florals, scalloped edges, fun summer dresses), but I'm not going to rock others even as much as I'd like to (crop tops, high-waisted cut offs, lace up sandals). I allow myself a serving of trendy, but not an entire wardrobe of it.

I'm a sucker for grabbing what's fun and festive off the rack at Target because it's only $14.99. But then $14.99 adds up over and over again. So, I don't buy anything new unless I know that it fits into my style (like, honestly, I'm not going to rock an orange shirt any time soon) or is going to replace something that I've worn out (hi white tank top that's stained).

I'm still on the fence about a few pieces so they're sitting in the purgatory section of my closet until a final determination has been made.

What's worked for you friends? 


  1. I had played around with the idea of doing this next week and then I saw your post. Definitely doing this next week! My closet is packed and I wear the SAME TWO OUTFITS ALL THE TIME. I need an overhaul, big time.

    I also have the hardest time actually getting rid of clothes--I always think I 'might' wear them later or they 'might' come back into style. Maybe instituting a purgatory section, where I don't really get rid of them right away, will help!

  2. I LOVE this! As soon as I pop this kid out, I plan to really reassess my wardrobe for like the 112th time in 3 years. I think I'll bookmark this post as inspiration for when that happens! Thanks!


  3. I have heard AMAZING things about that book and it's definitely on my list!

  4. Love this!!! I need to go through my closet and donate some things because who likes clutter, right??

  5. yes!! i've been so excited to see what you had to say about this after our conversation. i'm totally with you on the practicality thing...i have been planning in my head since i read the book, and i was debating how to handle things like my ski parka and snowpants. very practical, but do they make me happy? not unless i think about it really hard. but i do have to keep them...because while i don't go skiing all the time, a parka is too expensive to go rebuy when i need one next. that's all there is to it. i am so excited for july to be over so i can have the time to put my plan into action!

  6. I'm reading the book and LOVE it. I already tackled most of my closet and am now going through and tidying up my bookshelf! Such good stuff.

  7. I seriously need to find a whole day that I can devote to this. I routinely weed out my closet and donate bags full of things but I feel like my life is just too filled with "stuff" and a lot of clothes I'm holding onto since before my 1st pregnancy, which is just silly. Let's face it - my body has changed!! I reckon I'd feel a lot more peace about my room, my closet, my I finding clothes to wear each day, if I pared things back! Your confessions are right on the money - weird emotional attachments to clothes, jewelry, bags etc. Yup!

  8. Girl, that was where I REALLY enjoyed taking EVERYTHING out and putting it all back in according to color. I quickly realized I own black, white, grey, and red shirts and THAT'S IT. I don't stray from that ever and so, when I buy, I know not to be tempted otherwise because it's just going to SIT and not going to be worn. :)

  9. GIRL, you'll love it. I promise. It is honestly easy to do AND it gives a really clear idea of how you shop and what is comfortable for you. I don't wear lots of colors (as far as shirts go) and that is something I wouldn't have noticed without a good reorganization! :) (Also, it's been a month and a half and this is just super sustainable too)

  10. I know there's lots of stories in the book to help illustrate how we relate to our things and I'm sure those are SUPER helpful because they're relatable... I just didn't give myself the time and space to get through the whole thing. :)

  11. Oh yes, I tried to do it before we moved and then I ended up doing it AGAIN as we moved everything into our house... I couldn't believe how much we physically moved that I no long wanted! :)

  12. Girl, it was SO eye-opening (and freeing) to go through my closet. I felt so comfortable taking things out and saying, nope, I don't wear this and I don't love it so it can go. I didn't get rid of nearly as much as people have posted online as ditching, but I did reassess and realize how much I DO have and how much I don't need any more clothes!

  13. My kitchen was my favorite. SERIOUSLY. We moved in and we just put stuff in drawers and cabinets because we couldn't stand looking at them. So last weekend I reorganized the cabinets and it's SO USER FRIENDLY. I can't believe that it took me over a year to finally get around to it though... :)

  14. I want to think that KonMari would say skiing makes you happy so keep ski clothes because you'll go to the snow again. But I don't know if that's how she works... And so, I had to institute that there are things I own that don't "bring me joy" in the big, bold happy sense, but that allow for joy to remain because I'm skiing in them and I love to do that. Maybe that's right, maybe not, but it's what works for me! :)

    (Also, wait till you clean out your kitchen, it's 239048021974534815 times mores rewarding than your closet.)

  15. Get this, I had a pair of jeans from my junior year of high school that I was keeping because they were expensive. I could fit into them but they're totally not my style and they don't look THAT great on me. BUT THEY WERE EXPENSIVE. Finally, they're in a giveaway bag and happy to be going somewhere else where they will be loved by someone who actually looks great in them. :)

    It's honestly a wonderful process, getting to go into your closet and knowing that what's in there is comfortable and pretty and not just to fill a space on the racks. It's been so much easier to pick out my outfits knowing that I'm not trying to love something that really just isn't my style anymore. :)

  16. GREAT ADVICE. I'm pretty good about letting go of clothes, but sometimes I get into an anti-nostalgic mood and that's when I go hard at organization because I'm WAY more practical and less emotional about "things." (Of course, then I'll find an old photo album and get nostalgic and I have to stop... haha.)

  17. I started this process when moving from my parents and in with my husband, but it's still a work in progress. I love the idea of only keeping pieces that bring you joy. It's such a great way to look at a wardrobe!

  18. I have established my own method when it comes to clothing - partly because I am too scared to follow any others! I am very much a seasonal dresser (with the exception of expensive staples) so I stick to the 6 month rule.

    Every 6 months, I unpack my wardrobe and accessories etc and I decide what to keep and what to give away or sell based on whether it has been worn in the last 6 months and will be worn in the next 6 months! This also works well for sizes - gaining weight or losing it happens in these 6 months! Twice a year, I get rid of at least 3-4 bags of stuff that I know I won't need.

    I have yet to regret getting rid of something (or maybe I just have a bad memory and what I can't see in my closet, I have actually forgotten about!) but I am happy with the choices I have made!


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