Coming clean: Taming your closet

Issue: 
March 2012

Until a couple of weeks ago, my closet looked like a jumble sale. I had jeans in nearly every size, designer labels next to thrift-store gag gifts, and sweaters I’d clung to since high school. I felt an oppressive weight on my shoulders every morning as I waded through my over-stuffed rack, trying to find something that fit, felt good, and flattered.

 

One grey morning I found myself alone with my unruly closet and nothing in my appointment book. I decided that it was time to come clean with myself, and with my closet. So I rolled up my sleeves and started pruning. Four little rules helped me cut through the emotional baggage attached to so many of my clothes.

Here’s the lowdown. Ask yourself these four questions of every single piece of clothing in your closet. If you answer, “no,” to any one question, the item is history.

1.   Have I worn this in the last year?

If you haven’t worn an outfit in over a year, what are the chances you’ll wear it this year? Slim to none. I am as guilty as the next girl of buying clothes because I like the color of the fabric, a particular detail or a crazy low sale price. But once I get home, a lot of these clothes simply don’t work with my body type. Sadly, a teeny-tiny pair of barely-worn pre-baby Hudson jeans was in this category. It hurt, but it was time to say goodbye.

If you’re unsure of what you’ve worn, hang the item backward on your closet rod. After you wear it, turn the hanger around the right way. If it stays backward after a few weeks or months, toss it. I had lots of backward hangers in my closet, so to these clothes, I said, “See ya later!”

2.   Does it make me feel good about myself?

Clothes — for women especially — have strong emotional influences. There were several really weird things in my closet that just didn’t make me feel pretty or special, and it seemed as if I always wore those things. A long-sleeved t-shirt that read “Glendale Shakespeare Club,” a green wool sweater I bought in college, a pair of maternity jeans with threadbare thighs. These clothes were ugly and dumpy and made me feel ugly and dumpy, too. So, to them, I said, “You’re outta here!”

3.   If I didn’t feel guilty for some reason, would I still own it?

Guilt clothes. Ahh, the hardest pile of all. My mother, bless her heart, loves to buy me things. Actually, she really loves to buy us things. She’ll find a 90 percent off rack at Dillard’s and if she lands on a particularly darling sweater, she’ll buy one in her size and one in mine. Here’s the thing, though: These clothes are precious on her. Her style is whimsical and ruffled, and mine is more tailored and practical. About a fifth of my closet was comprised of really nice clothes that I kept hanging on to because my sweet mama brought them to me with an excited smile. And I hate to let my mama down. But I decided that if I gave that stack to charity, they could live on in someone else’s wardrobe. And so, to my guilt wardrobe, I bid a fond, “Adieu.”

4.   Is it comfortable and flattering?

Finally, the comfort test. Sure, the plunging necklines, cinched waists, and short skirts are great for a night out, so I made exceptions for special occasion clothes. But, the vast majority of comfort offenders were in my daily rotation. In fact, most of them weren’t even cute enough to compensate for the restrictive bust, awkward length, or other anger-inducing shortcomings. So I tossed them into the charity pile without a friendly goodbye.

Once the purging was complete, I replaced all my old, ugly hangers with flocked slimline hangers that prevent clothes from ending up in rumpled heaps on the floor. And once the clutter was cleared, the hangers replaced, and all that remained was the good stuff, I took an inventory. To my surprise, I hardly needed to do any shopping to replace the clothes I’d tossed. A few staples did the trick.

In the end, I donated 12 bags of clothes to charity and kept track of my tax deductions. I was afraid that I’d miss all those bags of clothes, but not only have I already forgotten most of the things I gave away, I’m decidedly happier in the mornings knowing that whatever I reach for will fit, flatter, and feel fabulous. And that, my friends, is what coming clean is all about.

Comments

Neal1122's picture

Thanks for sharing the info, keep up the good work going.... I really enjoyed exploring your site. good resource...
Art dec eau

javierrodriquez's picture

I really found your article very interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing. I am glad to browse this information chalets à vendre

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up..
NB Fyjz Website

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!
Core Getaways Tips And Tricks

Great Information sharing .. I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
Read More

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.
cours d'anglais

omnya's picture

Ahaa, nice about this piece of writing at this place at this web site, I have read all that, so now me also commenting here. .العاب

I am typically to blogging and i actually recognize your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand new information.
increase youtube views

roger1122's picture

Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!.
http://www.ecig.me.uk

roger1122's picture

I like this post,And I guess that they having fun to read this post,they shall take a good site to make a information,thanks for sharing it to me.
isabel marant sneakers

Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information.
buy twitter followers

jackson1122's picture

This is my first time visit here. From the tons of comments on your articles,I guess I am not only one having all the enjoyment right here!
créer un serveur minecraft

ronan1122's picture

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..
free minecraft account

ronan1122's picture

Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1t13ru_DMo

marvinvinn's picture

I don't buy unnecessary clothes or accessories, therefore my closet is always clean and in order. I also like the clothing online stores because I am not tempted to buy too many clothes at once.

Heidi Lavern's picture

I know you're absolutely right, but, for example, I don't get out much, so many of my clothes remain unworn, but they still look pretty decent. I still have this cool Donna Sharp quilts jacket I wore when I was at the Danube delta with my friends and it's a classic, although I didn't wear it to work. I don't know where I got this idea from, that one should be abstemious at the office.

I love shopping and I had to buy a new closet in order to put my clothes on. I am having a lot of clothes and some of them are new. Recently I've bought some nice uniforms from http://www.uniformstoyou.com/healthcare.aspx and I throw my old ones in order to put these new ones in the closet.

ronan1122's picture

I’m impressed by the details that you¡¦ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect web-site.
Relationships by Luminix Power

ronan1122's picture

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.
netflix for free

spider2014's picture

Thank you for this Artiicle
Best flash games for girls
العاب تلبيس بنات

Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post.
bubblegum casting

These clothes were ugly and dumpy and made me feel ugly and dumpy Z Code System

Her Well Being: Stories of Health, Survival, and Livin' It Up Her Style

A Big, Bad Fight

Dana Birdsong didn’t have time for a headache that day. The (then) 35-year-old lobbyist and advocate for the American College of Cardiology in Washington, D.C. had a meeting on Capitol Hill she couldn’t miss.



To read this and other Her Well-Being stories, click here.
Real Estate: Home Video Tours
Searching for a new home? Her Nashville is excited to partner with HouseLens.com, offering buyers easy-to-view video tours of Middle Tennessee's hottest homes.

148 Spyglass Way, Hendersonville TN 37
Price: $549,900
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 5/5

1018 Jacobs Valley Road, Joelton TN 37
Price: $0
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 0/0

View More Homes

Mailing list sign-up

Copyright © 2009 Her Nashville