I’ve read a number of articles about closet purging. I do not agree with everything I read. I evaluate carefully when purging the closets of my clients as well as my own.
We are heading into a new season. It’s the perfect time to go through clothes. In fact, I recommend you do this twice yearly when the seasons change. Put it on the calendar if you need to. It’s important. If you let it go a couple of seasons, the closet becomes stuffed and then it’s an overwhelming task.
I use the change of seasons to thoroughly go through my closet and make the switch. Closets get dusty. I do deep cleaning and rearranging. I can spend up to a day doing this. My husband thinks it’s hilarious. Recently he demonstrated how he does the closet switch. He grabs his bunch of short sleeved shirts and moves them to the back in exchange for the long sleeve shirts he moves up front. He notes that it takes about two minutes. Men!
When evaluating closets I use this criteria that we have established in our first appointment 1. Is it a good color? 2. Does it fit well–match your body type? 3. Is it you? Does it match your personal style.
I encourage you to receive some help with this process if it is difficult to know what stays or what goes. I hear about women who overdo the purging process and get rid of so much they have very few clothes left to wear. I try to salvage as much as possible. Another pair of eyes and a 2nd opinion saves dollars!
Here are some of my Best Tips:
1. You will often read: “If you haven’t worn in a year, get rid of it!” I disagree with this tip. Especially in our NW climate, there are years when for whatever reason I do not wear an item as much or at all. Sometimes the weather factor needs to be weighed.
2. How long should you keep an item? This is a tough one. I get 2-4 years out of most of my clothes. There are classic, dressier styles not worn as often that I have held on to much longer. I recommend 3 piles: Consignment, Donate and Throw Away.
CONSIGNMENT: I consign pieces that still have some wear and life in them. Most of the time I’ve received good value judging by the CPW (cost per wear). My consignment pile consists of things I’m tired of wearing but are in good condition. If I can’t come up with a new way to give it some life, or wear it in a different way–it goes! This is also the place to rid those pieces you purchased on sale and the tags are still on (heaven forbid!)
DONATE: Outdated and ill fitting clothing ( for you personally, but may work on someone else.)
THROW AWAY: Check your clothing carefully for stains,”pilling”, stretching and tears or holes. If it cannot be salvaged with cleaning, the sweater shaver or mending it NEEDS TO GO!
3. How do you determine if an item is still in style? People watch. Observe well-dressed women. You will see a pattern. Pick up a few magazines occasionally. Read blogs!
Tips that don’t work for me personally but may work well for you:
1. When you start a season, turn all the hangers backwards. As you wear an item, turn the hanger the opposite direction. This provides a great visual so you see what is not being worn. Many women use this as criteria for what stays/what goes. Ok, I may be a little crazy, but I like all my hangers to hang the same way. I do not have that many clothes. When I do the closet switch, I know immediately what I haven’t worn that season.
2. When you purchase a new item, one item has to leave your closet. Again, I evaluate twice yearly and try to make wise decisions based on specific criteria. Poor decisions can be made if you are just picking at item quickly because this is your rule. However, if it helps you purge regularly–then do what works!
How do you evaluate what stays or what goes? I’d love to hear from you. If you are a regular reader, but have never made a comment, please join in!