I’ve been on a wardrobe detox and closet reorganization “bender” the last few days; I’ve even tackled some of those long-ignored top shelves in the closet! 🙀 It’s always an eye-opening experience for me, and I thought I’d share some of my observations and tips from this wardrobe detox.
My closet can breathe again (and so can I…)
While I do make small edits to my wardrobe seasonally, it’s been well over a year since I’ve undertaken a full wardrobe “cleanse.” I’ve been working in sections (tops/tees, bottoms, jackets, sweaters) which I find is the most efficient method. I just sent off a few items for consignment, and set aside a few things to revisit later. The rest I’ll give to a friend who has daughters my size. Whatever they don’t want will be donated.
I laundered or sent out my wool and cashmere sweaters to be cleaned, and they’ll be packed away in storage bags with cedar blocks to discourage moths. I’ve moved my warm weather tops (shown on my rolling rack above) to a more prominent spot in my closet.
It all feels more tidy and orderly now. I can see what I have and more easily “shop my closet.” Other than eventually turning over a few “placeholders” (those items that aren’t 10’s but that serve a purpose) and filling a couple of gaps, I feel like my wardrobe is in good shape for the next few months.
Wardrobe detox tips and observations…
- Have a space cleared where you can put the “for future consideration” items before you begin. (I didn’t do this…learn from my mistake! 😆)
- Have cleaning supplies handy to wipe down shelves, vacuum floors before you start putting anything back.
- Nothing goes back into the closet that isn’t 100% ready to wear. If it needs to be laundered, cleaned, or have a button sewn back on, set it aside.
- Sensing a theme from your discards? Are there items you over-buy? (For me, it’s sweaters, tees, and jeans.) Styles of clothing that you never end up wearing? Make a list to keep with you next time you’re shopping, and avoid buying more of the same.
- Mind the gaps. Are you short on summer trousers? Lightweight tops with sleeves? Make a list of those items you need to round out your wardrobe and prioritize when you shop.
- Don’t skip over shoes, bags, and accessories. Do they suit your current lifestyle? Do you wear them now?
- Think carefully about your “one-off’s” like special occasion wear. You may want to keep some items for very specific types of events. (I hang onto a very nice pair of riding pants because I know someday I’ll have the opportunity to get on a horse again…) On the other hand, does it look dated? Can it be altered or updated?
Above, the jackets I’m keeping. (Plus my long navy jacket, not shown.)
The reasons we hang on…
I had a few pieces that I never wore, but had hung onto through the last couple of wardrobe purges. Here are a few of the rationalizations that kept those “orphans” hanging out in the back of my closet.
But it’s a classic! We’ve been told so often that there are certain items that every woman MUST have in her wardrobe (a white shirt! a trench coat! a black pump!). But every woman’s “classics” are different and if you don’t wear it, it’s probably not one of yours.
It was such a steal! (Or conversely, “it cost a fortune!”) A couple of years ago I happened to catch an online sample sale from a designer whose pieces I’d often admired. Even her sale prices were usually out of my range, but the final sale markdown tempted me to order one top. I took a wild guess at the sizing, but when it arrived it was HUGE. Huge beyond being able to alter. I hung onto it out of sheer stubbornness, but this time I finally sent it off to see if it would sell on consignment.
My mother/best friend/Significant Other loves it! Offer it to your best friend or mother. S.O. is a tougher call. But if you haven’t worn it in a while, and they hasn’t asked about it… 😉
It’s a limited edition! Someone else might be delighted to have it. See if you can consign or sell it.
It reminds me of a wonderful vacation/event/relationship! Ah, this is a tough one. Sometimes sentiment wins out. Do you have a photo of yourself in the piece you could have printed up and framed to hang instead? But hey, I’m still kicking myself for having given away a couple of concert tees a few years ago, so go with your heart.
Just as I was getting ready to put the closet back in its (new) order, I received this lovely gift of clothing care and storage items from Julia at Total Wardrobe Care. It included a knitwear storage bag, packing cubes, a sweater comb, various sachets and more. (Our closet smells HEAVENLY now!) Thank you, Julia!
Do you have any wardrobe detox tips to share?