Purging your clothes, yes, it is time! And don't forget about those shoes, accessories and even your jewelry. Should it stay or should it go? Once you have a functioning wardrobe, where things are easy to find, you'll save yourself energy and have less stress overall.
1 >> One year rule. You've probably heard this one: if you haven't worn it in one year, get rid of it. But how do you keep track of what you wear over a whole year? Take a hanger and turn it backwards as a divider on the rack. Every time you wear something put it on one side of the hanger. Quickly, you'll see what items you are wearing often and which are collecting dust. Most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. (I think I read that in Discardia).
2 >> Piece by piece. Do an overall assessment of each piece in your closet and dresser. If you don't have anything to wear with it, it needs altering or it doesn't fit, set it aside. Once you have the pile, decide if you want to give each piece one more chance or donate it all. If you do decide to try and wear items from this pile one more time, take note of how you feel when you wear it and if it is comfortable or not. If you don't feel great in it, or if it isn't comfortable, add it to the donate pile. Look through my Pinterest board to find new ideas on how to wear your current clothes.
3 >> Dress for the life you have now. This is a great piece of advice, straight from one of the Apartment Therapy videos. (I heart apartmentherapy.com). I can't find the video anymore on the site, but she smartly points out that if you used to have a corporate job wearing suits every day and now you are a freelancer working from home, or have a much more casual job, be realistic about the clothes you'll really wear. Keep a few suits that are still in style, that fit best, that you love and donate the rest to someone who can really put those to good use. Imagine if you just had a closet of clothes that you love, that fit well and are easy to put together as an outfit. If this photo (above) looks familiar, it is because I showed this photo of my closet earlier in my December post: time and money saving wardrobe tips for the holiday. Yes, I know, I don't have that many hanging clothes, but these tips apply to anyone's wardrobe no matter how large or small.
4 >> Swap it. If you have friends or family in your same size, have a swap meet night and exchange your trash for their treasures. What to swap? See your donation piles from tip numbers one through three above. Make it fun by having a fashion show with snacks and drinks. Just make sure to bring any unwanted things straight to the donation center and not back into your home. If you swap clothes with friends, you'll save money in not having to buy new clothes from the store. Here are some ideas from Real Simple on how to host a swap night party.
5 >> Storage. Make sure you have room to store the clothes you decide to keep. I think the biggest problem is that we don't have shelving or a place to put things, so it is hard to put them away and feel like we can recreate the order. Consider a storage shelving system like this one from IKEA. I have two in my house and I love how clean and simple they are. They are also very sturdy and can hold a lot items. You can buy doors or drawers for each space or leave them as open shelves.