Image via Wikipedia (not my closet)
One of the personal tasks I tackled this summer, somewhat related to my clutter theme, was a thorough examination of my wardrobe, with the goal of not only eliminating what I no longer needed, but also organizing it in a way that was more efficient and helpful to me. I know I have a good amount of clothes, but too often during the school year, I feel like I have no clothes. Or at least, no clothes that I like or that I want to wear or that fit me. Yes, I get a little whiny about my clothes.
I was also inspired by two bloggers, the first being Jessica of What I Wore and her idea of a “cookbook for your closet”–how can you cook up outfits if you don’t know what ingredients you have? I was also inspired by a blogger I discovered more recently, Sally of Already Pretty, who writes about her outfit list and the role it plays in her clothes choices. I haven’t made a full-on outfit list, but thinking of pieces in terms of outfits did help me decide whether to keep or toss more than one item, and also helped me see pieces I needed to replace, pieces that were staples but looked a little the worse for wear (I’m looking at you, Target-brand white v-neck tee).
Following advice I found online, I started with my dresser, going through it drawer by drawer, dumping it all on the bed, sorting out what I know right away I want to get rid of, then putting the items in grouped piles, then going through those piles and getting rid of items that seemed like duplicates or that on second glance, I didn’t really need. So I went through my “short sleeves” drawer, for example, and grouped my tank tops, v-neck tees, “dressy” tees and novelty tees before deciding some of my older beloved Threadless tees are a size smaller than I ever feel comfortable wearing now and were taking up too much valuable drawer real estate. This also helped me see patterns: for example, I almost never wear crewneck t-shirts and should therefore stop buying them. For each drawer, I also reserved a page in a composition notebook and wrote down each item and a brief description, including details like color, pattern, neckline, sleeve length, and grouped in categories, like I had done on my bed.
Looking at each item, and then placing them within bigger categories, really helped me see my wardrobe as a larger entity. It was easier deciding what really belongs on hangers, not folded in my drawers, once I saw exactly how many pants and skirts I was trying to squeeze into one drawer, or how wrinkled and un-wearable some of those shirts looked after being crushed by other shirts. I know now that I need to buy two more skirt hangers, and that I own a lot of skirts. Also, I own a lot of purple and pink and green, but not as much blue as I had thought. I’m also going to look for some hanging organizers, because I have a lot of short-sleeved sweaters and sweater vests that get crushed under my heavier sweaters when I pile them all on the shelf in my closet.
On the whole, I’m very pleased with my results, but I’m hoping to see the real payoff once the school year starts. By streamlining my house and trying to establish new, clutter-unfriendly habits, I’m hoping to streamline my life more once the school year begins. Being stressed at work and coming home to a messy, out-of-control house just results in a cycle of stress, and one I’d like to disrupt, or even prevent, this coming year.